United Veterans of Florida, Inc.

United Veterans of Florida keeps calling me for a donation.

They tell me that they use Vets to solicit the money, so admin. costs are 15% but they are paying Vets to get the money.

Any info on this veterans charity?


The stated purpose of United Veterans of Florida is "to assist needy veterans and their families."

In conducting our research on United Veterans of Florida, we found no information on their web site concerning their financial records. We have sent them a request for a copy of their most recently filed IRS Form 990 (tax return) for our review, and we will update this page once we receive their response.

In the meantime, we find that United Veterans of Florida is not listed with any of the usual charity watchdog organizations we consult: Charity Watch, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

We did find them listed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Charities Gift Givers' Guide (their current registration expires 5/20/2010).

The information provided to that department by United Veterans of Florida does not match the information you were given. Their documents filed with
the State of Florida indicate the following for the period ending 12/31/2008:

Total Revenue: $468,429

Program Services Expenses: $86,936 (19%)
Administrative Expenses: $20,825 (4%)
Fund-Raising Expenses: $358,952 (77%)

It is possible that they changed their method of generating donations since then and no longer use third-party fundraisers, but not very likely.

Unfortunately, far too many veterans charities use for-profit fundraisers because it is easier and despite the fundraisers keeping significant amounts of the donations raised, the charities claim the amount they receive is still more than it would be without the professional fundraisers.

We don't know what the solution is, but perhaps they could use volunteers to solicit donations? If any of you have experience with effective charity fundraising, perhaps you could post your suggestions.

We will update this page once we receive the requested tax returns from UVF.

To review the list of other veterans charities we have reviewed, or to inquire about one not listed, please click the link below that says "Return to Veterans Charities Questions." Please note the list is chronological and not alphabetical, so you'll need to scroll to the bottom of the list to determine if your charity is listed.

Comments for United Veterans of Florida, Inc.

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Jul 13, 2011
They Never have used a fundraing company
by: Frank

I used to work for United Veterans of Florida, and received help getting off the streets from them.

Now, it may seem like splitting hairs, but the reason their fund raising costs are so high is that they do pay people to make the phone calls - Giving vets work when they couldn't find any.

I personally know of a number of people who have gone from being homeless and living on the street to first, last and security deposit thanks to this group.

I personally believe money they paid a veteran to "work the phones" could be listed as program money as it helps a veteran, but they choose not to claim it that way. Probably a far more honest approach than most charities use.

Most will set up things up with 2 companies, one that does the fund raising via a contract (often a for-profit group) who then keeps 70 - 90% of the money, turning over the other 10-30% to the actual charity, who then spends that much on their programs and then turns in a report saying they spent 80-90% of their monies on programs.

You'll have to decide which is more honest but I can assure you this group does do its own fundraising, and has helped many veterans.

Frank, thank you for joining our conversation and sharing your personal experience with United Veterans of Florida.

While we applaud their practice of hiring down-on-their-luck veterans to do phone solicitations, we're fairly certain that amount is allocated to program services, which, as you said, helps needy veterans.

However, we believe, simply from looking at the numbers, that United Veterans of Florida IS using third-party fundraising groups in addition to whatever calls are being made by paid veterans.

The State of Florida reports the following expenses for 2010:

Program Services Expenses: $86,893 22%
Administrative Expenses: $29,472 7%
Fund-Raising Expenses: $279,167 71%

That's out of total revenue of $393,083 and total expenses of $395,532, leaving a deficit of -$2,449.

There is still no IRS Form 990 available for them at GuideStar, and they never responded to our request for copies (even though IRS regulations require them to provide them upon request), so all we can do is draw conclusions from those raw numbers.

Unless the majority of their employees are volunteers, some salaries and compensation would have to be included in the Program Services Expenses number, because the Admin Expenses number isn't high enough to pay more than part-time help. It wouldn't be unusual for salaries of people who provide program services to be included in the program services expenses.

So the bare truth, directly from the State of Florida, is that United Veterans of Florida allocated 71% of its 2010 expenses to fund-raising. Based on our experience, we'd bet that money was paid to a for-profit, third-party fundraising group.

So while they may be helping some veterans, which is admirable, how many more could they have helped with the $279,000 they paid to fundraisers?

Aug 02, 2010
How many charities are these folks?
by: Concerned veteran

My company supported this charity till we were advised to check the state of Florida Charity division. Since then, we have discovered that Mr. Paul Mc Mullen (aka Sgt. Russo) is not a veteran and is the same person who always called our company for a donation.

He is listed as a registered agent for United Veterans of Florida Pompano Beach office. Interesting, we found from the state of Florida the same Mr. Paul Mc Mullen is also listed as the registered agent for another veteran charity called "Veterans of Foreign Conflicts."

Any info on this veterans charity?

Dear Concerned, (Gee, I feel like Ann Landers!)

You don't need to be concerned because Mr. McMullen is listed as registered agent for more than one entity. A registered agent is required by the Secretary of State's office, and is simply someone designated by the organization to be served by "service of process" for any lawsuits that might be filed against them.

There are lots of companies set up specifically to serve as registered agents. Many times, they won't have any affiliation with the organization. A registered agent could be an officer of the organization, or its accountant or attorney.

For example, I just went to the Nevada Secretary of State's web site and searched on the name of a company I know that offers those services. They are registered agents for more than 20,000 Nevada companies.

So that by itself shouldn't be a cause for alarm.

I found a Paul McMullen listed as registered agent for around 18 Florida companies (but it's listing more than one Paul McMullen, because they have different middle initials). Interestingly, the two charities you mention were not on that list.

The Florida Secretary of State lists the registered agent for United Veterans of Florida as Robert Smith, since 3/20/2009.

Thank you for calling that to our attention and giving us the opportunity to explain registered agents for our readers.

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