United War Veterans Council
Can you provide a rating for United War Veterans Council?
Recently my sister received a phone solicitation from United War Veterans (they neglected to add "of New York") who wanted to schedule clothing pick-up. Its website has drop-off locations for clothing all over NJ.
It looks to me as if United War Veterans does nothing except organize a veterans parade in New York City which is heavily sponsored by large corporations, e.g. UHaul, HBO, etc. Their website says they are a 501(c)(19) organization. Does anyone rate 501(c)(19) organizations?
By the way, the phone solicitor was calling my sister here in NJ from someplace out in the mid-west so I assume she was a telemarketer. I had my sister ask the solicitor for website and she was told unitedwarveterans.org. The "Who We Are" area gives no info other than a form to fill out the donor's own personal information.
I think the phone solicitation is misleading as you think you are actually donating old clothes for redemption by an organization that will benefit veterans, not for use to throw a parade and nothing else.
I and my extended family have been donating to Vietnam Veterans of America (mostly clothing contributions) for years. I don't see a rating for them anywhere online.
Thank you for your question about United War Veterans Council (UWVC). Like you, we found very little information online about this organization, including on its own web site.
According to nycservice.org, which was established by the Mayor's Office, UWVC was "chartered by the City of New York to produce the annual Veterans Day parade and other ceremonial events."
As you mentioned, the United War Veterans Council is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code. You can find the qualification requirements for tax-exempt veterans organizations at the IRS web site.
We e-mailed UWVC requesting copies of their most recent Form 990 for review. We also asked if they use third-party fundraisers, and if so, what percentage of donations the fundraiser keeps. And we asked what is done with the clothing that is donated.
When we receive a response from United War Veterans Council, we will update this page, so check back here in a few days.
You can find our review
of Vietnam Veterans of America by clicking the link.
Readers, if you have any experience with United War Veterans Council, please click "post your own comments" below and let us know.
Thanks to Frank (below) for reminding us that an update for UWVC was overdue.
Although we never received a response from UWVC, as Frank points out, their tax returns for are available at GuideStar.org.
Here are income and expense details from their 2008 tax return, provided by the IRS:
Total contributions and grants: $95,190
Accounting expenses: $900
Parade expenses: $90,059
Transportation (buses): $10,795
Telephone, fax, beepers: $4,731
Reception & Dinner: $3,817
Meetings and meals: $1,917
Other expenses: $7,764
Total functional expenses: $119,983
Net loss for the year: -$24,793
The expenses were allocated thusly:
Program services: $105,565
Management & general expenses: $14,418
Fundraising expenses: $0
Salaries & wages: $0
Accounting expenses were allocated entirely to management & general expenses.
Of the parade expenses, $84,385 was allocated to program services and $5,674 to management & general expenses.
Transportation expenses went to program expenses, as did the reception and dinner.
Telephone and meeting expenses were divided evenly between program svcs and mgmt & general, with the extra dollar going to M&G.
The "other expenses" (no further information given) were allocated $3,245 to program services, and $4,519 to mgmt & general.
The allocation of these expenses between program services and management and general seems reasonable.
UWVC has liabilities of $35,800, an unpaid loan from Vietnam Veterans of America.
There is no annual report available at GuideStar to provide more information, so we imagine the number shown for contributions is the net number left when the costs of collecting the clothing are subtracted from the expenses of collecting them. Accounting rules permit them to report this way.
We'd like to see that information, because it shows how much is being paid to third-party groups to collect and sell the clothing, which we can’t tell from the way they reported the income. That can put a whole different perspective on the information. For example, they could have received millions of dollars in clothing, and paid millions to collect and re-sell it, leaving a net of $95,190, which would look very different. There’s just no way to know from the information available.
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