Wounded Warrior Project Info?

by Ron
(Retired Army)

Do you have information about the Wounded Warrior Project? I am retired Army. I go to great lengths to be sure that when I make a contribution to an organization that purports to support the military, that the organization is legitimate and that it sends at least 80% of dollars collected to the cause its donors support.

Having said this, why can't I find anything on an organization that is highly visible in the media and highly supported by many American leaders and US military?

This non-profit organization is the Wounded Warrior Project or Wounded Warriors Foundation.

Please advise. Thanks.


Thank you for your question about the Wounded Warrior Project. Their mission, as stated on their web site, is to "honor and empower wounded warriors."

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2002 by John Melia and his friends and family. Melia himself was severely wounded while serving in Somalia in 1992. Until March of 2005, WWP operated as a part of the United Spinal Association, and is referred to in the American Institute of Philanthropy's report on veterans charities as "United Spinal Association's Wounded Warrior Project."

Its signature program, delivering backpacks containing personal supplies to the bedside of wounded warriors, began during this time. The backpacks include "essential care and comfort items such as clothing, toiletries, calling card and playing cards, all designed to make their hospital stay more comfortable." Remember that battlefield casualties arrive in hospitals with
none of these types of items. They don't have the luxury of time to pack a bag.

At their web site, www.woundedwarriorproject.org, you can learn more about their various projects, and review the financial records which are required by law to be made public.

Wounded Warrior Project is a BBB (Better Business Bureau) accredited charity, meeting all 20 BBB standards for charity accountability.

BBB reports that WWP uses the following fundraising methods: direct mail, special events, print advertisements, television, radio, grant proposals, internet appeals, planned giving, and cause-related marketing.

It states, "Fund raising costs were 11% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $41,665,588, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)"

According to the WWP web site, its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending on July 31, 2008, show that WWP uses 83 cents of every dollar donated to provide services and programs for wounded warriors and their families.

However, keep reading below to learn why that figure is misleading.


If you're considering making a donation to Wounded Warrior Project, please take the time to read some of the comments below from people who have personal experience with them.

If you'd like more details on how their money is spent, and why the 83 cents figure quoted above is misleading, see the comment dated February 9, 2012, by "Former #1 Supporter," and then review a tax accountant's analysis of WWP's 2009 and 2010 tax returns.

Comments for Wounded Warrior Project Info?

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Aug 24, 2016
by: Joane Pappas White

Charity Navigator rates non-profit charities. It actually rates the Wounded Warrior Project well. If you look at the statistics which I have linked at the bottom, you will note that the administrative costs are not out of line. It is the fundraising costs that are quite high at the current time. That is because this organization has only been standing on its own for the last couple of years. It is doing an excellent job of fundraising. Here is what charity Navigator, a totally nonprofit rating service, has to say about the Wounded Warrior Project: ://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12842

Joane, I'm not sure how you concluded that WWP was "rated well" by Charity Navigator. It received a score of 82, which is the lowest score of all the comparable charities listed at the bottom of the page.

According to Charity Navigator, WWP uses less than 59% of its revenue to provide the programs it collected that revenue for. We personally do not recommend giving to charities that use less than 80% of revenue for program services, after adjustment for accounting practices relating to fundraising and promotion.

I believe the rating system used by Charity Watch (the American Institute of Philanthropy) is superior, because it subtracts expenditures for fundraising and promotion that have been allocated to program services, and puts those amounts back into overhead, which is where most donors believe it should be.

Their method indicates that WWP has overhead of 46%, leaving at most 54% for programs. Charity Watch generously gives WWP a grade of C.

I personally wouldn't give it a grade that high for using such a small amount of money for the cause it was donated for. You can find Charity Watch's review here: Wounded Warrior Project.

Aug 14, 2016
Anonymous Posters
by: Michael Parsons

Those of you giving us information and posting as anonymous, how do you expect to seem believable?

Personally, i do not believe what people say, unless it can be verified. Your anonymous posts do nothing to help those of us looking for the truth. Not saying you are liars. However, i also cannot say it is truth.

We Americans need to open our eyes and seek truth. If these "charities" are exploiting our compassion for our nation's military members, for less than honorable purposes, then it is our duty to find the truth. Freedom is NOT free and to abandon our neighbors that have paid such a high price to serve our nation is sickening.

Jun 26, 2016
Just a Friendly Reminder...
by: GrumpyOne

When considering a donation to ANY charity, check that entity out at Charity Navigator first. It is not a perfect reference point but does provide basic information from which an informed decision can be made.

Always, good advice. Thanks, Grumpy!

Jun 15, 2016
Blind leading others to see.
by: Anonymous

I called wounded warrior to see if my husband qualified to anything in their program. He was medically discharged in 92 in desert storm, but was given a 0 rating at that time for a rating.

After 20 years he had given up hope and paid for his surgeries that he was entitled to due to paperwork error at the local VA hospital.

(Story for rating) My husband had filed for an increase in rating around 2007, only to find out earlier this year; the VA never contacted him back in regards to needing more paperwork from social security. So that got dropped, and the only letter he got was showing denied.

Earlier this year, my husband was talking to a few other vets who had encouraged him to not let them do him this way and keep pushing. He reapplied for an increase; they once again requested supporting documents, the VA actually notified him this time; the documents were sent; and he was awarded 100%.

Yes it's a victory, but nothing has changed since 2007, thus 9 years lost benefits wrongfully. On for the story; we called wounded warrior to see if he could join any of their programs, they said no because his injury in service was before 2001, and was irrelevant that the full military disability came in after 2001. They only went by the date of injury.

Onwards, so we are at a local restaurant, guy in front of us just happens to be a wounded warrior. He gets a large discount on food etc, which is nice, he's earned it. My husband goes up and ask if they would extend him the same courtesy and is denied because hes not a wounded warrior.

So the guy with a 20% service connected disability is treated with regard over (wounded warrior), while my husband at 100% is spat on. Tell me how this nation tolerates such abuse of brand labeling and blunt discrimination to its own people?

This WWP that's under constant issues with money, making a profit off of others pain and from what it seems "exploiting our injured and marketing them", is coming out ahead while our own people continue to pay the price.

May 03, 2016
I'm not sure what these folks specially do
by: Anonymous

I contributed once to our honorable Veterans that sacrificed so much for our great country, but I'm not sure what the wounded warrior project exactly does. They sold my information to many charity groups.

Why can't the VA and other Veteran advocates help out Veterans? If they are just filling up a back pack with 50.00 worth of comfort items and calling Veterans each week; I'm not sure where all the money is going.

The CEO is paying himself over 499k a year. I can't believe that.

I just received a letter requesting a contribution again. They referred to a true hero that sacrificed his lower extremities in the Middle East. The VA will compensate this great Veteran at over 7k a month, they are going to contribute over 25k for an automobile and pay for his adaptive equipment so he can drive.

They are going to modify his house so he can maneuver. They are going to pay an annual clothing allowance, they will give him vocational rehabilitation benefits and free health care for his entire family. His spouse will be paid to go back to school and his children will receive the same after age 18 and before age 26.

There are many Veteran advocates that work for free and can give our War heroes a back pack full of comfort items with little over head costs.

I just don't know specially what the WWP does that the VA and the Veteran advocates can't do. I can't see my contribution going to the CEO that makes over 400k a year.

Apr 15, 2016
Be careful of social media postings
by: Anonymous

While care is needed when giving to a charity, what I'm reading here are mostly stories harvested from gossip media. Sure we need to get to the bottom of some rumors, but wait for legit investigation.

As for the person who dissed a neighbor who doesn't seem to be disabled. I'm disabled, with a terrible brain injury and spinal injuries. Through the daily pain, I still do chores, etc.

Part of being a Vet., is getting through pain and living as normally as possible. I can mow the lawn, but then I need to sit for awhile and manage my pain, waiting and hoping the meditation lowers the pain. I take no pain meds.

For noisy judgmental trolls, us Vets don't need your respect or respect you.

Mar 27, 2016
stopped donating
by: Anonymous

I have stopped donating to WWP now after many years of donating. Why???

A co-worker of mine has been bragging for many years about her daughter's great job, including lavish business trips, expensive dinners and large bonuses. I found out last week she works for WWP.

I stopped my donations immediately. To me this is a big waste of money.

Mar 21, 2016
Never again. Shame on you!!!
by: Anonymous

Never again. Shame on you!

Mar 11, 2016
Update Necessary
by: Anonymous

March 11, 2016

CBS News found Wounded Warrior Project spends 40 to 50 percent on overhead, including extravagant parties. Other veterans charities have overhead costs of 10 to 15 percent.

Wounded Warrior Project's Chief Executive Officer, Steven Nardizzi, and Chief Operating Officer, Al Giordano, were fired after a meeting Thursday afternoon in New York.

A definite change in grade is necessary.

Anon, if you've been reading our comments here, you'll know that we've been complaining about WWP for years. But you are correct - the most recent tax return review was for their 2010 return, and an update is needed, especially in light of this new development. We are working on one, and will post a link here when it's done.

Mar 04, 2016
Cancellation of Equine Therapy Programs
by: Anonymous

WWP has not renewed their contract with PATH, Intl who offers Equine Assisted Therapy to thousands of Veterans across the country. So thousands are not able to benefit this year from Equine Therapy Programs funded in the past.

It is a shame to not continue funding for Veterans who have participated and benefited from this great mental health service in the past, and for future Veterans who desperately need unique programs such as Equine Assisted Psychotherapy!
I pray WWP and PATH can reach an agreement soon so we may get on with helping Veterans!

Mar 01, 2016
Sign Petition Calling For AUDIT!
by: Fred Kane

Please sign my petition demanding an independent audit of WWP: We Demand Accountability of Wounded Warrior Project!

Fred, I recommend you add Rep. Duncan Hunter to your list of addressees. I realize he's not your Rep., but he is a Marine and is very vocal about supporting our veterans. It can't hurt to add another voice to the chorus.

Feb 28, 2016
Courage on All Fronts
by: Alicia Cheplick

Alicia, please email me with more information, including a copy of the latest tax return, at charities[at]military-money-matters.com.

Feb 22, 2016
Talk about Waste
by: Anonymous

Neighbor claims to be a Wounded Warrior - he gets full vet salary, hasn't worked since 2004, wife gets paid money to care for her 80 % disabled husband:

He goes skateboarding
Cuts his grass
Takes people on tours to go hiking and cave exploring
Is getting a BS in school
Takes his family to movies, dinner & vacations all at the expense of the WW Project

Lives in a 260k home and will get a pool and spa added to help with his "injuries".

Will get his taxes frozen as soon as his paperwork is approved for 100% disability.


Wow, Anon, you must be tired - from jumping to so many conclusions!

First, if he's a disabled vet, he does NOT receive a "full vet salary." Do you have any idea how little that really is anyway? If he's 80% disabled, he only gets 80% of his former base pay ONLY. That's FAR less than 80% of "full vet salary."

How would your family fare if your pay were suddenly and drastically cut (sometimes in half, or more) you couldn't work, and your spouse had to quit work to stay home and take care of you?

Yes, family caregivers for severely wounded warriors, who cannot work because they are full-time caregivers for those warriors, receive a stipend for their time to compensate for the fact that they can no longer earn a salary. They become paid caregivers. Without that assistance, many severely wounded veterans families would be unable to pay their monthly bills with the spouse not receiving a salary.

Remember, not all disabilities require physical infirmities. If he's been rated 80% disabled, that means the VA has determined that his injuries (which may include PTSD) are severe enough to prevent him from working. Those ratings are NOT handed out like candy - they're darned hard to get. And if he's about to be rated 100% disabled, you can bet your bippy, he earned it!

And yes, income he receives as disability pay is tax-free. Think of it as the least the government owes him for his sacrifices.

It is so heartwarming to see the amount of empathy you have for someone who has obviously made great sacrifices to preserve your freedom to post derogatory comments on web sites. Sounds like it's time to count your blessings (which include the freedom your neighbor and others have paid a hefty price for) and adjust your attitude.

Sorry, you'll get no sympathy here for such a petty-sounding, assumption-based rant against a combat-wounded disabled vet.

If you're so jealous of all the "swag" you think he's receiving, you can enlist, volunteer for combat, and maybe you can get some, too.

[Strong message to follow!]

To other readers, I apologize. It just really irks me when some pompous twit makes ignorant assumptions and jumps to the conclusion that a disabled vet is somehow receiving benefits which are unearned.

Feb 13, 2016
by: Anonymous

I use to budget my paycheck to give all I could to several veteran charities, and to what or for what?

Last year I was shown a breakdown of favorite charities and their percentages going to the cause and going to operations. I was quite appalled to find all my funds would not even pay for one of their luncheons. I also have to believe my name went out on a mailing list for I receive a mailbox of solicitation almost daily.

Stopping all my outgoing donations to reevaluate their worthiness.

I sought out local charities in my own area and found two great ones: Oneheroatatime.com and vetstalk.info "The Forgotten Promise" which are both 100 % + charities meaning the organizers pull from their own funds to ensure their functions happen.

God, Nature and Contributors willing, there will be Veterans Transition Resource Center opening up shortly near a Fisher House and the VA hospital.
First of its kind I know of that will cater to the veterans families along of course with the veteran and helps them with some of the bad stuff that happens with their families the media never picks up or displays.

My suggestion, check your own local area for you might be surprised what you can find.

Feb 02, 2016
A Little Info On Charities
by: GrumpyOne

Wow! A lot has happened since I last posted here and I still remain most skeptical of WWP along with a host of other charities.

First, if you see a lot of advertisements or infomercial-type solicitations for a particular charity, be suspicious. Such of course include WWP but also others such as Shriners etc.

Bottom line... If a charity solicits monthly donations in the $15 up range, they most likely utilize the services of a third party, (bundler), that often skims an unreasonable amount of the funds raised.

Here is an informative link to Snopes as to what the percentage of funds raised vs. the amount that actually goes to clients. There are other verifying links as well and some of them will surprise most here.

Remember, it is up to YOU to do due diligence since it is your money that supports these organizations...

Jan 30, 2016
Why does CEO get $500,000. per year?!
by: Anonymous

You should be very proud of yourself! I am a veteran and I think this stinks.

Jan 29, 2016
Stealing from Vets!
by: Anonymous




Jan 27, 2016
CEO salary
by: Anonymous

Outrageous that the CEO makes $496,000---!!!!!

Jan 27, 2016
Only 60% given to Wounded Warriors?!
by: Barbara Skowronek

Last night my husband and I were watching WBT Channel 2 in Charlotte, NC.

We are sickened by the report that a mere 60% goes directly to those in need.

We are middle class people who proudly donated the $19 a month for a long while now. This news report stated the balance of contributions are spent on lavish trips etc. (including one to Colorado).

Needless to say we will not contribute to this cause any longer and are spreading the word.

Our wounded warriors deserve the best!! My family had 4 brothers who served in Vietnam willingly and with honor. The are now deceased and our hearts ache with the premature deaths!!!

Jan 27, 2016
Financial Assistance to Veterans?
by: WWilkie

Can you tell me the names of charities that give direct financial contributions to veterans in need, or make donations on their behalf?

In previous comments I noted someone mentioned a vet who needed help with mortgage payments while his disability was processed, and I'm sure there were other examples as well.

My daughter volunteers with the Naval Marine Corps Relief Society in San Diego, and she is very proud of the work they do, but I'd also like to know of other Veterans organizations that make financial contributions toward living expenses, etc.

Thank you.

W, there are actually very few organizations that provide direct (or even indirect) financial assistance to military or veterans. That is one reason we have been so adamant that there is a huge gap there, which WWP could easily fill.

As you know, Navy-Marine Corps Relief is one of the organizations that does, as do the other branches' relief societies - Air Force Aid Society and Army Emergency Relief. Aside from those, we've only been able to locate 2 or 3 that also provide financial assistance, and some of those limit aid to post-9/11 vets.

Jan 26, 2016
CEO's Salary is Outrageous
by: DD

So if a CEO makes over $400,000.00 from a charity this is okay, is that what we are led to believe? I don't care how wonderful this CEO is, or how great their ideas are, it is still wrong to accept such a huge salary for the job.

I also have given out of a small fixed income for years, but never again after this year, although I don't feel like a fool as the program does good work . My father and friends all died in the services for our great country and it is a sin not to provide the services Wounded Warrior provides thru the VA and other such governmental services.

I weep for these men and women and pray for them as well but after 2016 I plan to support other such programs who do not pay a CEO such an absurd amount. It is a charity, and I would be totally embarrassed to use money in this manner salary wise. Shame on the board for paying it.

God Bless wounded warriors of every stripe.

DD, don't be distracted by the CEO's salary - it is not out of line for a similar-size organization. In order to hire and keep good people, you have to pay a competitive salary.

Instead, look at the fact that WWP provides mostly recreational activities, which certainly have their place, but they don't provide ANY financial assistance whatsoever for warriors who are in that gap between their active duty pay and their VA pay. If their spouse has to be their full-time caregiver and cannot work outside the home, how are they supposed to make mortgage or rent payments, car payments, buy groceries, etc? WWP could easily set aside some portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars they get to provide some REAL assistance to those in need, beyond recreational activities.

Jan 21, 2016
Untruths about Veterans benefits
by: Anonymous

To the people here who say the government is not helping vets, is just plain wrong. I know a lot of the military don't like the Obama administration but they have done more for veterans than anyone. Certainly George Bush who is responsible for the deaths and horrible injuries did very little. The VA was a joke under the Bush admin. The problem is there are so many severely wounded warriors that the VA wasn't equipped to handle so many and due to severe cuts by the republicans for any bills to help vets hasn't helped. Please do your homework. Facts are pesky things. They are actually recorded. All this information is available and instead of getting your information from websites or channels with a propaganda message. This is not a pro Obama administration post, it is a post to help people get the truth. If you want to know the truth, the facts are out there.

Anon, we suggest your check your sources for your "facts," because they're just wrong.

The Obama Administration makes a big deal of paying lip service to our military members and families, but is cutting the budget to the point that the military can no longer operate properly.

If he is such a big proponents of veterans, why did President Obama take away any COLA increase for retirees this year? And he's kept them so low for years. Retirees, on a fixed income, are the group least likely to be able to absorb the ever-increasing cost of everything, and yet he cancels any increase for them.

George W. Bush does put his money where his mouth is where veterans are concerned, and STILL hosts and participates in activities for wounded troops more than 8 years after he left office.

And the VA has been inadequate and in trouble for decades, partly due to incompetence and partly to lack of proper funding.

News Flash: Everything that is wrong in this country is NOT George W. Bush's fault! Obama's had eight years to fix the problems he inherited, and yet he's fixed none of them.

Instead of making health care affordable for everyone, now it's only affordable for those who are receiving government incentives (in other words, all of US are paying for their health care). I don't know very many people who can afford a $6,000 deductible every year! Do you? And those who were able to get insurance through ObamaCare, the costs have tripled what they were paying before. Instead of having MORE people with health insurance, we now have FEWER people with health insurance than before - it's just that Obama's favorite deadbeats now have insurance where they didn't before, but lots of middle-class families who had affordable health care before ObamaCare now have NONE because they can't afford it.

You gotta stop drinking the Kool-Aid, Anon, and get some REAL facts!

Jan 04, 2016
Useless care boxes..
by: DSB

This is what they do. Nothing to really help in what a soldier/family needs. They send useless boxes with a hat, etc...and not truly help in what a family needs when the family asks.

See Triple-Amputee Marine's Wife Blasts Wounded Warrior Project in Epic Viral Post for details about how WWP responds to legitimate requests for help from wounded warrior's families.

Dec 27, 2015
Are celebrities paid for their advertising or is it free?
by: BJ

My husband and I have been monthly donors for years. How can we verify that celebrities are not paid to beg for money to help our Wounded Warriors when they could do it for free as well as donate thousands of dollars a year? I want to know for sure.

I can give my money to help others such as St. Jude's or Shriners where the money is spent where it is supposed to be and not going to pay some outrageous salaries for overseeing such a worthy cause.

We have already stopped donating to United Way and Red Cross for paying outrageous salaries,
If anyone reading this have proof of what wounded warriors are really doing, please post something so we can stop now.

Thank you,

Dec 23, 2015
Thanks CJ
by: Anonymous

I appreciate the information you have shared.

Dec 15, 2015
Put your money where your mouth is
by: DOC

There are so many false accusations for and against WWP.

I AM A 100% WOUNDED Veteran through the VA (Pre-9/11). I am against the way WWP is run.

If you look at part of their Mission Statement: Helping severely disabled veterans wounded in combat. I'm not sure, could a WWP alumni tell me how the veterans are chosen to receive benefits through the WWP? I HONESTLY DON'T KNOW!

I have read a few comments by some post-9/11 military and veterans that they called one day and the next day a member of WWP was in touch with them the same or very next day planning what will help them in the future. I've read some that they were told they didn't meet the criteria to be a wounded warrior.

One post-9/11 active duty who was medically discharged due to a brain tumor was turned down for help by WWP BECAUSE THE TUMOR DIDN'T COME FROM COMBAT INJURIES. HE WAS, HOWEVER, DIAGNOSED WITH A TBI FROM BEING IN AN EXPLOSION WHILE DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN.

The other thing I would like to know is "What charity does the higher eschelon of the WWP give to"? Could someone gives specifics about that question?

And how long they have given to the charity(s) would suffice. It would go a long way for me to see what causes the WWP EXECS feel is in need.


Oct 30, 2015
WWP Shafted Me
by: HH

The first event I was invited too, a Red Sox game...Yeah, they left me in the dust. Said they simply forgot that they invited me. Problem is I had multiple communications with the coordinator. Come to find out, they took one Vet with highly visible wounds and the rest of the group was colleagues and friends and family of the coordinator. The only thing I ever received from WWP, and I was hospitalized twice for a total of 8 months at Walter Reed, and 18 surgeries, was promotional products. Keep defending them those of you who feel the need to keep the stickers on your cars and trucks! Pathetic!!

Oct 28, 2015
Response to CJ
by: GrumpyOne

Sorry, CJ, but you have the proceeds to clients entirely wrong.

See Charity Navigator.

Stop being a shill...

Oct 20, 2015
Facts and Inaccuracies; Modesty, too
by: CJ

This is just another silly blog full of inaccuracies, their website has the facts, and by law they are transparent.

The information in our review was obtained directly from the web site and tax returns for Wounded Warrior Project, so are you saying their tax returns are not factual?

81 cents of every dollar that comes in goes to the warriors and the programs designed to help them, fact. I know first hand.

Please share with us what your position is with WWP that gives you access to their financial records, so you can "know first hand?" If you don't have such access to see the financial documents with your own eyes, you don't know "first hand!"

There are quite a few knowledgeable reviewers who dispute your assertion and have demonstrated that the 81 cents figure is misleading at best.

Clearly all the comments about their financial docs are being read and interpreted here by people who don't know how to analyze such docs, don't work there, and therefore, don't know the specifics of each line item. With all their financial info open to the public (by law) you're taking the hard route if you're trying to decipher their audit docs, there's an easier way fyi.

CJ, did you see the analysis of WWP tax returns by an experienced accountant? What is your profession that makes you a more qualified reviewer?

FYI, those celebrity adds are done for free by celebs that are honored to donate a little time to "help and empower wounded warriors", just like the mission says. Oh and all that swag, under armor donates all that (so do the other co's). Ooh, all that so called money spent on advertising, FYI that doesn't come out of money donated, the advertising space and time is the donation.

Clearly, you haven't read all our comments, because we say that. Maybe you should get all the facts.

I'm so sick of reading fullish people's weak explanations of how a multimillion dollar company works, should work, or appropriates funds etc.. They are the leader in their chosen field in case you missed that while you where flappin your gums regurgitating falsities and pointing out their short comings.

CJ, my review is based on facts gleaned directly from WWP's tax returns. So are you saying the info on their tax returns is false?

One last one, that big fat salary the CEO makes, that is in the median rang for a company this size, and well deserved. Don't compare him to a teacher, firefighter, etc.. that doesn't make sense, research the position before you comment on its pay.. He actually turned down a higher paying job to do this, because the company matters that much to him, the country, and the families involved. When's the last time you turned down more money for a cause?

Ummm, CJ, we said that, too. Who's looking foolish now?

If this company is as bad as any one comment would suggest from this blog, then how do you explain their unpressidented growth in size and in the number of worriors helped to date? Not to mention the backing they are receiving from other huge national companies (the kind that have to thoroughly research their charitable ties).

It's easily explained. Many people are dazzled by their celebrity ads, and don't bother to do their research before donating. And don't be so sure those huge national companies do much research, either.

I know it's fun to go after the big guy and try to prove them wrong but WWP is not Walmart. They don't deserve one word of the hate or hearsay thrown their way. They are now helping over 70,000 warriors and that number continues to grow. Remember, they help warriors for the rest of their lives, not just once or twice. Another thing, they actually donate and help other smaller charities that help warriors.

Yes they sue some other companies for using phrases or logos similar to theirs, they should. That's called protecting not only their brand but more importantly their reputation, they owe that to the warriors, families, anyone who has donated, and all the business affiliates who have given or helped this company. There are plenty of scams in which a "business" will use this tactic to benefit from WWP's advertising, but there is a larger issue when it comes to the sueing issue. Many of these smaller companies, the legitimate ones, receive millions of dollars every year in the form of checks, donations, and gifts intentionally made out to WWP, but because the donor is confused by the similar name/logo they give it to said company by mistake. Do you think these smaller "legit" companies forward that money to WWP, some do, but millions every year aren't. They go ahead and cash those checks and keep the money, that is stealing, period. I don't care if you're gonna help warriors or do good things with it, it's not yours to keep. On one hand I can't blame the small guys, a lot of them need that stolen money to keep helping warriors. On the other hand, I realize WWP has got to be as large as it is because they excel in appropriating funds to help warriors for life, in the best ways possible. That bill is expensive and grows every year, so like it or not that stolen money has a rightful place, not to mention they earned it by being great at helping others. And to look at it from a professional standpoint, WWP is so large and meticulous with appropriating funds, any money intended for them should go to them. I wouldn't want my donation to end up in the account of another company, legit or not, large or small. I know what will happen with every dollar I send to WWP, If I can't say that about your company because your transparency, efforts, accountability, etc.. aren't up to the standards of theirs then you don't get my money, and you prove my point by keeping it if it's not made out to you.

This company does no wrong, period. If you think they do, get your facts straight by asking someone from the company to explain what it is that you think is wrong and I'm sure you will realize you got bad info to begin with.

Well, it's nice to know there's a perfect company out there that does no wrong!

Too bad this company is still in its infancy at ten years old. That's part of the problem with all the false info being passed around, it takes a while for enough people to LEARN what a company is really about and then these idiotic blogs full of hearsay and untruths will no longer gain an ounce of traction.

This is not an "idiotic blog full of hearsay and untruths," despite your rant to the contrary. We do fact-based research before commenting.

Just get your facts straight people (haters), get them from the source not bs articles or blogs you find on the idiot filled inter web. Otherwise, you're part of the problem, stop being part of the problem and seek the truth before you open your mouth.

Once again, CJ, our information comes straight from WWP's tax returns. That IS the source!

Hope that cleared up some things, if not call a WWP office, they're all over the country btw, busy helping wounded warriors. I'll bet they won't mind stopping to help you come to the realization--they're the best thing that's ever happened to our service men and women.

Wow, I'm so glad such an exalted expert has finally weighed in to enlighten the rest of us. If I didn't know better, I might suspect that you were paid for such an enthusiastic endorsement. Perhaps you should take your own advice and "stop being part of the problem and seek the truth before you open your mouth."

Put down the Kool-Aid, and back away.

And thanks for providing our chuckle for the day.

Oct 07, 2015
I Gave
by: J.howie

I have given to this charity about 4 or 5 times a year for 5 or 6 years.

I feel like a fool! But more than that I feel for the Vets that really could have used it.

What I would really like to know, is how do these rip-off artists sleep at night???

Sep 29, 2015
Response to Richard B
by: GrumpyOne

First of all, I feel that it is the government that should provide for veterans PERIOD! But they have not, probably never will, so with this said...

Do some research and this is a start:


And yes, WWP is not a charity that I would recommend.

Sep 27, 2015
Where to donate ?
by: richard b

Does anyone know of the best and most helpful vet charities to donate to. Either Viet Nam or Irag vets?

So many negative comments about wwarriors, I do not feel comfortable giving them my contributions.

Richard, you can find our recommendations for veterans charities here.

Sep 26, 2015
Be careful!
by: Anonymous

I have looked into donating to WWP and found out that the CEO makes a LOT of money. Is THAT how he respects our veterans? He's diverting money from them, while he's living high off the hog.

That's why I'm donating my money to "Breaking Free TRC". They are riding stables and the people that volunteer there are WONDERFUL and caring. It's located in Norwich, Ohio and the money is used for the disabled veterans and their families.

It may not help them pay for bills but it can do wondrous things for them, mentally. I sure hope this helps some of the veterans out there.

Aug 26, 2015
Lesser Evil?
by: Update

You don't need to own your own business or NPO to understand there's overhead. You have employees, you run an office, and you have to keep the lights on. People don't understand that Non-Profit doesn't mean no one gets paid a salary, or that they somehow miraculously don't have any bills or overhead cost to operate.

To say that even 70 cents of every dollar gets to the service member cause is a feat of near Nobel Peace Prize acclaim, not ridicule.

The rules of the NPO dictate that you only have to re-purpose 33% of the excess funds taken in for the stated NPO missions.

That doesn't even mean 33% of every dollar taken in. It means 33% of what's left after every salary is paid, every electric bill, 401K match, employee DBI, Workers Comp, Business Insurance premium, water cooler service, copier and computer maintenance bill is paid, paper bill, luncheon, advertisement & billboard... Are you getting the point yet?

WWP should be commended for their work. They run very efficiently. If you want a party to scrutinize, go after all the other businesses that sell products with the WWP logo on them and audit how much money they actually donate back to WWP's NPO. The NPO as it is, is an excellent practice and it's only the ignorant who don't understand how the world works, whom also surprise-surprise have way too much time on their hands, that would ever think otherwise.


As far as the way they operate, not allowing for volunteers, showing half burned off faces in ads with the "Donate" button... I think they're despicable. I'd also like to see the DAV Fund and the rest of the Sense of Entitlement society dismantled and let natural selection do the rest.

Seriously? First of all, I've cleaned up your comments so they're not quite as disrespectful. If you choose to respond, please clean them up before you send them. People who don't happen to share your opinion are not idiots or stupid, FYI.

Since you purport to be something of an expert, why don't you tell us more about the "rules of the NPO," and cite your sources.

The IRS regulations require that only 5% (and sometimes less, depending on various factors) of the revenue go to the stated charitable cause. That's one of the reasons there are SO many scams calling themselves veterans charities. (Not saying that WWP is one of them.)

I think everyone realizes that there are overhead expenses, and I don't think it's the overhead expenses that donors object to so loudly and so vehemently. It's the millions of dollars that are siphoned off to for-profit fundraising companies.

These are dollars that they have donated to a NON-PROFIT organization to provide assistance to our wounded warriors, and they are rightly incensed that so much of it is going to a FOR-PROFIT fundraising firm. For 2013-2014, that number was nearly $47 million dollars! That's what donors are upset about, and rightly so.

The use of for-profit fundraisers obviously is a business decision made by management, but it is every donor's right to object to the practice if he/she so desires. I'm sure that in making that decision, management took into account the negative impact of donor reaction to the bottom line, and decided the practice would still result in more additional dollars coming in than in dollars being withheld because of it.

People are also upset because WWP has 5 executives that are paid more than $250,000 a year. CEO Steve Nardizzi was paid almost half a million dollars for 2013-2014. And after those five that are paid > $250,000, the next one was paid $230,000 (and he was terminated), and the next six listed are paid more than $160,000 a year.

WWP may run efficiently - that's not the point. But it's totally worthless to a wounded warrior who's about to lose his home because his active duty pay has stopped, but his VA pay hasn't yet kicked in (sometimes that wait is a year or more, for reasons I can't explain), and he can't make his mortgage payments. His wife is his full-time caregiver, so she can't make the mortgage payment, either, and his family isn't wealthy enough to make his mortgage payment in addition to their own. So where does he turn? He turns to WWP because they advertise on TV that they "honor and empower" wounded warriors (whatever that means).

How much financial help can this wounded warrior expect from Wounded Warrior Project, who gets the lion's share of donations for wounded warriors (more than $300 million in 2013-2014), to help stave off foreclosure until his pay gets straightened out? ZERO. Not ONE dollar!

They will tell him, sorry, we don't provide financial assistance.

We're not knocking the therapeutic value of recreational and social activities with other wounded warriors (which they do provide), but frankly, that guy that's losing his home doesn't give a rat's ass about recreational activities -- he's just trying to stay afloat, if you will, and keep from losing the equity built up in his home, and EVERYTHING he worked for before being injured. And WWP offers him NOTHING.

Your praise of WWP has inspired me to do a comparison of WWP with Fisher House Foundation, which does a much better job with its resources, in my opinion.

So, it will take me a while to go through both tax returns, but watch this space. When it's ready, I'll come back and link to it here.

Please keep any response civil, otherwise, I won't hesitate to hit the delete button. We're happy to have your contribution to our conversation, but please, figure out how to make your point in a civil manner.

Aug 20, 2015
General Observations
by: GrumpyOne

I see that negative comments regarding WWP are still coming in and indicate that this organization still is far less than legitimate. The last research that I did revealed that less than 70% of income went to actual services for wounded warriors.

The only way to cleanse the charity biz is to reform the tax code to where 95% or more of income must go to clients in the way of real services in order to have tax exempt status.

But alas, I don't see such as coming down the road anytime soon so just be careful as to the charities you support...

I'm afraid you're right, Grumpy. I'd love to see the tax code require a MINIMUM of at least 51% go to the stated purpose, but I don't see much likelihood of that happening any time soon. So we just have to keep reminding people to check out charities before they donate. Thanks for your continued participation in our conversation.

Jul 08, 2015
WWP will not take volunteers? Made me sick
by: Anonymous

My friend and I reached out to our local chapter of WWP to volunteer and were snubbed because we weren't part of there "little clique". They actually didn't even want to talk to us.

A volunteer organization REFUSING volunteers... I couldn't believe it. I called WWP number on their website and asked someone to call me about how we could volunteer. NO ONE ever called back.

I would like to know if they use the money they raise to pay for all the trips the "clique" in this area goes on, like to Washington to lay the wreaths, who foots the hotel bill for them and their friends? Plane tickets etc. I am sure they are using some donated money for that.

I know a school counselor in the area reached out to them, too, to see if someone would come to the school to talk about WWP and NO RESPONSE again. Some volunteer organization.

Just like HS all over again, depends on who you are if you get in.

Jun 17, 2015
U.S. public is getting taken by WWP
by: Glenn T

Tickets, backpack with toiletries, beanies. hats blankets. That's what veteran get from WWP.

Help understanding or filing VA claims? That's what VA and DAV does.

WWP has helped 7000 vets with their claims. Out of 100,000. Good job.

It's a shame and the public doesn't know it. WWP plays on sympathy and hauls in the donations. Big salaries and perks to WWP employees.

Shame on you all.

Viet Nam vet, 60% disabled.

Jun 10, 2015
Permanently Spoiled
by: Retired Sailor

It's unfortunate that seemingly every 501 (C) 3 has an angle and veterans are a soft spot in the patriotic American's heart.

I'll never give to any org again, except the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society. They help in real ways without pocketing any of the dough. Hell, they work out of crappy old barracks on my base (Pax River) and will help active and retired folks and on occasion, direct children of those members.

Good or bad, your website helped me come to this decision. I say, you did well by your research.

Best Regards,
US Navy, Retired 1996

Dear Retired Sailor, Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your service. We're glad you found our reporting helpful.

Jun 10, 2015
Reply to Blane
by: GrumpyOne

Blane wrote, "This is an A+ charity that helps post 9/11 injured veterans."

And this rating is by....???

I don't think so.....

Hi Grumpy, It's good to see you're still around.

Apparently, that rating is by Blane himself, as a WWP alumni. We appreciate him sharing his opinion, even if we don't happen to share it. ;-)

May 16, 2015
That's no good...
by: Anonymous

This is the sort of thing that makes me wonder how many charities are a pretty word for "Tax Shelter." We simper and go "Awww" when we hear that someone rich "Donates to charity" then you research the charities to which they donate and find out that they're not much more than a tax write-off.

In many cases, that's true, Anon. The regulations need reform. Contact your Congressional representatives and demand reform of the IRS' charitable organization regulations.

On the other hand, some celebrities break out their check books and provide homes for injured veterans. Tax deduction or not, that's awesome.

Apr 06, 2015
Two Ears and One Mouth for a Reason
by: Blane

It appears to me that those of you who have had a connection with the WWP are seeking monetary items. Some of you want financial support and another individual was upset he never got his welcome package. Man the [bleep] up.

I have been an Alumni with the WWP since August, 2014, and they saved my life. 80% of their expenses goes directly into programs for warriors. They don't give handouts and no military charity should.

They provide you with the tools to better yourself and your family. They provide free courses that, when finished, give you a certificate so you can get a job. They provide events for warriors only where you can connect with other veterans, have fun, and share stories.

The WWP provides family events where wives and children can connect with each other so they know they aren't alone.

This is an A+ charity that helps post 9/11 injured veterans.

Blane, that's great, but it doesn't do much to help a disabled vet whose home is being foreclosed on because he's in that never-never-land between active duty pay and disability pay, and he can't make his mortgage payments.

If you'll review their tax returns, as we have, you'll see that 80% is not correct.

Seems that SOME of the more than $200 million they raise each year could/should be set aside for that sort of help. And no, they don't have to hand the cash to the vet - they can make the mortgage payment directly to the bank, and it would be a LOT cheaper than some of the "adventures" they provide, and do more than an adventure ever could to help that vet's family!

Apr 02, 2015
All vets served by WWP were not wounded while in military
by: Anonymous

I was a donor and helper for a benefit breakfast at the St Pete Yacht Club this week.

I talked to one of our WW guests and asked about his disablity - he is a paraplegic. He stated he was a vet, but his injury was sports-related and occurred after he left the service.

He said the WW Project helps disabled former and current vets..... whether their injury had any relation to being a "wounded warrior" or not.

My complaint is this organization is misleading the public with their title...tho I am sure these individuals enjoy their assistance, there is a sympathy quotient in a donor’s choice to help this charity.....and I would like to know the percentage of combat-injured individuals vs. simply disabled individuals who happen to have been in the military at some time.

Mar 22, 2015
wounded warrior project info
by: Alice

Wounded Warrior Project gives approximately 58% of its donations to wounded warriors.

They also give money donated to them to the red cross. Last info I found showed they donated 5 million dollars to the red cross.

I immediately cancelled my monthly donation. I resent any charity giving money from donations to them to another charity...especially the red cross. If I wanted to money to go to another charity, I would have given it to them myself!

Alice Kesler

Mar 20, 2015
Wounded Warriors Track Project
by: Dale R. Suiter

I have been trying for some time to get charities to help us with wounded family members (yup - we have two of them 100% P&T, both WIA).

Not one veterans charity would help us (except as noted below). My son wanted to attend the Wounded Warrior Track Program. They won't take him because he has 20+ college credits. The credits were earned BEFORE he was wounded (traumatic brain injury and other injuries too). He has to start over.

WWP and the other Wounded Warrior Charity (to be fair) have provided resort visits to our son and daughter's family.

Want to help a wounded warrior? Give them the money directly. Only way you can be sure it will get to the wounded.

In disgust,
Dale R. Suiter
Atlanta, Michigan

Mar 08, 2015
wonderful organization
by: coughy

The WWP filed my VA claim for me, and has kept in constant contact with me, updating me on the status of my claim.

On top of this, they offer amazing activities every week for my children and I. All for free. Equine therapy, auto shows, cooking classes, poker tournaments, amusement parks... Just to name a few.

Thank you, WWP, for all that you do. I will continue to proudly display my alumni decals and promote the program.

Mar 01, 2015
Empowerment... Not enablement
by: Rage OIF/OEF

For those who seem to have a "bone to pick" with WWP, because of some negative "experience" which left you with a bad taste in your mouth, let me be the one to give you a perspective from a WWP Alumni and Certified Peer Mentor for my fellow Warriors.

I have been fortunate enough to see how wounded warrior project uses the donations that they recieve through the multiple programs offered, to include Project Odyssey. Depending on the location the dollar amount spent for a week long, team building and empowering event can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 and when Warriors decide at the last minute to cancel or bail and not show, the money spent for these Warriors is financially considered a "loss". The venues recieve the funds, but a Warrior somewhere who would have loved to have been given the opportunity to gain life changing skills is left out because another warrior was too scared to get out of their comfort zone.

I have talked personally to warriors' wives, because the "warrior" chose not to talk and tell me they "couldn't" (or should I say wouldn't) attend until the day the odyssey.

So before I continue down this path, let me break off to the path of empowerment. WWP has multiple resources and also can act as a VSRO, you the warrior has to take the initiative to seek those out.

WWP does help, they assist fellow warriors, but they are there to enable. Many warriors, come home needing help and get that help by stepping up and getting the help, not just sitting around and waiting for someone to hand them something, or continue to hound you about taking personal responsibility and seeking out the resources available.

Now, if we want to talk about the CEO's salary. I will defend his salary and those whom work for WWP.

As I stated, I am a volunteer, I don't get paid, I don't get all the "swag" I want. I am not in it for that..

I am evolved [I think he means "involved"] because I have seen how the program empowers others and how it has empowered me. I don't expect WWP to "give" me anything. They "give" us empowerment, so we may help ourselves.

Many warriors feel lost and useless, WWP empowers these warriors and assists them by making them do for themselves.. That is EMPOWERMENT.. I would much rather be empowered and poor, than be enabled and feel like a leach.

Due to my own combat wounds I have been unable to obtain long-term sustainable employment, but I'm not angry because WWP didn't just give me money or "find me a job", but I am pleased because they showed me where to find those resources.. The CEO of this org, can make 200,000 or 1million for all I care. He stepped up and is making a difference in over 60,000 Wounded Warriors... He deserves it.

If you can do better, then I guarantee he would back you and want to partner with your org, as long as it empowers and engages warriors the way that WWP does..

Feb 19, 2015
It's not helping like it should.
by: Anonymous

When you look at the money they're making, it's not helping the Vets out. Spend the money on Vets. You're holding money that should go to help Vets now.

For what ? Spend the money on Vets.

When did a non-profit become an investment firm? Please check the millions spent on investments. Contact your senators and government to ask why we need to support this and others.

Our government not taking care of our Vets? Not true. The donations should got to Vets, not into investment account to play with Wall Street.

Anon, like you and others, I was a bit concerned about the large amount that WWP was holding in reserve, rather than using it to help additional warriors, until I learned that's because it's a fund set aside to continue life-long care for those they do help.

It seems only prudent to set aside a large enough contingency fund to continue to provide care for those they've already accepted into the program. And that amount, properly invested, will yield additional funds. So I'm OK with that, if that is in fact the purpose, and I think most of you would be, too.

Feb 10, 2015
by: Anonymous

Thus far, Wounded Warrior Project has sued two different veterans who publicized articles calling the organization a scam and/or a fraud, claiming the publicity cut into their ability to raise money. Hallelujah! Good for them. Let's help them publicize what's really going on at WWP.

Anon, I'm not sure which two cases you are referring to. I'm familiar with one case, and in that instance, the vet made the mistake of calling WWP a fraud, repeatedly. And he didn't back down when give the opportunity to do so.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but in the law, accusing someone of fraud (which is against the law, therefore you are accusing them of being criminals) is an actionable offense, called defamation per se. That means that just the act of publishing (or saying) that accusation to any third party makes you liable - the other party doesn't even have to show that they were harmed in any way - the law presumes there was harm. So be very careful what language you use when you criticize, if you don't want to end up in the same boat.

Feb 05, 2015
Helping Our Veterans
by: Anonymous

Hello to all veterans,

I want to thank all veterans who have served our country. I am a retired veteran and do want to help our fellow veterans in need.

I live in Orange county, CA and our neighborhood is always looking to help other neighbors and family. I reached out to our local VA office and was not able to get support on making a donation. I also belong to other organizations that do charity events and like to donate for a great cause. If you have any contacts or know of families in need, I'd love to know more.

Thank you,
Retired AF Veteran

Jan 18, 2015
by: Mary Jane Prothro-Jones

The first time I saw the Wounded Warrior commercial I was furious. Why does our VETS need any kind of charity?

Our CONGRESS and our COUNTRY should be taking care of our WOUNDED WARRIORS and their families. For a CONGRESS that loves their WARS, they could take care of all of our Warriors, with FIRST CLASS CARE, with just a bit of our BLOATED defense fund.

THIS MAKES ME SICK that we send our boys to fight and they come home, wounded physically and mentally and THEY HAVE TO DEPEND ON CHARITY. The first one's to block money to our VETS are the Republicans, but the Democrats aren't any better. Money for our Veterans should not be a budgetary concern . . . period!

All OF US AS AMERICANS HAVE TO WRITE OUR OFFICIALS . . . republicans and democrats are on the same page here!

Mary Jane, I think you're confused about which party is most likely to block funds for our warriors. Can you give me some examples?

Dec 23, 2014
Disgruntled Sled Hockey
by: Anonymous

We started a sled hockey program about a year ago, and are in the process of obtaining our non profit 501(c)3 status. WWP donated $15k for our program, through another organization, which purchased about 1/2 of the necessary equipment for a full team.

Our organization was recently recognized by the LA Kings NHL club, for what we have provided to our warriors with nothing.

Well, recently, WWP says that the equipment that they donated, and sized specifically for each athlete, is the property of WWP, and they want the equipment returned back. Where is the "empowerment" of WWP in this situation?

This has been a hugely successful program, which we are in the process of creating a nation wide league. I have warriors with severe PTSD and TBI's that had never gotten off their couches, now are back into a challenging team environment, who are again being a part of society.

We have obtained legal counsel, but not sure how far this will go, as WWP will spend thousands of donation dollars to fight this small amount of money that has provided a significant amount of help to our program thus far.

WWP go pound sand!!!!

Were there any restrictions and/or conditions placed on the equipment when it was donated? What does the paperwork say with regard to the equipment being owned by WWP?

Dec 03, 2014
WWP... Still Up To Their Old Tricks?
by: GrumpyOne

Well, still not much of anything positive being said about WWP and I'm not at all surprised.

It seems that they are advertising everywhere now and more income should be resulting in more positive actions for this group but such does not appear to be the case.

The big RED FLAG here is the solicitation for specific monthly donations, (and this applies to all charities), as this usually indicates the presence of a bundler which in turn provides a greater opportunity for funding to be syphoned off into the black hole of "public awareness." The recent comments here still support notion that not much has changed at WWP.

Until I see a recent audited recent federal tax return that shows a high percentage of income going directly to clients, they shall remain on my "Do Not Donate" list.

Nov 04, 2014
Still no help, from a wolf in sheep's clothing.
by: Disabled Marine 4 Life

I am wounded from incidents while serving in OIF and require my wife to do my ADL's. WWP offered a seminar free and food free, so we went to a half hour talk, with juice boxes and some crackers. They did give myself and my wife a t-shirt with the WWP logo [so you could advertise for them if/when you wear the shirts].

The pitch said we would receive help in some way aiding in home-based job my wife can do, since I'm homebound for the foreseeable future. That was 3 years ago, and no contact from them since.

My wife has left messages several times with no callback. They have done nothing for us. They do send stickers regularly, but why would I endorse a "charity" that fails to do anything.

They boast on TV that they do so much, but we must not be TV material to have charity from them.

Disabled, it makes me so sad to hear stories like yours. With the millions that it rakes in because of those TV ads, WWP should do a better job of helping wounded veterans like yourself. And they should definitely keep promises made.

Please accept my gratitude for your service, and give your wife an extra hug from me. Ask her to contact me and I will provide her with some information on legitimate work-at-home jobs. It would help if she would send me some information about her interests and qualifications.

Thank you for taking the time to submit your story. Semper Fi.

Oct 24, 2014
WWP Unresponsive
by: Airborne

I looked up to the WWP because of what I thought they were about and even contributed to their cause with my CFC donation. It wasn't until I became an Alumni WWP that my eyes opened.

This may seem petty, but WWP accepted me as an Alumni and still today I have never received my Welcome Package, despite numerous attempts to let them know I had not received it. They first said my address was wrong in their system (even though it was not) and then they said they tried to resend it, but I have received nothing.

Every time I email their main email I never get a response. I sought WWP's help with a VA disability claim and thought they would be an advocate for me; instead of helping me put the claim together, etc... they gave me advice in an email and pointing me to resources I was already aware of.

If I had listened to their so called VA expert I would have lost thousands of dollars in compensation. It seemed they were more of an advocate for the VA than Disabled Veterans whom they claim to support.

I don't fault the public's ignorance because everyone wants to believe in the Tooth Fairy, but we all know it is just make believe, much like the WWP! All smoke and mirrors.

Airborne, you may or may not be aware that one of the directors of WWP is a former Secretary of the VA.

Sep 29, 2014
Alternative to WWP
by: Anonymous

All of you who have posted comments are commended for taking the time to really analyze and determine the true value of WWP.

There are alternative organizations that would welcome your support and spend your donations wisely. Please review Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge (www.combatwounded.org) and Operation Helping Hand (www.OperationHelpingHandTampa.com).

These two organizations are based in Tampa Bay, which is home to CentCom & SOCOM at MacDill AFB. They both do amazing work to help our combat wounded and injured veterans once they return home. Please consider donating to them both as they have differing missions but support our troops.

Thanks to you all for passionately supporting our troops. As the wife of a Vietnam veteran, it is great to see!

We have not reviewed either of these two groups, so cannot comment on their stewardship of the funds they raise.

Mar 07, 2014
WWP Signature Backpacks
by: Trent

I have been closely following the many concerns with WWP and where the donations are going. I am noting a statement made above, "Its signature program, delivering backpacks containing personal supplies to the bedside of wounded warriors."

In my extensive research, I discovered that this is likely to be somewhat misleading to those supporting WWP. That backpacks are actually purchased by people like us and they are merely distributed by WWP as I revealed in an article I wrote after doing a great deal of research because I wanted answers for myself having believed in WWP and their cause.

WWP Backpacks (Note: These have been sold out for quite some time now. Not sure what is up with that.) www.underarmour.com/wwp-backpack.

I do believe they do a great service for our wounded heroes. That being said, I also believe there are many more who could be receiving help if the waste was drastically reduced within the organization and they weren't sitting on the millions they hold back each year which I covered in my article following my personal research.

Here is my take on WWP and the use of donations: Is WWP Scamming the Hearts of the American People?

Until I see drastic improvements, I will continue to look for a viable alternative to WWP. As a father of two young soldiers, I want to know there will be a sound organization out there to provide them aide should anything happen during their service.

Feb 27, 2014
And as an aside
by: Anonymous

The WWP is also anti-2nd amendment.

Feb 19, 2014
Another Option - American Legion
by: wally437

The American Legion runs a similar program which provides support to our veterans while they are in the hospital. The program is called Operation Comfort Warriors, and donations can be made at your local American Legion.

In the case of Comfort Warriors 100%, yes every last bit of it, ends up at the intended destination. Any and all destination and operation costs are paid for by American Legion members!

Wally, thank you for letting our readers know that there is another option for donations for this purpose.

Jan 17, 2014
RE: Wounded Warrior Project
by: GrumpyOne

Bill O knows where his bread is buttered, and for some reason, Fox has "adopted" WWP, along with some other networks that are too lazy or inept or worse to investigate regarding the validity of this organization.

Nothing has occurred to convince me to think otherwise and until such comes along, WWP will remain dubious as a useful charity...

Jan 02, 2014
This Kind of Behavior Hurts Everyone
by: Anonymous

After checking all of this out, I have no doubt what-so-ever that this is more of a scam than anything.

Sorry to say this hurts all charitable organizations in the long run.

I am still trying to figure out why Bill O is so high on this one. I am sure he can read that form 990.

Just makes no sense.

Anon, I'm sure you're correct that Bill O can read the Form 990, but my question is, "Has he read it??"

He's a very busy man, so maybe he's just taking someone else's recommendation, and hasn't investigated for himself. If that's true, it would be a shame. Maybe someone should write him an email about this for his new segment, "Mad as Hell."

Dec 05, 2013
by: David Shuck

To Grateful in Tenn. your husband can get continuous counseling from the VA at any VET Center.

The VET Center, while an entity of the VA is a specialized unit for COMBAT VETERANS only and their primary function is counseling for PTSD.

I served as a volunteer at our local VET Center in Southern Utah and can promise you the service is better than the VA medical centers.

In addition to personal counseling, they do family and spousal counseling, support groups, and Vocational Rehab. Our VET Center even has a mobile unit which travels to outlying areas to service combat veterans who cannot get into the office.

Please look up your local VET Center and make a visit there to see for yourself the difference. Warning, the VA Medical facilities have a little jealous rivalry with the VET Centers so they may not be willing to provide information to you. Search it out on your own.

David, Thank you for providing this information for our readers.

Nov 22, 2013
WW Status?
by: Anonymous

It's seems that WW is (to me) is still a bogus charity. I like the "guilt" inspired label for solicitations.

I'm not an accountant but would be appreciative of someone with the true know how to examine their 2012 return. Like Janet said, "probably not much of any change," from the earlier returns. Except that the numbers probably are even larger.

The only way to fix this is for the IRS rules to be simplified to where if anything less than 90% of all donated funds are applied to client services, they lose their tax exempt status.

Nov 20, 2013
by: Anonymous

As far as the WWP I have found them to be of little help. They just wanted to give me websites that I already have in my data base. They told me they do not help with any financial issues.

I know for a fact they have called small WW organizations to ask them to pay for financial needs of our Wounded Warriors. This makes no sense to me when they received large amounts of money donated to them.

The same small organization did apply for one of the WWP grants. They were turned down. Yes, this small organization did help the Warriors the WWP sent to them.

Nov 18, 2013
WWP Scam?
by: Michael

I am an alumni member of the WWP and recently had surgery to correct an injury I sustained in Afghanistan. While trying to recover and stay in the military, I have been out of work and the medical orders I was supposed to be on said I failed to meet the criteria for the medical program, even though I have a standing LOD.

Anyway, I contacted the WWP to see if they could help in any way. But they didn't directly help me at all. They just gave me the contact information to other charities that could.

So at the moment I'm not sure what to make of this charity. A friend of mine told me their CEO makes huge bank. So that kind of tells me they're not in it to help people.

Michael, I'm sorry to hear you didn't get the help you needed. It's not their executive salaries that have me concerned. They may be on the higher end, but I don't think they're out of line. The problem I have is the amount spent on fundraising.

If the air time and the celebrity endorsements are donated, and that's arguably what brings in the most money (I'd like to see those actual numbers), then why not ditch the cheesy direct mail solicitations with the unwanted guilt "gifts" and eliminate that potential donor objection?

My guess is that there wouldn't be that much difference in the amount available to the Wounded Warriors, but I'd sure like to see some numbers to back that up.

Oct 17, 2013
Up-To-Date Evaluation
by: GrumpyOne

Based on the comments here, I have no reason to change my view regarding Wounded Warrior Project.

However, I would like to see a professional evaluation of the WP's latest IRS filings to be fair to all sides.

I bristle every time that I see an ad regarding this group but am I justified in doing so?

Grumpy, did you see this professional analysis of WWP's 2009 and 2010 tax returns?

You can have a look at that analysis, then look at the latest tax return and see if anything has changed. My guess is that there's little substantial difference. But if you find one, please let us know!

Oct 07, 2013
Donations and Jobs
by: Ron

I gave a portion of proceeds from my book sales to Wounded Warriors for 2 years, but have since gotten requests to donate at least once a month if not more. They seem to waste an incredible amount of money fundraising...and ask every time, which shows they know nothing about how it's supposed to be done.

I've also heard how they do not collaborate with any other veterans support groups -- or basically use other nonprofits to actually support the veteran, while they keep the dollars.

Finally, I've been out of work seven months and I've sent in at least 10 resumes for work that I'm qualified to do, yet never even get a phone interview. I heard from another person interviewed by them that they basically don't hire anyone and re-post the jobs over and over so the folks in Human Resources always have something to do.

All in all, I don't trust this organization. I think something's up behind the scenes based on my interaction with them over the last two years.

Aug 16, 2013
What a Joke this Organization Is
by: LTC (R) Terry 100% disabled

First, I am a 100% disabled wounded warrior.

Now, granted, I didn't lose a limb or eyesight, but I found it interesting that I never heard from the WWP.

I contacted them when I heard they offered a Lasik program. As with all of their programs (that I know of), they didn't pay for the program.

Instead, they only handled the admin portion (I guess that falls under "empower"). I have waited over a year and just found out that the program has been on hold for quite some time.

Of course, now that I contacted them, they are often offering me free tickets to some event (tickets provided by someone else) where they can have us wear a WWP shirt and play on the sympathies of other people in attendance.

I am so upset at what I feel is an attempt to offer a "feel good" charity and in turn, offer high compensation to the board of directors.

Of course, you will hear that argument that to get quality people you need to offer those salaries. What a bunch of crap. I have senior leadership experience and I am donating my time to local charities.

To summarize: As a wounded warrior I feel it is a scam. Just look at their ratings, executive salaries and read their fine print.

They "honor and empower" (I don't know what that means but it doesn't sound like they commit to providing anything)...talk is cheap and so are they. Sounds like a group run by Jim and Tammy Faye Baker!!!

Aug 04, 2013
CEO Salary
by: Anonymous

My uncle was in service, then worked in Washington D.C.

When his expert knowledge was needed, it was a $1.00 a year service!!

Some go to the aide of other to serve; there are those there for the ego trip!!

H.T. Book

Apr 19, 2013
Crowdfunding to Support Your Organization
by: The Frontlines

There are many great veteran organizations and individuals supporting veterans, but how do we really support our troops and those that are transitioning?

I created The Frontlines in order to provide resources, education and the ability to share our stories. Only through these stories will the next generation know what it is to serve and inspire selfless service.

So the WWP has great intentions, but how do we raise more awareness and funding for such worthy efforts??? To help answer this question, I created a crowdfunding site.

Jump Crews is a crowd funding site that can help people or organizations create a campaign to raise money for any project or get the volunteers they need to support their efforts. A person can create a project for Art, Music, new Technology, Social Good such as supporting our veterans or funding your organization, host an Event or produce a Film, etc.

It also helps people create veteran owned small businesses! You are only limited by your imagination, and of course the site is free to post your project!!!

Please check Jump Crews www.jumpcrews.com and The Frontlines www.thefrontlines.com to support my efforts and yours on behalf of service members and their families. Thank you!

Hi Nathan, Nice to hear from you again.

Although this is not really about WWP, and should be on its own page, I'm going to leave it here for now, since the invitation for you to create a separate page for your organization has been removed.

I do have plans in the works to create a directory of all veterans support organizations, and that would be a good place for you.

I checked out your project at JumpCrews, and watched your video, but you didn't indicate what you intend to use the funding for. Including that info might help you get more donations.

Good luck!

Apr 19, 2013
Our Veterans Deserve Better
by: Janet, Editor

Mike, thank you again for all that information, so our readers can better understand the issues faced by our wounded warriors. Most people would have no way to know how the system works, and I'm sure many will be shocked at the delays and appeals that had to be filed to get it right. Personally, I'm surprised that you had the opportunity for that many appeals, but glad it finally got fixed.

Folks, it's a travesty that these men and women who have given SO much for our country and our freedom are treated this way. It's inexcusable that the system is so messed up.

If you've never written your Congressmen (women) before, this issue should move you to write. (Snail mail is all inspected offsite, so the fastest, most effective way is to fax it to their Washington offices, or mail it to their local office and let that office fax it to their DC office. I've been told e-mail doesn't carry as much weight as an actual letter.)

Urge them to support a bill that would require the military to keep these warriors in a pay status (continue their military pay, or put them in a retired status and pay them retired pay, which would be only a percentage of their base pay, based on years of service) until the VA gets their claims processed and their VA disability pay begins.

If this were the case, and the military knew it would incur these expenses, believe me, the Pentagon would be pressuring VA to fix its broken system.

These men and women, who've sacrificed youth and limbs and mental health, who have had their lives irreversibly altered, deserve to be taken care of by this nation. It's unthinkable that they should come home with such severe injuries and be left "in the lurch" with no income for a year or more. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon.

Their medical condition is the reason they're being retired, so it's unrealistic to expect them to seek other employment. How do they feed their families? This is just so wrong on every level.


Mike, I can't thank you enough for your service, or for your time to help our readers understand what it's like when you get home.


P.S. Readers, for results of the 2012 annual survey that Mike mentioned, go here: WWP Annual Alumni Survey 2012.

You'll get a much better insight into the lives of our wounded warriors by reading their comments in response to the survey.

This is a good time to again thank all our readers for their support of our veterans. Please write your Congressmen/women and demand that this situation be rectified immediately (if not sooner!), so that our veterans don't suffer more because of our government's red tape.

They've suffered enough before they get to this point, and we need them to know that they will be taken care of.

Apr 19, 2013
by: Mike

Standupforvets: The part you were mistaken about is their stance on programs involving firearms. The WWP DOES offer hunts and shooting events periodically.

Last year they had a giveaway for their alumni members where they gave away two Polaris ATV’s and a trip to (I believe) Montana to spend several days with a world-renowned hunter/marksman doing a private hunt with him.

Two or three times I’ve received e-mails about WWP sponsored hunts for WWP members in Texas and another state. One of the Project Odyssey events in Texas featured both skeet shooting and hunting as two of the events they did during the retreat. The WWP is not by any means an anti-gun company, they are just playing it smart by not publicly choosing sides. There is a dramatic difference.

In the end, again, people are going to form their own opinions. If someone WANTS to view this organization is bad, regardless of what good they do or how many positive aspects anyone lists, they will FIND a reason to view them negatively.

At the end of the day though, like I said, this organization has done more for myself, my family, and my fellow veterans than any other organization I've seen. They have had our back, and ensured we didn't slip between the cracks and fall behind. In our lowest times of need, they've been there with everything from a toothbrush, pair of shorts and a t-shirt to a fully paid, all inclusive retreat and adaptive equipment.

If that doesn't speak to their character and what they're about, I don't know what does. You can look at numbers and say it isn't enough. I look at their actions and say it's more than anyone else. You all can go on, donate to other organizations and hey, that's great because at the end of the day, it's still going towards veterans and that's what counts.

My time, effort and money, however, will continue to go to the only organization who has not only been there for me and my battle buddies, but has gone above and beyond, the Wounded Warrior Project.

Apr 19, 2013
@Grumpyone, Standupforvets
by: Mike

Grumpyone: It was another 6 months before my first rating was received, and it ended up being incorrect. It wasn’t until that first rating was received, roughly a year after my discharge, that my VA payments started coming in, and even then they were less than 1/3 what they were supposed to be.

It took a grand total of three more years and seven appeals to finally get it right. To have it setup so that veterans began receiving their benefits near the time they were discharged, they would need to begin their claims process 3-6 months BEFORE they were discharged.

That is hard to do when it isn’t even briefed that it is available until your discharge orders arrive. That’s a tough process to fix. The easiest solution would be for someone to figure out how to fix the backlog issue with the VA. Good luck on that one.

Standupforvets: I think I touched on a majority of your points already. The only one I haven’t yet is your mention of their anti-gun stance. You are only partially correct in what you stated. It is true that they do not “support” firearms and manufacturers of firearms. The reason for this, as explained to me by one of the program leaders, is because of the potential for it to negatively reflect upon the organization.

That is not by any means to say they think firearms are bad, but simply that they don’t want to take sides in such a tense issue. They also have not supported anything anti-gun. If they remain neutral, they can be viewed without bias by both those who support firearms and those who do not. If they come out and publicly endorse firearms, while not only serving absolutely zero purpose in their current mission, they run the risk of losing donations, sponsorships and venues from people that may not support firearms like we do.

This is equally true for religions. While they are not anti-religion, they do not sponsor religious events because of the issues it can cause. If they sponsor an event for a Christian church, but then choose not to sponsor an event at the place of worship for another religion, regardless of the reason, it would be viewed as discrimination. Rather than risking accidentally offending one group, they choose to eliminate the potential for controversy. It is a smart business move. This way no one risks favoritism, alienation or one group being left out.

Apr 19, 2013
by: Mike

Grumpyone: That is how they went from nothing but backpacks (which was a saving grace at Landstuhl itself) to all the things they offer today in 11 years. Sure, they have plenty of ways to continue to better themselves as an organization… To grow and flourish and utilize their funds more efficiently… But at the end of the day, they do a hell of a lot, and in comparison to other organizations are just starting.

Buildings cost money. Equipment costs money. Trained professionals to run the company and programs cost money. Lawyers and benefits counselors cost money.

Nothing is free, so to expect them to start the organization, build it from the ground up, and spend next to nothing doing it is absurd. Sure, it can be done, but the quality of what they have and who they choose to run things would be dramatically lower.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where money is a driving factor, so if you want a personal trainer that knows what they are doing, can ensure people don’t get hurt, and is trained, licensed and properly experienced, you have to offer a competitive wage to the huge gyms that would normally employ them. If you want a CEO that knows how to successfully run an organization, you have to offer a competitive wage to what that CEO could make at for-profit companies. That’s just how business works.

Sure, it would be nice if these people were willing to do the same job that would normally bring six figures for minimum wage, but that is an unrealistic expectation. I wouldn’t go out into the work force and take a job doing the work of a CEO for the pay of a McDonald's fry cook, and I wouldn’t expect them to either.

At the end of the day, I’m a member of IAVA, the VFW, American Legion, and many other veterans’ organizations. To date, the WWP is the ONLY one that has 1) never asked me for a donation to essentially help them help me, and 2) has actually done something for me (retreats, concerts, soldier rides, help with my VA claim, the backpack with clothes and toiletries I received in the hospital, etc).

Other organizations may handle their money a little more efficiently, but unlike the WWP, as a veteran, they’ve done nothing for me. Lastly, the VA already does something similar to what you mentioned.

As part of the out-processing process for the Army, you go through a series of briefings, meetings and programs to help you exit more smoothly. One of these is a briefing by the VA. Unfortunately, in my case and many others, the VA briefing was short, didn’t include much information, and didn’t offer much assistance at all. The process of filing a claim was explained, and we were told we may want to file the claim either then or immediately after we were discharged.

The entire process from my receiving orders to be retired to getting home took me 12 days. I filed my initial claim on day 13. The problem is that I didn’t get my first eval appointment for 4 months. By month 6 I had had all of my evals.

Apr 19, 2013
@SemperFi, Grumpyone
by: Mike

For SemperFi, I'm not really sure how those are the only options for who I could be, but alas, you are mistaken. I'm no shill or employee of the WWP.

I am retired from the Army and run a gunsmithing business, and, thanks to some damn good eye-pro, I'm not blind (yet, at least). From one vet to another, I am truly sorry you had the experience you did and weren't able to gain the experiences and help I did from the organization.

With that said, I know that back in late '09 when I joined, all the way through today, they have still been developing and expanding, getting better each year. In '09, they had very few programs to offer.

In 2010 when I went on my Project Odyssey trip (which to date has been the most beneficial experience for my PTSD I've done, beating out EMDR, individual and group therapies, and both in-patient and out-patient recovery programs), it was only the second they'd done. That year they offered four or five soldier rides. This year they've got no less than one a month.

You're absolutely wrong about them not offering rehabilitation programs or really much of anything to vets. They've got Project Odyssey which I described above, a 5-day retreat for sufferers of PTSD, Soldier Ride (cycling trips to get wounded vets out and active again), concerts, sporting events, last year they began Equine therapy here in TN, they offer legal support and VA claims assistance, the list goes on.

I've got three close buddies that have graduated from the TRACK program and actually gotten their lives back on track. They are beginning health and wellness programs at each of their regional offices which offers trained and licensed personal trainers to veterans. This gives them not only a group to become more active with, but a personal trainer that is trained in fitness for those with physical/mental disabilities. This is something you can’t generally find at a gym, and if you do, it is very expensive.

Grumpyone: I have seen you and many others put down the WWP for the amount of advertising and publicity they do. Why?

At the end of the day, whether profit or non-profit, an organization runs exactly the same. Ask anyone who has ever run a business or organization of their own. It takes money to make money. Simply put, if you have more overhead than revenue, you will fail. If your revenue and overhead are equal, you can survive but not expand. If you have more revenue than overhead, you can both survive and grow.

By raising awareness of their organization and what they do, and by continuing the drive to raise funds, they are able to ensure they will be able to continue their work for years to come, and continue to expand to help more veterans in different ways.

Each year they do a survey of the members to determine what they do right, what they need to improve, and what they aren’t doing that they could be. Each year, utilizing these answers, they add more programs (such as the Equine therapy).

Apr 19, 2013
VA Delays In Processing Benefits
by: GrumpyOne

Again, I'm using my experience in process engineering to offer this suggestion...

IIRC, the "mustering" out process in any of the branches of the military takes upwards of a couple of weeks. Now, wouldn't it make sense for the VA intake process to begin so that the transition would be virtually seamless? Surely, some VA staff could be re-assigned to military installations for such efforts.

No rocket science here, just a good dose of common sense AND simplification of the process because that's what it is all about... Process!

Apr 18, 2013
@Semper Fi
by: StandUpForVets

I really think that Semper Fi is making the comments that people need to read before donating.

While I appreciate the stories and examples given by Mike and the spouse of one of America's Heroes, it doesn't change the fact that WWP is taking in hundreds of millions and in return, spending what??? A couple million to provide these programs and retreats to our SMs and vets?

Let me state that I too am a vet and currently work in a capacity assisting military and vets with all types of issues.

I also personally know quite a few WWP employees. They have from time to time bragged about the 'cush' job and great travel opportunities they get with WWP. Not to mention the ridiculously high salaries for many positions.

One thing many of them do agree is that the organization is employing fewer and fewer veterans and a bunch of 'kids' right out of college who don't even know anything about the military. At least they used to employ vets to help vets.

They do have programs that SMs and veterans enjoy participating in, it just goes back to the amount they bring in, as Semper Fi pointed out to be almost half a BILLION, to what it costs to run the programs that they do. There's a lot left unaccounted for. Or maybe it's just lining the pockets of the higher ups, but I know that I'm not going to give money to an organization like that.

Lastly, their new anti-gun stance, where they won't support anything involving firearms, not a shooting event, not a hunting event, not a manufacturer or retailer. And no involvement with religious organizations. Great - take out God and guns, but you support our military.

There are so many things wrong about WWP, I wish I had more time to delve into half of what I know and have seen with my own eyes.

I'll end with 2 words of wisdom: DONOR BEWARE!

Apr 17, 2013
@ Mike Addendum
by: Semper Fi

P.S. Couple of litmus tests.

WWP, by their own IRS filings, has taken in excess of 431 million dollars since 2006, and what do they have to show for this almost half a billion while employing less than 100 employees ?

By comparison, the biggest black hole in country (Fed Govt) can, for less then 431,000,000.00:

Put a Space Shuttle in orbit for two weeks (with 6 months pre-launch prep) employing 64,000 very, very well paid employees right down the road from WWP's HQ at NASA

If the WWP had or did help more than a handful of select and cherry-picked wounded veterans, then they would be on this site by the thousands (not the 4-6 as reflected above) defending them.

What they in fact do is spend millions with fancy TV and Print ad campaigns to keep the cash register ringing, and employ a legion of attorneys to intimidate and stamp out any dissention.

Unfortunately, they have become so big and well-financed at this point, with paid lobbyists, marketing firms and the Hollywood dial-in that there is little anyone can do, short of a major media organization or a senator-congressman demanding an investigation.

I doubt this will happen as too much money is flowing now from the WWP donor coffers to these very same organizations and politicians.

Open your eyes !

To be fair, I just want to clarify for our readers that Semper Fi's post was made after Grateful's post on financial assistance, but before it was published, so he did not see it before making this post. It may or may not have influenced his comments.

One thing I should point out is that much of WWP's media attention (advertising) is donated air time. So that's revenue to cover the expense, and it zeros out. I'm not sure exactly what percentage of it is donated, and whether they pay for additional airtime, so I can't address that.

But the tax return for 2010 does show donated media advertising of $41.6 million, and other donated advertising (U-Haul, etc.) of $8.4 million.

Apr 17, 2013
Re: Financial Assistance, pt 3
by: Grateful in TN

Also, fun experiences CANNOT be made light of.

My husband's PTSD (especially before in-patient treatment last summer) was horrific enough that it was devastatingly hard to socialize with anyone other than 3 of our dearest friends, who did not care that he stared into space for hours.

The WWP events have given him a chance to be around people who understand what it feels like to be him, and sometimes, just watch a football game and have an hour away from the trauma with other people who need an hour away as well.

I have not had a chance to go on a caregiver retreat, but I personally cherish the few hours that I have when he is with other wounded veterans, especially at a WWP event. They have adequate medical and mental health care on site for emergencies, make all accommodations for any sort of need such as a therapy dog, canes, wheelchairs, etc. and truly go out of their way to make him feel comfortable.

He has NEVER been approached for press opportunities, never been made to feel that he was being trotted out, and the few times I have accompanied him I have definitely felt our privacy protected. We have attended everything from a football and hockey game, to a concert, to family day at the equine therapy ranch. Not once was he singled out for being a "veteran" other than to those who had to know, like the equine therapist.

I could not disagree that more of their money needs to go to the veterans, and I think the more veterans who have benefited speak out, this will probably occur. I do not, however, believe they are a bogus charity, when I personally have experienced multiple blessings to come from them.

We live in Middle Tennessee with the Nashville office being in charge of us around here. I cannot speak for every other area, but they are nothing but professional and I have never felt like we were being used, cherry picked, or that fundraising was where too much of the money went - I have donated to them and I think all I have to show for it is two notepads, and maybe a calendar. Easter Seals and St. Jude sends me WAY more fundraising trinkets than I have ever received from the WWP and I have sent more money to the WWP then I have to the others.

There are so many worthy veterans charities. We personally support another one that has a wonderful charity rating, Homes for Our Troops, as well. But the WWP has been the only veterans organization that we have been on the other side of, other than just donating money and time to them.

I will be forever grateful for the help and time WWP gave my husband. It's not a figment of my imagination at all, and it has helped him heal.

I really appreciate the time that you and Mike have taken to counter some of the negative comments and help us to understand that, while they could be doing better, WWP is providing valuable services to our wounded and their families.

And thank you and your husband for your sacrifices in the name of freedom. We are truly grateful.

Apr 17, 2013
Re: Financial Assistance, pt 2
by: Grateful in TN

The WWP DOES many times pay for therapy opportunities.

If my husband had registered as an alumni sooner, it is possible that some of the money issues we had would have been avoided because we would have been referred to providers willing to do work for free or significantly discounted, such as the equine therapy he is currently receiving.

So in a roundabout way, I do believe the WWP is helping with the "financial" burden our veterans struggle with.

This is good information that may help another wounded warrior realize that he/she needs to get registered with WWP sooner rather than later.

Thank you for sharing it.

Apr 17, 2013
Re: Financial Assistance
by: Grateful in TN


I wanted a chance to reflect on both what you have said and Mike to the mission of the WWP.

I could not agree more that financial assistance is a very important issue to veterans and their families, but I don't think that just because the WWP doesn't provide direct assistance, we should say they are not helping veteran's families financially.

Prior to finally receiving benefits on my husband's VA claim, after a 26-month waiting period, we had racked up almost $20,000 in debt trying to afford the medical care that he wanted/needed and the VA was taking their sweet time paying for.

I was so grateful that my family could spare going into debt like that, when so many veterans' families do not have anywhere near that far to fall.

It was terrifying though, because we were making choices of "buy more groceries than just milk this week" or "pay for the medical appointments and the high cost of prescription medications."


Thank you for taking the time to come back and share more of your experiences with Wounded Warrior Project.

I hear so many stories like yours about the terrible financial burdens on our severely wounded because of the backlog and delays at VA, so that obviously colors my perspective.

And as you point out, not many of our severely wounded can absorb such a huge financial hit. I get letters all the time asking for help because they've tried everything they can think of, and are on the verge of being homeless because they can't get help to stop foreclosure or eviction.

So maybe you could help us propose to WWP that they take some of the money they receive, and set up a fund to help people weather that gap between discharge and approval of VA disability payments.


I don't have enough information to figure out how this should work, but these men and women (and their families) have sacrificed SO much on our behalf, and had their lives irreversibly altered. The LEAST we could do is make sure they don't have to face financial hardship because our system is broken.

It's a travesty that the military kicks them out, and their pay stops before they're picked up by VA. We should all write our Congressional representatives and ask that they support a bill to require the military pay to continue until the VA claims are processed and disability pay kicks in. If they did that, I'll bet the military would put more pressure on VA to eliminate the backlog and get more efficient. But there needs to be better coordination between the two.

Our wounded deserve a better safety net from us!

Apr 16, 2013
Reply to Semper Fi
by: GrumpyOne

by: Semper Fi

"The catch phrase they use of "Raising Awareness" should be a red flag to any donor as well as the "War Chest" they have created from donations."


"Public Awareness" is a term I'm very familiar with in that this is a great way to create a legitimate appearing slush fund where money just pours down a black hole.

Nicely stated SF...

Apr 16, 2013
@ Mike
by: Semper Fi

@ Mike, with all due respect, if it is true that you were with the WWP for 4 years and you still defend them, then you are either a shill for the WWP, an employee, or you're blind.

I was with them from 2009-2011 and I speak from inside knowledge.

Can you name one wounded veteran they have given a scholarship to?

The "Jobs Program" is nothing more than a Monster.Com clone.

They provide NO housing assistance or funding for veterans nor rehabilitation programs.

The TRACK program was stolen from a female wounded veteran and is nothing more then an unsupervised gym.

The catch phrase they use of "Raising Awareness" should be a red flag to any donor as well as the "War Chest" they have created from donations.

According to the latest IRS forms, they took in just shy of 200 million with the CEO Narducci being paid a 211,000.00 salary plus a bonus of 100K. With that kind of money they could fund 2 - 3,000 veterans a year.

The best they can claim is some grants to very select organizations that have played ball. In the time it took to author your 3 part post, you could have easily reviewed their latest IRS returns, so I'm thinking you're an apologist or a plant from WWP.

Apr 16, 2013
In response to Janet, Part 2
by: Mike

I was wounded in combat, and ultimately retired from my wounds, so certainly, they were bad. That said, there was absolutely nothing about my story that made it special, separated it from any of the couple thousand others, or put me a step above anyone else.

I've done zero publicity for the WWP, Army, or anyone else. I haven't participated in any fundraising, or really done anything to help any of the organizations.

With that, I've received help with my VA claim (which took 4 years and 7 appeals to get it processed correctly, so believe me when I say I understand the financial issues), and participated in numerous events (the first of which I was invited to, the rest I have applied to participate in).

As I stated before, of all the events I've been to, the hundreds and hundreds of veterans I've encountered at their events, I've yet to run into the same face twice, so I am really at a loss for how they supposedly "cherry pick" select veterans that help their cause.

Like I said, at the end of the day, the paperwork may not be the exact numbers you prefer to see, but that does not, in any way, negate the good this organization does. So like I said, I pose the challenge to anyone who has come here slandering the organization, go to one of their events. Talk to the veterans being helped first hand. Talk to their family members. Actually experience what they do, how they help and those who gain from the events and services first hand, then think about whether the organization is worth it or not.

If you can still come back here, talk about how terrible of an organization it is, hey, so be it. At that point, you did your research, and I cannot really say anything about it. But if all you are going to do is read some forms and talk about how certain you are, having never actually seen what they do or what comes of it, you've got no business judging the organization.

Part 2 of 2

Apr 16, 2013
In response to Janet, Part 1
by: Mike


First, thank you for your service. Whether on the frontlines or not, in theater or not, no combat arms job can be successfully accomplished without each of the other jobs filled by soldiers. The fact that you chose to enlist and did your part, whether in combat or not, is more than most and graciously appreciated. So, from one veteran to another, thank you.

I can definitely see how a program such as the financial services you mentioned would be of great use.

With that said, I also recognize that the WWP is still a relatively new organization, and one that has been growing and developing more and more each year. The number of services and events they provide has increased each year, the number of veterans they help has increased each year, and the amount of things they provide to veterans has increased each year. For example, the first year I went to a Soldier Ride marathon, we were all given a riding jersey, gloves and a water bottle, as well as loaned a bike. This year, we were given a complete set of riding gear, as well as the opportunity to obtain bikes for those of us who wished to continue riding, but couldn't afford the costly bikes that suited our abilities (such as recumbants, hand cycles, etc).

Each year more programs are developed, and with the comments and reviews by the veterans that participate, are tweaked and modified until they are as close to perfect as they can be.

So, with that in mind, I am sure that within a few years, something of that nature will be developed, but as a newer organization and one that is still growing and flourishing, as opposed to organizations such as the Salvation Army (founded in 1865), the VFW (founded 1899), and so on, it needs time to develop and grow. You cannot expect it to be created, expand, and attain perfection in the 11 years it has been around, and then compare it to organizations that have been around for over a century to point out its faults.

I am all about fine tuning and striving to be better, so I can fully get on board with your statement "That's 23%, which is lower than many veterans charities, but donors would still like to see it lower." With that said, there is a VERY fine line between saying "it is better than most, but not quite as good as it could be" and saying "This is a terrible organization doing nothing for veterans and should be shut down", which is what a vast majority of posters here have done.

You said it very well, basically that they are doing ok, but they aren't quite doing great yet. That said, they're young, they're growing and developing, and still doing extraordinary things.

Part 1 of 2

Apr 16, 2013
Reply To Janet
by: GrumpyOne

I would like to address the following:

First, as a "big picture" guy the IRS filing is telling document indeed. One person's positive experience can in no way negate what is.

Second, veterans in general since the Reagan years have been treated much better than say the "boots on the ground" veterans of my era of the 1960's/70's who were not "thanked," but were vilified.

For more information about Vietnam vets and their treatment, see Vietnam Veterans Facts.

Third, "help" should be an all encompassing function of the government that sent folks to war and not provide for opportunistic methods for some to profiteer on an unsuspecting public.

Last... The discussion taking place here obviously will not change any minds.

I base my assessment by looking at the big picture consisting of hard facts, and I do not like what I see. This includes the inefficiency of the public sector to serve those who need services. As one who has saved many millions of dollars in the private sector over the years, I see big problems in the in the way of process all the time, yet our public institutions continue to fail to correct apparent flaws in that process.

And don't even get me started with the politics related to these issues...

Apr 16, 2013
Reply, Part 3
by: Mike

In a final note about their headquarters buildings, it's true, they are big, beautiful and very nice. What people fail to realize is that a vast majority of it is actually for the veterans they help, not for the staff.

The new Nashville office, for example, offers a wide selection of food and drinks, a family room with TV's and movies, a game room for kids, and all kinds of free stuff for the veterans that stop by to talk to the benefits counselors and coordinators.

I'd, personally, be less inclined to trust an organization and let them help me with my VA claims, financial issues, etc if when I went to talk to them, it was located in some tiny, rundown shack than somewhere that is clean, neat, comfortable, professional, and offers such commodities to my family and I.

Also, you may want to reconsider who you compare this organization to. The WWP utilizes their donations to do things for veterans at zero cost to the veteran. The Salvation Army receives free donations from people all over the country which it then SELLS back to the people it claims to help. In comparison, the WWP does much more for it's "clients" without the cost to them.

Part 3 of 3

Mike, thank you for coming back and providing this additional information. I apologize I had no way to identify you as the earlier poster. And I apologize that the post character limit made you split your post.

You are correct in that I am a veteran, but have no combat experience. I served during Desert Storm/Shield, but stateside. As a JAG, I wasn't needed on the front lines, and there weren't nearly as many women in theater then as there are now.

But I do get letters all the time from wounded veterans who are in dire financial situations because they're waiting for months for their disability claims to be processed and have no income. And there are very few places where they can go for financial help. WWP could help fill that gap, if it chose to.

You are also correct that handing out checks would be a bad idea, and fraught with fraudulent claims. But there are ways around that. The few organizations I know of that do provide financial help will pay the mortgage company, landlord, or power company directly, in the name of the veteran.

WWP could easily do that - it's just that they've chosen not to. And that's their business. That's one of the great things in America - our business can be whatever we want it to be (as long as it's legal, of course).

Our readers are unhappy that only 65% of their money actually goes to programs to help you and others. And they're also unhappy that of the $40 million donated to WWP in 2010, roughly $9.4 million went to fundraising. That's 23%, which is lower than many veterans charities, but donors would still like to see it lower.

Thanks again for your service, and for participating in our conversation and providing first-hand experiences to help our readers be informed donors.


Apr 16, 2013
Reply, Part 2
by: Mike

Based on your comments about veterans needing financial assistance and not "adventures and events", I am going to go out on a limb and guess that you're not a veteran that has been to combat and experienced the aftermath that results. If I'm wrong in that, my apologies in advance.

Without having been there and done it, you have no idea what help Veterans of combat need. That is not to say that some veterans truly couldn't use financial assistance, but the opportunity for fraud and abuse of the system would be dramatically high if they began shelling out checks.

Going back to the original thought, though, you refer to it as "events and adventures" as if it is nothing more than a fun little weekend getaway to let loose and relax. While veterans are given the chance to relax (which seldom occurs in the real world when suffering with PTSD and physical wounds), but it is much much more than that.

Veterans are given the chance to bond with others in their situation, so they aren't so isolated and alone. They are given the chance to share stories and treatment ideas. They are given the chance to learn and use non-medicinal ways to treat the things they suffer through (instead of just having pills thrown at the problems like the VA tends to do), and are able to talk to other veterans who are either in the same boat or who have already begun improving their condition as motivation that things actually get better.

It provides a manner of non-narcotic treatment for psychological and emotional wounds. It provides veterans with physical wounds, at times, the first opportunity they have to get back into the real world and participate in activities they thought they'd never be able to again. It gives them the chance to experience situations and make memories they'd never be able to afford on their own when they need nothing more than a moment of happiness in their life. If you've never experienced it, I wouldn't expect you to understand.

Again, you all can complain and slander their name, talking about how "little they do" and how "few they help", but at the end of the day, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. You may know what the paperwork says, but you clearly haven't talked to the veterans or seen their events first hand. Until you do, you have no idea what they do, who they do/don't help, or how good of an organization they may be.

As always, if anyone has any specific questions/comments/concerns, you're welcome to e-mail me. michael.schuch at us.army.mil.

Part 2 of 3

Apr 16, 2013
by: Mike

To the admin/moderator,

I have already given a list of the experiences I've had with the organization in a post dated 20 Jan 2013, so I would refer you back to that.

As far as the cherry picking goes, sure, the organization did make initial contact with me, however, I did not get "singled out" due to my experience for their media purposes.

The fact is, a vast majority of veterans do not go out looking for help or assistance, at least until it's generally too late. If it were not for them initiating contact, I wouldn't have ever found out about the WWP. This is the same for a vast majority of veterans I've met and known.

Contrary to popular belief, the WWP does not simply string veterans along for photo ops and news stories to bring in donations. In four years and multiple events, I have not once been asked to do any type of interview or story. I've never been introduced to a reporter or journalist. I've never been used for any sort of publicity of any kind. None of the veterans I know personally have either. At each event we go to, we are told that the press may be there, but it is at our sole discretion whether we talk to them or not. If we want to, we're welcome to tell them our story, and if we'd rather not, all you have to do is let a staff member know, and you won't so much as see a member of the media the entire time you're there.

As for the rudeness or arrogance you mentioned on behalf of WWP staff, I cannot comment. In my time participating in what the organization has to offer, I have never met a single staff member that was not polite, courteous, motivational or pleasant to deal with.

With that in mind, I'd just remind everyone that at the end of the day, the staff members are people too. You can be the nicest person in the world, and sooner or later, you will get stressed out or frustrated for one reason or another and have a bad day. It happens, and is unrealistic to expect it never to just because of where they work. That said, like I stated, I've never encountered anything but positive attitudes from them.

In terms of privacy issues, I'm actually glad you mentioned that because I never would have thought to. As I said in my original post, I was a member of an Army Warrior Transition Unit. As part of the processing paperwork for the WTU, one form you had to fill out was whether you wanted your basic information (name, rank, branch of service and phone number) sent to veterans organizations that are there to help veterans. The list includes WWP, IAVA, Vet Centers of America, Dept of Veterans Affairs, VFW, American Legion, etc. You can opt to receive a packet with their information or not to.

The WWP was not given any other information by anyone except myself, which was given during the registration process. So, no, I do not feel there was any privacy violation to speak of.

Part 1 of 3

Apr 15, 2013
Responses to the editor
by: GrumpyOne

I stand by my statement(s).

And yes, (to the editor), that is exactly what I meant by "cherry picking."

If the IRS had tighter criteria for what qualifies as a functional charity, WWP would be long gone.

It takes a little detective work to read the IRS filing and WWP is like a sieve as to where and how funds are disbursed.

Contrast them with say the Salvation Army which is a billion dollar plus charity who's CEO receives a mere $13K per year and where very near all donations are returned to clients.

Frankly speaking, at least 75% of the current tax exempt "charities" just need to disappear.

Apr 15, 2013
WWP doesn't take donations from whom ?
by: Anonymous

In regards to the previous poster that:

"WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies" in an email from their PR Director.

FYI, they are lying thru their teeth.

I personally saw them at the Playboy Mansion twice, at the "Stars & Stripes" spring fundraiser party. They gladly took Playboy's money at the end of the event.

Check it out on the internet if you have any doubts, plenty of pictures and promotional posters were made.

Apr 15, 2013
@ Greatful in TN
by: Anonymous

Glad they helped your husband, and thanks for his service.

The real point is that with the tens of millions the WWP raises every year, they could help thousands of vets instead of just dozens per year.

As Grumpy said, they cherry pick a few wounded veterans and then do stories on them to keep the cash flowing.

If you're mystified by all the negative comments on this blog, then take 10 minutes and look for yourself on their IRS reports and financials. Take a look at their new building they just built in Jacksonville and all with DONOR dollars. Your eyes will be opened to what a scam they are.

Apr 15, 2013
In response to GrumpyOne
by: Mike

In response to GrumpyOne


I'm just curious as to what makes you think they "cherry pick" their participants? I ask that because based on your last statement, I was one of the people that had been "cherry picked."

I can say that of the times I've been at WWP events, I've yet to see someone from a previous event... Generally new comers. I've also been turned down from events I've done in the past because new members who hadn't participated before wanted to go.

I've been a WWP alumni member for four years now, and found out about it from them seeking me out based on information sent to them by the Army. Not because I had friends that were members, or because I knew a staff member, or because I sought them out and applied.

From where I'm sitting, as one of the veterans this organization has helped, as someone who has seen what they do first hand, and as one who has witnessed the lengths they go through to do what they do, it seems to me your accusations are baseless.

If you want to see what this organization is really about, do us all a favor, put the paper down, go to an event they put on, and see it first hand. Anyone can read a website and bitch. Go out where the rubber meets the road, watch what goes on, talk to the veterans, and do some real world research of your own, then come back and provide an opinion and summary that actually has some relevance and backing.


Mike, thank you for posting. I'm glad your experience with WWP was positive. Perhaps you could tell us HOW they helped you?

You did confirm that WWP chose you to participate in their program, rather than you applying. I believe that's what Grumpy was talking about.

By the way, are you concerned about the violation of your privacy by the Army in providing personal information about you to WWP, or did you authorize that?

No one is saying that WWP is not doing good work, just that they could do SO much more if they weren't paying so much to professional fundraisers. Most donors want to see a minimum of 80% of the money going to the cause.

Soliciting donations to help wounded warriors, for which Americans are donating LOTS of money, and then funneling it to for-profit fundraisers seems a violation of the trust those donors place in the organization. And that's how donors see it.

There are many wounded warriors who desperately need financial help while they're waiting for their disability payments to begin. They don't need "events" or "adventures." Why won't WWP provide them with some REAL help so they don't lose their homes and/or cars?

There's also NO excuse for the rudeness and arrogant attitude that several have encountered from WWP personnel.

We'll look forward to receiving your first-hand account of the kinds of help you've received from Wounded Warrior Project. Our goal is to inform potential donors about the organization, so if you can provide positive details, that would add to the conversation.

Thank you for your service.

Apr 14, 2013
IRS Tax EXemption for Charities - Needed Reform
by: GrumpyOne

The positive WWP comments posted as of late appear to quantify my earlier observation(s) that this organization cherry picks recipients. And the IRS forms do not lie... So I think that the "D" rating is still justified.

Overall, the entire IRS criteria for tax exempt status for all charities should be a minimum of 90% going to recipients. Fall below that number and the tax exempt status disappears and it wouldn't take long for all of the substandard charitable organizations to simply disappear.

Will such IRS reforms ever happen? I doubt it..

Apr 14, 2013
There is good work being done by WWP
by: Greatful in TN

I am dismayed by all of the negative reports about the WWP, because in my experience, they have been nothing but professional, responsive, and greatly helpful to my husband, a wounded OIF Veteran.

We were contacted a few months ago about the opportunity to participate in an equine therapy program that the WWP was covering expenses for. Animal therapy has been extremely beneficial to my husband's recovery from PTSD, but qualified therapists can cost upwards of $200 per session. We receive disability pay from the VA, but all of that covers regular psychologists, family therapy, and some expenses since his injury has affected his ability to work full time. He sees psychiatrists at the VA but for long-term trauma work needs the consistency of a private therapist, and not just the rotating intern the VA provides.

He is now in his 5th week of equine therapy and it has been incredible. The WWP checks in with him frequently and has handled all the paperwork - we literally just had to show up. They have also created a large network of "alumni" in our area that see each other socially to continue gaining support and making friends.

We also had a team last November for a WWP-sponsored 5k. Any questions I emailed were responded to promptly and fully. The event coordinator even sought me out in person to say hello and to thank my husband for his service.

While I agree even more money should be spent on the veterans causes, I do believe good is coming from the WWP and will continue to support them.

Grateful, thank you for posting to let us know about your personal experience with WWP, and thanks to you and your husband for his service.

Mar 25, 2013
Wake Up on What the WWP Really Is !!!
by: Anonymous

I get so pissed off when I see the Wounded Warrior Project spending millions of donor dollars on fancy TV adds and they seem to spend millions as well with all the TV Networks to inject themselves into every feel-good story that NBC,CBS,ABC,FOX run.

For God's sake, people, do your homework and take a look at their IRS reports and financials !!

The WWP does little to nothing for wounded veterans and most of the tens of millions they raise from the naive American public just goes to raise more money to keep the cash cow flowing for the managers and "Select" wounded veterans on the payroll.

Even the backpacks and toothbrushes they give away are donated to them free of charge from Under Armor!

Mar 21, 2013
WWP: A Charity for Vets that's Anti-Guns?
by: Anonymous

I *was* in the process of trying to put together a fairly decent sized charity event, which WWP was to be the recipient of the proceeds from, however, after catching wind of something that truly disturbed me, that became shaky, and then looking at the finance records and their poor ratings, WWP has completely been exiled from that idea.

The bad news that started it all was catching a post on facebook that a friend posted, saying something about WWP not allowing companies to utilize their logos and refused to be associated with the company if they had anything to do with firearms or knives.

I thought it was a bit odd, then I look into it and an unnamed knife company had planned to make a special edition folding knife with the WWP logo etched into the blade and/or engraved into the handle, with all proceeds being donated to WWP, but, because they make knives they were told no.

A little more digging pulls up that they refused a media appearance because the outlet was a pro-gun media source, and when they asked why, they were told "WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies." in an email from their PR Director.

So...they don't want donations from groups that're religious, or have anything to do with firearms?

Aren't those two pretty large cornerstones of the military?

Firearms are what helps to bring home our warriors, whether wounded, or not, and religion is what most of our warriors turn to, in times of crisis to keep their hopes up, and keep their courage is it not?

I'd say, if you're considering giving any money to WWP, send them a letter, telling them that until they change their policies from being against an industry that is a major component of the military's functional existence, and remove their utterly nonsensical aversion to religious groups, that you'll send your money elsewhere. I know that Operation Homefront will most likely be the recipient of my benefit event, and encourage you all to take a look at them if you want to support veterans and want to know that it's going to a good place.

Feb 02, 2013
Religious Organization
by: Nicole

I need to know why and who decided that you could NOT take money for a Church? {Why would you do that to children that are being taught how to give and the cause for which they were collecting money for.} This really upsets me because you are the only organization I thought I trusted until I read your letter to the people of the church. Bill O'Reily started me on this when watching Fox and then Overstock has a place where you can give also. I need to know WHY you would not take their money to help your cause?

Jan 20, 2013
First Hand Account
by: Mike

First, I have done zero research into the financial backing of the WWP or any other charity. From an accounting standpoint, I have zero credibility. I am, however, a veteran of the US Army, medically retired for combat wounds.

I awoke in the hospital in Germany with nothing but the battered uniform I was wearing. On the chair in my room was a backpack someone had dropped off while I was unconscious, containing basic toiletries, a shirt, shorts, flip flops, and the essentials people take for granted. Only after I was retired almost a year later did I learn it was from WWP.

Since I have been out, they have provided me the opportunity to take a 5 day resort to help treat PTSD, multiple Soldier Ride events, concerts with other wounded veterans (to include backstage with Roger Waters), etc, all free of charge.

This has included full transportation (air fare, tour buses, etc), all meals, equipment (such as riding jearseys and shorts for the soldier rides, helmets, gloves, bags for gear, etc) and events.

As if that all wasn't enough, at any event there were not only fully trained staff and (if necessary) trained medical personnel, but licensed mental health professionals, experts in the VA claims system, etc ready to help with any issues, problems or situations the veteran may have.

They have even provided a team of lawyers to help with the VA claims process at no charge.

The assistance and experiences I have received from the WWP have been a score above and beyond the VA, Army, or any other group. To date, there has not been a single thing they have done that I have asked for, it was all simply offered by them after joining as an alumni.

So when it comes down to it, being one of the wounded veterans that is in question here, I could not care less how much their employees are being paid, because they have provided some of the nicest, most helpful associates I have ever dealt with, with no one having ever asked for so much as a thank you in return. If you want an organization that truly helps the veterans who have earned it, no other comes close to the WWP. If anyone has any questions regarding this organization, you're more than welcome to shoot me e-mail (silversoldiertt AT gmail.com).

In response to someone above, while I don't know about the transition units in any of the other branches, I was a member of a transition unit in the Army for wounded soldiers in treatment or transitioning to the civilian world for nearly a year. This was called a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). I've not heard of any military units being referred to as Wounded Warrior anything, so I am not sure how a military unit could be confused with the WWP and cause any confusion at all with donating funds.

Mike, thanks for sharing your story. Paperwork can't tell the whole story, so accounts like yours help round out the picture. I just wish WWP would do more to help wounded veterans struggling to make ends meet while their claims and appeals are pending.

Jan 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

I wanted to donate to WWP and did this internet check and found this site.. I read the comments from way back in 2011..

I saw where Bill O'Reilly and Trace Adkins were going to be notified re these things.. Have you heard from either one of these gentlemen and if so what were your findings? I doubt Bill O'Reilly who donates much of his income from his site and sales. Of which I have purchased some.. wouldn't knowingly participate in this.. He truly cares about our Vets and Patriots..

I will dismiss the comment re "right wingers" in a previous comment.. geeez.. Our Vets have given much ..if even some of the stuff written here is true it is a disgrace and should be more than just blogged on this site..

Caveat Emptor .. Let the buyer beware.. Too often we rely on people we trust.. ie a Bill O'Reilly,a Trace Adkins.. and numerous others who support our wounded Vets.. It is really disheartening to read these things. thanks for this site..

Anon, thanks for your comments. We have not heard from either Trace Adkins or Bill O'Reilly, but will attempt to reach them again.

Dec 08, 2012
Wounded Warrior Project
by: MikeD

Their logo is "The saddest thing is being forgotten."

The calender they have been sending me for years and which I have been "trying to ask them" is Please mention OUR "D-DAY JUNE 6 1944" Veterans.

Oh well, the magnetic Bumper Sticker says "MADE IN CHINA." DAD would not have appreciated that!

There aren't many June 6-1944 D-Day Vet's left! Some mention would be nice.

"God Bless All Of You Veterans And Thank You For Our Freedom!"

MikeD, Citizen Responder 9/11/2001, Bayonne,N.J.

Mike, are you saying that there is no mention of D-Day on WWP's calendar? That's incredible. Even though this group's focus is on vets of Iraq & Afghanistan, we don't see how any organization that truly cares about this nation's veterans could ignore "The Longest Day."

Thanks for your comment.

Dec 01, 2012
by: Bob, Comd. VFW Post 8400

For several years our membership has set aside funds to donate to WWP and the Fisher house. I myself donate each month and have for a couple years.

At the monthly meeting Nov.27, 2012, It was brought up about a TV show ( I didnt see ) about a review of WWP and the funds.

I to question the D rating on a project I greatly support. In going through different sites as to salarys and percentages. I didnt write the names of persons, but. CEO. $435,000 some of the directors were $150,000 to $185,000 and a whole lok of them.

It sent a chill up my spine like we've been duped. If you're saying you're at a 82% is going back to that wounded person, then that is a good thing, then you need to do what ever it takes to improve your rating.

Remember Jerry Lewis and all the hard work he did for years was hurt bad by a rumor. So please do your best to keep that from happening and thanks for helping all hurting service people. Merry Christmas.

Bob, thank you for your comments. We would encourage you to take the 82% figure with a grain of salt.

Once you understand the "creative accounting" that is permitted under the IRS rules, and the fact that donations "in kind" (donations other than cash, such as donated airtime for advertisements, donated celebrity endorsements, etc.) skew the percentages in the charity's favor, you'll realize you can't rely on such percentages for the full story. That's why we go straight to the charity's tax returns to get our information.

Please see AIP's Veterans Charities Report for an explanation of these issues.

We encourage you to continue your support of Fisher House and her sister charities, which are extremely efficient at fundraising without using third-party for-profit leeches that siphon off funds intended for our vets.

Thank you for your service, and your continued service through VFW.

Nov 03, 2012
A Little Comparison
by: GrumpyOne

Yes, WWP is increasing its "public awareness" to more cable stations. Just the other day, I got a flyer supporting them in my regular weekly junk mail dump.

Compare them at providing less than 50% of revenue to their "clients" with the Salvation Army whose CEO earns a whopping $16K per year, manages a billion dollar plus organization where 96% of donations go to clients.

If I were a person of wealthy means, I'd be hard at work to do away with WWP and let other veterans groups take over their supposed "work."

Nov 03, 2012
by: Jaron B

I find the incessant WWP ads on MSNBC troubling.

Is Trace Adkins paid for his participation? If so, then donations to the organization go in part to a partisan Republican who supports policies that result in reduced funding to the VA.

The ads are misleading in that Viet Nam vets are mentioned by Adkins, but in fact do not qualify for benefits. Conservatives like O'Reilly complain about government waste, but the WWP donation-to-service ratio is terrible. Yet O'Reilly has no problem with that.

With so many worthwhile charities in need of donations, WWP does not deserve your contribution.

Jaron, I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm guessing that Trace Adkins has donated his time to record the ads for WWP.

Oct 02, 2012
Veterans Jobs
by: dogfish1

We keep hearing that our veterans, wounded or otherwise come home and are having a hard time finding work.

How many of WWP's employees are returning wounded servicemen and women?

As far as I can see the WWP staff are paid well.

One can type from a wheel chair or can answer a phone with a remaining arm.

How many wounded warriors do you employ?

Excellent observation and comment, Dogfish!

I have tweeted Trace Adkins with a suggestion that as the public face of WWP, he may want to read the information on this page.

Maybe if we ALL tweet him, and post to his FB wall, and e-mail (if we can find an e-mail address), he'll finally get the message. I think Trace is a good guy who means well, but hasn't done sufficient research before getting involved.

Aug 20, 2012
The "Public Awareness" Loophole
by: GrumpyOne

The real black hole with the WWP is the "public awareness" segment of the budget. This can be uncovered with careful scrutiny of the IRS filings.

When combined with fundraising the actual amount of the total budget devoted to services to veterans falls below 50%. This should land it a solid "F" grade.

I've also noticed that WWP ads on Fox are on the increase. Not good news for good veterans care stewardship.

Someone with authority needs to investigate this organization...

Aug 20, 2012
Check out WWP's rating at Charity Navigator
by: Mike Bender

Go to http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12842

Read up on the costs and the way the donations are handled. WWP has a good rating according to that site.

Mike, thanks for sharing that link. I wouldn't call Charity Navigator's rating of WWP a "good" rating.

The overall rating is 53.37 out of 70, or 76%. But the financial rating is 46.49 out of 70, or 66%. When I went to school, 76% was just barely a "C", and 66% was a solid "F."

I wouldn't call a C a "good" grade, and I think we can agree that an F is not a "good" grade.

Scroll down and look at the Income Statement.

It shows:

Program Expenses: $15,637,343
Fundraising Expenses: $16,080,499

WWP spends more money on fundraising than it does on programs to help our wounded warriors.

Read the comments from warriors who have participated in WWP, and you see that they provide "assistance" in the form of some pretty expensive "vacations" and "adventures," but nothing in the way of financial help to assist a wounded veteran who may be having trouble making ends meet due to the reduction in income, increased expenses, and often, the loss of the spouse's income, as a result of the service member's injuries and care needs.

Look at WWP's mission statement:

"The mission of Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Our purpose is:

1) to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women;

2) to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and

3) to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members."

In other words, their purposes are:

1) First and foremost, to raise money, by raising public awareness;

2) To help wounded warriors HELP EACH OTHER; and


3) To provide "unique" programs to meet the needs of injured service members.

The financial statements show they are doing a fine job of meeting their primary objective, raising money.

But they are NOT doing a fine job of providing "programs and services to MEET THE NEEDS of severely injured service members." (emphasis mine)

Our wounded warriors need SO MUCH MORE than "outdoor adventures." They need REAL assistance to put their lives back together, to find meaningful employment where they can continue to contribute to society, to find housing that will accommodate their injuries and needs, and sometimes, they need financial assistance to stabilize their lives and get back on their feet. But WWP does nothing to provide that, according to our readers.

The more I learn about Wounded Warrior Project, the less I like it. One of their directors is former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tony Principi. He should be leading the charge to provide REAL HELP to our wounded warriors, not lending his name to support an organization that does this poorly with the tremendous resources it has.

Aug 10, 2012
Wounded Warrior Project is a Scam
by: Semper Fi

The Wounded Warrior Project is a Scam pure and simple.

My group is still under threat of a lawsuit if we dont sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement as we dealt with them from the inside. Once made aware of what really goes on and how the money was spent, we severed our relationship.

Jul 16, 2012
WWP-Another "Guilt" Enterprise
by: Comoncents

If you look at their financials, you see that they have very high marketing costs and perhaps higher then normal staff costs. These are at a larger percentage then most would like to see in comparison to other organizations.

What is really telling to me is the fact that their business model is to lock in subscriptions at $19.00 dollars a month for which they give "gifts" of questionable value. This establishes a fixed revenue stream for which the organization can then control its outlays and as a result, control its level of profitability. In other words, unlike the veterans they purport to help who have a very uncertain future, this business model guarantees a predetermined return for this business totally within their control depending on how they handle outlays to vets, expenses and reserves. This is a much different model then only accepting voluntary contributions and attempting at least, a 90% charitable to expense ratio.

Other dubious organizations which purport to help starving children, abused animals, etc. have applied and perfected this same model to enrich the principals involved. They attempt to make us feel guilty with graphic visual presentations, so that we will open our wallets and feel less guilty about our own good fortunes in comparison and then hopefully, forget the small monthly stipend that we have obligated ourselves to.

Also, I don't assign much credibility to any ratings from an organization who charges a fee to publicly endorse or rate another. BBB and S&P come immediately to mind. So BBB endorsement of this organization means nothing to me.

I think WWP in concept, COULD be a very worth-while cause to help our wounded heroes; but it is their business structure and practices that leave me to wonder. In the meantime, there are other organizations that have much better financials doing this type of work. I think I will look for one of those.

Jun 13, 2012
WWP - Public Awareness
by: GrumpyOne

That's exactly right.

People get duped all the time. Most of the worthwhile charities are small, use very little or no advertising and pay modest salaries to the executive staff.

That's why the promos for Wounded Warrior Project raised a big red flag and it didn't take me a whole lot of effort to find out that recipients get a snail's share of the expenditures. Well over half of WWP's budget went for "public awareness" which is a big black hole kickbacks, cronyism and probably is the reason why it earned a "D" on this board.

Welcome, Grumpy. Thanks for joining our conversation.

"Public awareness" includes all those fancy TV ads you see to remind the other 99% about the 1% of Americans who are serving in the military. While making sure the "public" doesn't forget our service members is laudable, I wonder how much they spend on those? Surely it would be better spent by helping our wounded warriors meet their living expenses?

Jun 12, 2012
Know the difference
by: Tracy

I currently work with our wounded warriors through the Wounded Warrior REGIMENT, which is fabulous.

Make sure you have the right group in mind when commenting or researching. Wounded Warrior PROJECT is a different group.

Excellent point, Tracy! Many veterans charities and other veterans organizations have similar-sounding names, so investigate to be sure you are thinking/talking about the organization you intend.

Jun 03, 2012
WWP is out of control
by: StandUpForVets

As a veteran, I've been working in military and veterans circles for about 6 years now as a DoD Contractor. I network and interact with many Veterans Service Organizations, many times seeking financial assistance for needy vets.

WWP made a huge initial impact with me, but the more I see of them, interact with them and speak with their employees (many of whom brag about their awesome benefits), the less impressed I am. I know they take vets on fun trips and 'rehabilitative' outings (I'm ok with getting these guys and gals out of the hospital environment) but the staffers go multiple times in advance to 'check out' the venue, many times an out of state location and seemingly waste a lot of money 'in planning'.

Also, for many of the really awesome opportunities made available to wounded warriors, the same small, privileged few get to go, instead of taking first timers who've never gotten to go on a cool all expenses paid trip.

But, back to my original point, when it comes to helping a vet in desperate need to pay a bill, car payment, other essentials, they tell you it's not their mission to provide that type of aid or assistance.

So basically, if it's not fun fun fun to do, they have far less interest in the veteran's situation. I guess they also feel a veteran in that type of financial need will never become a huge donor, so why bother?

It's good that there is some exposure to WWPs practices being voiced here. I've felt for a while now that they've been misleading the public and even those involved in the veterans' community.

There is no participation or visibility in the local communities by WWP. They're too good to attend coalition meetings or volunteer in local events that don't specifically benefit WWP.

Also, unless you're raising big bucks at a charitable event, or are a big individual donor, don't expect a thank you call, letter or email even acknowledging your efforts.

Seek out some of the great organizations doing great things for our service members and veterans. They are out there.

God Bless all our veterans!

May 24, 2012
Wings Clipped?
by: GrumpyOne

I've noticed that the ads on Fox News have slowed to a trickle. This is a good sign that their wings might have been clipped a bit.

Thanks again for your efforts to expose what is a disgrace not to mention an outright theft of the public's money...

May 24, 2012
by: Tutu

I just donated to this charity upon the request of a bride & groom in lieu of gifts.

I had heard of WWP, and assumed that they were most honorable. After hearing a story about missing funds, I decided to check them out.

I am sick over the greed and blatant abuse of the generosity of people who wanted to give in support of our brave soldiers. Shameful!

If you can't trust an organization founded by a wounded warrior based on the premise of helping other ww's, who can you trust?

The bride & groom are patriots...
WWP pinheads...

Heartfelt thanks to those who serve to preserve our freedom.

May 22, 2012
by: Jim B

I too have donated to WWP and I shall not donate again.

May 09, 2012
My Suspicions Are Confirmed
by: GrumpyOne

I've taken notice that this organization, (WWP), is heavily supported by Fox News and decided to check into it a couple of weeks ago. Deciphering the figures cited in the last BBB rating, I concluded that the lion's share of expenditures that go for "public awareness" are simply a dilution of the amount actually provided to wounded vets.

Looking at what has been provided here confirms my suspicions. This organization is just another charity that is not worth a sailor's spit. The public is being duped by slick advertisements, not to mention that the CEO earns the same salary as the president of the United States.

As a veteran of a war way back in the 1960's, I take offense and feel that it is the government that needs to make veterans whole, not dozens of mostly bogus "charities."

You can believe that I have bookmarked this site and thank you for operating it...

Grumpy, thank you for your service, and Welcome Home!

I appreciate your kind remarks and hope you'll come back often and participate in various conversations here.

May 09, 2012
Wounded Warrior Project
by: Ann Jackson

I want to know what the rating is on The Wounded Warrior Project. I want to contribute to this organization. But I NEED TO KNOW IF IT HAS AN A RATING.

I give to the FISHER HOUSE and I know my money is going for something good. I am near a Marine Base and visit the place.

Ann, thank you for your support of our veterans.

Unfortunately, Wounded Warrior Project does NOT have an A rating. If you'll read all the comments here, I think you'll understand why.

If you read my response to "One More Comment" dated April 16, 2012, you'll see that for helping wounded veterans, I recommend Fisher House and the Center for the Intrepid's Fallen Heroes Fund. Both are part of the legacy of American patriots and philanthropists Zach and Eliabeth Fisher.

May 09, 2012
Attempts to Get Questions Answered Got Me Banned by WWP!
by: Confused

I attempted to contact WWP on Facebook and received a response. They responded with "you must be thinking of another organization".

I kept asking questions and was never given an answer on those questions. After asking specifically about why they only donate a small percentage to wounded guys, they deleted me off their page and blocked my ability to communicate.

The best part of this is that I took screen shots of EVERY step, and now I have proof that they silence those who ask questions. I will take this conversation as far up the chain as I have to.

Confused, I find this very interesting. Would you be willing to send me copies of your screen shots?

Wounded Warrior Project Board of Directors Vice President is former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi. Tony is a Naval Academy graduate and a Vietnam River Patrol veteran before becoming a Navy Judge Advocate. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him, although I was stationed with his wife, who was also a Navy JAG.

If you will send me copies of your screen shots, I will forward them to a mutual friend, and see if we can get a response directly from him. If he's not aware of this level of detail about the organization, I think it would be a good idea for us to let WWP's Board of Directors know how potential donors feel about their use of donated funds.

You should have received a "thank you" message after you posted, if you left an e-mail address and requested notification. If so, you can just reply to that e-mail and attach your screen shots. If not, please use our contact form.

Readers, please post here to let WWP's Board know how you feel about their use of your donations.

May 06, 2012
by: Anonymous

My husband was wounded in Vietnam and lost the use of his left hand. We were giving to Wounded Warriors and not realizing there was this conflict! Fisher House looks like a promising alternative.

I'm not against hiring qualified people, but excessive salaries are an insult to the generous givers to this charity! Thought when some famous people recommended it that Wounded Warriors was a safe bet. Not so.

Will be a lot more suspicious of any group we support. When my husband was discharged from the Marine Corps after many, many surgeries we got $50 from the Red Cross. That's why we want to help those who need a start after serving our country.

God Bless our Troops!

Anon, please thank your husband for his service, and tell him Welcome Home for us.

Fisher House is an excellent alternative, as is the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, also inspired by Zach and Elizabeth Fisher, who founded Fisher Houses.

Semper Fi.

Apr 28, 2012
Won't donate again
by: Pat

I was asked by my sister-in-law to donate to Wounded Warriors in memory of my brother-in-law who had just died. She stated that he had not served in any of the military organizations because of health reasons, but respected those who had and had expressed the wish that donations to WWP be made in his memory.

I finally got around to donating, but after reading all the above comments, will not do so again. I did get a Thank you by email - don't know if my sister-in-law received an acknowledgement.

My daughter was also asked to donate to WWP, but I plan to ask her not to do so if she has not already donated.

Apr 18, 2012
WWP - Displeasing
by: Justin

I'm a combat vet who contacted WWP about racing and knew they were involved with NASCAR.

I race AMA Road Races and really wanted to get them involved and have them on my bike. I never asked for money or free anything.

Ann from WWP contacted me with some interest, after speaking I was told multiple lies about why they are not involved in racing and they can be sued BLAH BLAH! But I could maybe have a race for them and basically send them the money.

I sent her pics of all the many vehicles with their logo on them and told her that vets are lied to enough. We don't need another organization telling us Bull.

After reading more about them I see that they seem to be "high on the hog" about themselves.

Save your money and time. This organization makes MILLIONS!!!

A good many of the homeless in America are vets...Give your money to them....Personally...

I give 'em an "F!"

Apr 16, 2012
One More Comment
by: Anonymous

Sorry, I just posted about how my in-laws gave $30,000 and didn't receive any thanks from the organization.

I see there have been lots of comments on executive pay. As a surgeon in the Air Force, I make a lot less than the directors of this organization. That is fine if they need to make that much money to keep "the best".

But what boggles my mind is that Mr. Melia was paid $230,000 as a "former director". On their tax forms it states that he worked 0 hours but collected that large some of money. I want that job!

Again, this makes me not want to donate another dime to WWP which is sad because after operating on hundreds of wounded warriors, I want to give back to them.

If anyone has better charities to donate to, please let me know.

Thank you for your service to our country, and to our warriors. And PLEASE thank your in-laws for their generous donation and their intention to help.

As for Mr. Melia's salary as a "former director," I agree that looks a little odd. He is also a severely injured vet who founded the organization, so that payment must be the result of a separate deal that was made with him, for whatever reason. Wouldn't we all like that job?

Specifically for wounded warriors, I wholeheartedly recommend the Fisher House Foundation and the Center for the Intrepid, both of which use their donated funds responsibly to help our wounded warriors. They are the results of the work of kind and generous benefactors Zach and Elizabeth Fisher. My husband was fortunate enough to meet Zach Fisher, and I'm so sorry I did not have the pleasure to meet such extraordinary people. What a legacy the Fishers have created!

Apr 16, 2012
Find Another Charity
by: Anonymous

I have deployed on 3 occasions as a flight surgeon and most recently as an eye surgeon at Bagram AB in Afghanistan. I saw first hand the injuries sustained by our heroes in war.

Each and every one fought hard for our country and by the time I saw them in the hospital they were fighting hard for their lives. I was fortunately not injured in the war but I wanted to give back to those who were.

I gave only a cursory look at the WWP and thought that they were doing good things. I wish I had seen this site before I encouraged others to donate. I recommended the WWP for donations to my family members.

My in-laws were very generous in giving $30,000 this past year. They received a short form letter "thanks" in the mail. Because of the impersonal response they received for such a large donation, I contacted the organization. Their representative said "sorry about that, we are trying to get better, please tell your family thank you".

After reading their financials, I see they are too busy counting their money to take time to thank donors and then actually help veterans injured in war.

My family won't be donating again to them, despite their desperate pleas that they need more money to support our troops.

Apr 01, 2012
Sandi from K9s for Warriors
by: Janet, Editor


I received your comment, and I would like more information about your group before posting your comments.

Please contact me with additional information and a contact e-mail.

Mar 08, 2012
TV Ads now constantly in our face
by: SSG Hobson

Six months in Walter Reed and many returns since retirement.

All I ever received from WWP was promotional products.

Does anyone ever notice that these new TV adds never explain what it is that WWP does?

I have turned to them for help and just get the run around, mostly pointing the finger to government agencies or outside charities.

Honest Americans who want to show their gratitude are getting duped.

It is shameful that WWP execs are profiting nicely on our misfortunes. Lucky for them we combat vets are resilient and overcome our challenges in humble fashion.

But the word must get out that WWP is a scam because a lot of good people are being ripped off.

I e-mailed Mr. O'Reilly and asked him to investigate. I believe he is an honest man - I hope I am right and he will turn this thing on its head.

Mar 06, 2012
WWP financial analysis by a tax accountant and former supporter of WWP
by: Anonymous

The WWP FYE 2010 Tax Return has been posted online.

Tax Accountant, thank you for sharing your expertise with our readers and your time to review the WWP tax returns.

We have moved your comments to their own separate page, Wounded Warrior Project Tax Returns Analyzed.

Feb 19, 2012
Wounded Warrior Project not what they advertise
by: USA

Once I saw first hand that the claims of 80+ percent of every dollar going to help the wounded troops were bogus my company was done with The Wounded Warrior Project.

I also spoke with actual wounded veterans in the so called TRAC program. They all to a man were very dusgusted with what they in truth received and what the Project advertised to the public.

Some stated that all they got was a backpack and a toothbrush for all the tens of millions the Project took in. I think this is a fake charity.

Feb 14, 2012
WWP Gives No Financial Support
by: purpleheart vet

Does everyone realize that WWP doesnt even financially assist wounded warriors?????

They will send me skiing and pay for everything.

But if my kids are starving to death then I am out of luck.....

Just wanted to make sure you understand what they do and don't do.

Purpleheart vet, thank you for your service to our country and for helping to preserve our freedom. And thank you for sharing that information so people can be more informed.

Feb 09, 2012
You're Comparing Apples and Oranges
by: Janet, Editor

Dear Former #1 Supporter,

I understand what you're saying about teachers and police officers (and military members), but that's really comparing apples and oranges.

When you research salaries paid to top executives of charitable organizations, they run the gamut from those who serve without pay (generally smaller local groups who don't raise much money) to those who are paid millions themselves (very large national or international organizations, like Red Cross). You have to pay salaries that are competitive within the particular industry in order to get someone with the right kind of experience.

I did this research several years ago when I was asked to consider heading up a new troop support organization, which unfortunately never got going. It took so long for the lawyers to get all the "setup" paperwork done that the initial donors lost interest and moved on to something else, which was really unfortunate - there's still a need for the work this group wanted to do.

Military and veterans charities are among the charities most likely to have contracts with 3rd party fundraisers who extract an exorbitant percentage of funds raised for their services.

My personal opinion is that this happens because these charities are most likely to be headed by veterans themselves, who have no knowledge of the charitable fundraising world, so they "turn it over" to these groups that do. They probably don't know enough to know that these fees are out of line, or that they could probably negotiate a better deal if they tried.

It's really too bad, because we know most of these people have a genuine desire to serve the troops, but they're sold a song and dance routine by the professional fundraiser groups about how it "takes money to make money" and the one that really irks me: "even if you only get 10% of the money we raise, that will still be more money to help the troops than you could raise on your own."

Yes, but what about the fact that you're basically defrauding the American public, because they donate all these millions thinking their money is going to the troops, not to some greedy third-party for-profit fundraising group?

Most would be appalled if they knew. Unfortunately, not enough people do their research before giving to these groups.

For the most egregious example we've found to date, see our article and the resulting comments about Disabled Veterans National Foundation.

Feb 09, 2012
Claim of 82 cents per dollar is hogwash!
by: Former #1 Supporter

I have always been a huge supporter of our troops and an advocate for paying for their care. I have donated to WWP in the past and was in the process of putting together a fundraiser to raise money for their organization.

I have 11 team members and we are in the execution stages of an event planned in September. We are completing a website, and have accessed connections in media that could produce thousands of donations. I am thankful that we haven't officially selected WWP as our charity.

I had always assumed the WWP was a highly efficient organization based on its highly visible advocates. When I read that they gave 82 cents per dollar I was satisfied enough.

Last night I stumbled upon this website and was appalled at the comments. I decided to do my own research and was equally sickened by their claims of giving 82% back to the soldiers. Let's take a look at how they get this number. I will refer to this "Audited Financial Statement."

On page 3 you can see that they spent $54.9M on Program Services expenses out of a total of $66.96M total expenses. Simple division and you get 82%. That is how they claim that number.

But take a look at the next two pages to see exactly where that $54M goes.

To start, over $25M goes to "Media Ad Value." While it is certainly hopeful that $25M in ads will bring MORE than $25M in donations... that money does not count as going to the soldiers in MY book.

As you look down the list, the benefit that gets to the individual soldier is hard to account for.

How much of the nearly $2M spent on travel is for the executives and the board vs. a wounded warrior? How much of the $5M spent on postage is spent on getting items to the warriors? How much of the $317K spent on Telephone is spent talking to warriors?

I also found out that the top executive received $200K as well as an additional $190K that he received as a "consultant." $400K for a year for overseeing 100 employees? The whole "You need to pay to find good executives" argument is PURE hogwash.

There are millions of teachers, police officers, firefighters, and soldiers that give their entire lives away for $50K a year. Are you telling me that those people don't exist in the business world? Business is just people talking to people. The skills needed are no different than being a principal or police chief.

The more that I looked at the statement, the more "smoke" I saw. My organization has decided to forgo the WWP as the recipient of our funds and to focus on a charity that offers more than inflated advertising budgets, excessive executive pay and empty promises to our warriors.

Feb 04, 2012
by: Anonymous

For the 3rd year in a row, injured heroes have been taken to places that are inaccessible to them - in Whitefish MT - INCLUDING FUNDRAISERS fully sanctioned by and in fact promoted by Wounded Warrior Project.

Wounded Warrior Project management is well aware of the lack of access by these businesses that are required to be accessible, but has decided they have the right to "suspend the ADA" by giving their violation a trendy new name - the name of the title held by the chaperone that saw the violations and did not report them last year, but assured us someone would take notice THIS TIME..

The irony and hypocrisy is unbelievable. They go to an event planned for them in places they can not get into independently or with dignity and safety, or go to the bathroom (because it's not accessible at all), so Wounded Warrior Project can raise money to help them live independently...in direct violation of the law that was enacted specifically to protect their right to access independently. And they get PAID to do this.

Individuals who are terminated from WWP are bound by a confidentiality agreement, but soldiers from past events are speaking out about these issues with far more frequency.

I will never support Wounded Warrior Project in any fashion ever again.

Feb 01, 2012
WWP is incomprehensible!
by: chief

Take a look at WWP 990s:

Over $50,000,000 in revenue, almost $20,000,000 of which is "in kind" or donated advertising; another $10 - 15,000,000 is paid advertising. Staff costs including pay, benefits, occupancy, utilities, travel (transportation, meals, lodging), furnishings, computers, supplies, etc, etc, eat up another $10,000,000.

Of the remainder some $650,000 in grants are made to the troops and something called "kits" are apparently mailed.

Jan 12, 2012
Free stamp from WWP
by: Anonymous

Received an envelope with 'free stamp' from WWP this week.

Seemed like a great cause, but after about an hour of searching on the value of this and several other charities for veterans, including DAV, to which I have given in the past,
I have to admit I am disappointed in the results.

Based on the comments and objective evaluations of the return on investment from the donations, I will be looking for other ways to help our deserving veterans.

Dec 23, 2011
Service retired
by: Jim B

After reviewing WWP's financial statement I have decided not to contribute.

With compensation of $199,676 it seems Mr. Melia has done very well for himself.

What is public awareness that costs $22,784,679 per year?! That is a lot of awareness - or is this just a way to hide funds?

Also staff compensation of $30,2008 is a lot of staff, or they are paid really well. I am sure the organization is involved in some good, but it seams that many people are getting rich in the process.

Jim, thank you for your comments. I don't have a problem with a salary of $199K for a senior executive - that's not out of line. Charities must pay competitive salaries in order to attract top-notch people, and that salary is not excessive.

What I do have a problem with is the amount that is being spent for "public awareness" (all those TV commercials you see, for one thing) and professional fundraisers.

That money could go a long way towards providing more benefits for wounded troops and their families!

Dec 12, 2011
Still a "D" from AIP
by: Anonymous

FYI, in the December 2011 Charity Watch guide (from AIP), WWP still has a D rating for very high Administrative/FR costs and a low percentage going to programs and services.

I want to scream at the radio every time I hear one of their (many) ads.

Thanks for this update. Sorry to hear they're not doing better by our troops.

Dec 01, 2011
WWP is a Shameful NGO/NFP
by: Sky Soldier OEF VET

Having been involved with WWP for a few years as an alumni and also having a buddy on the inside, I have become privy to a few items that will make your heart sink.

First, there is the amount of travel going on - it's obscene.

If you donate, you are paying for a lifestyle for WWP employees. The amount of SWAG they are giving back to the actual Wounded Warriors is a joke ... I haven't even received a single t-shirt.

As far as some of the public awareness funds some of it is going into this useless card called "veterans advantage" (miniscule discounts of services, travel and prescriptions).

When asked to help myself and other veterans, there is very little in the way of help to be received. The VSO's never call... advocacy is failing to tackle real issues for veterans and their families. As far as job placement, they have never followed through on their promises.

It's a clique of people who have realized that NGO/NFP's are a good way to milk large companies and the public to pay for golf trips and prop up resumes.

I am so disgusted with many of the new OIF/OEF NGO/NFP's claiming to advocate and be of assistance...IAVA and WWP are in my opinion almost criminal in misrepresentation and projection of veterans' needs and services rendered.

Nov 23, 2011
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund alternative to WWP
by: Art

I'm a Marine veteran and currently a police officer.

My Crossfit gym wanted to do a fundraiser for the "troops" and were going to donate the proceeds to WWP, but after I did some research on Charity Navigator and this site (MMM) we decided to contact the Injured Marine Semper Fi fund and donated to them instead.

They have a very good rating and are very nice people as well. They don't have the advertising budget or slick commercials like WWP, but I'm glad we were able to send our money to a place where over 95% of it will be going to the programs to help the injured folk.

Thanks to Charity Navigator and MMM for getting this info out to us.

Art, thank you for taking the time to submit your comments, and thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you found our information useful.

Nov 05, 2011
Disturbing Television Commercail
by: Anonymous

I'm seeing a disturbing television commercial.
For $19 a month, you can help wounded veterans.
So, if I understand this correctly, the Veterans Administration isn't taking care of our people that come home and are no longer in one piece.

Tax dollars are spent to train, send and equip them to foreign soils; they come home and some independent funding (who knows how much of that would even go towards our vets) has to supplement
what should already be be paid for and taken care of.

We are indeed in trouble if the very few who profit from war cannot also fund their after care. Another thing, fireworks upset veterans, they've heard enough explosions on the killing-fields and so respect their want for silence.

They all come back with post trauma syndrome so again, please respect the poor souls who went over and fought for reasons not made clear to we
lowly ones...our freedom is and will always be intact.

Thank you and learn that national boundaries are now only electronic blips on GPS...the worlds' poor people do not gain from any of this.

Nov 04, 2011
Trace Adkins ad ...
by: Veteran

Trace Adkins promo song implies WWP supports ALL (or at least Vietnam Veterans).

If you were injured before 9/11/2001 - WWP provides NO SUPPORT !

Oct 27, 2011
by: Mac

I would like to hear Bill O'Reilley on The Factor explain why 80% of the income of WWP, which he supports, goes to raising money.

That is not a good deal for our troops!

Oct 14, 2011
Why Not Hire Vets, Wives, or Widows?
by: Anonymous

My question is the same as Ron's. I have two in the Army, between them 42 years. They both have spent many deployments in the Middle East. They are exhausted and broken.

Over the years I have given hugely to WWP and Soldiers Angels project.

Recently I stopped sending checks, as I'm hearing of too many people getting high salaries plus benefits, who have never served themselves.

Why isn't there a concern of jobs going to vets or wives or widows?

Oct 13, 2011
Wounded Warrior Project is Unresponsive and Frustrating to Try to Work With
by: Company CEO

I am Pres. & CEO of a company that makes a product that assists disabled persons. Product use is literally the difference between a life of institutional care and a life at home with family.

I don't wish to state my company's name or the product. This is not intended to be an ad; this is about doing good work to help.

I understand the needs here - my family members are serving. I created a company project to assist this country's brave men and women who have given their physical health to the cause of freedom.

I reached out to WWP 17 times in the past 9 days. Before the first call, Google search sent me to their fundraising site. The REAL home page link is hard to find.

With each call, I got the NYC office. They transferred me to sponsorship even though I made my reason for calling VERY clear. I got a message thanking all for $11 million raised at a breakfast fundraiser; the WWP was overwhelmed and could not take on any sponsorships or corporate partnerships at that time (Oct 2011).

I had to push another button to speak with someone past the linguistically challenged and unprofessional receptionist. I was transferred to Dawn, who would not give her last name. She referred me to an outside charity.

This floored me so I called back; she had hung up on me. She transferred me to a person named Jason in their Chicago office ? she wouldn?t give me a direct number. I left 11 messages on Jason's voice mail; no return call. I'm not counting calls that dumped me to the fundraising line.

What organization turns away new partnerships? With a budget for management that pays high salaries that claim to justify the hiring of high productivity persons? Not enough people to handle fundraising given a budget in the millions?

Who sends people to an outside organization when they claim to provide the same services? Who doesn't give out last names of employees?

Who doesn't allow direct access to persons responsible for management of a project? The open-eyed person would conclude: "one that has become more interested in fundraising than doing the actual mission work."

My employees have agreed to donate 400 hrs of production time to build products. We reduced the selling price to cost. We need to connect the people in need with the product.

I have found WWP to be in line with other groups that are looking to pay a salary while doing some good to justify existence and fundraising efforts. Where there is a tear, there is a profiteer.

I won't pursue the WWP further.

When organizations start to move budget expenditures around to cloak actual expenses, you have to take considerations to a higher level - and that takes way too much time away from the mission.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Contact Center for the Intrepid, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the Fisher House Foundation. All are honorable veterans charities who do great work for our wounded warriors and receive high marks from AIP.

Sep 29, 2011
No response from WWP for donations
by: Anonymous

In 2011, I have donated $350 {three hundred fifty dollars} to WWP. I have not received any response from them, or acknowledgement that they even received the donations. I will continue to contribute to WWP even though, but I would like to know that they got the money.

You would think they would observe the basic courtesy of acknowledging your donations and providing you with a receipt for tax deduction purposes.

Geez, Louise, how hard is that? A form letter and a 44-cent stamp!

Sep 24, 2011
helping the military
by: adam

I am considering doing the $19 a month donantion & have read most of the comments . I have been contacted to help manage a new organization that will help veterans with PTS, drug and alcohol priblems get re introduced to social skills and a better future. I know that the maximum 10% to 25% for opersting expenses is the key to a good charity. I don't understand how WW could give such a low percentage as some say when it is so highly endorsed by a Bill O Reilley on Fox news . If you like him or not ,he apprars to have the resources to get to the real facts ,and he believes WW project is top notch.

Having access to facts and interpreting them can be two different things. ALL of us have access to the facts, on WWP's tax returns. (Link in an earlier comment.)

Any of us can review the tax return ourselves. But few people do, and even fewer understand it. So they ask for help.

I have no personal experience with WWP, so I can only tell you what I see, and what readers have shared about their personal experiences.

Wounded Warrior Project's tax return for 2009-2010 is 47 pages, and it can be confusing to understand.

On page 10 (statement of functional expenses), each total expense is allocated to program service expenses, management & general expenses, and fundraising expenses.

The accounting rules for non-profits allow them to allocate expenses differently from what most donors expect.

For example, many donors believe that compensation expenses belong under "management & general expenses." That would make sense. On the other hand, the salaries of people who do no "management" of the organization and provide program services could fairly be considered program expenses.

There?s no way to know how WWP allocated those numbers without talking to their accountants.

WWP spent $9,228,455 on salaries, other compensation, pension plan contributions, payroll taxes, etc.

Of that total, $6,211,216 (67.3%), is allocated to program services. From the tax return, there's no way to know if that's the actual amount for employees providing exclusively program services, or if it's just a percentage allocation.

Also, of that total, $1,875,169 (20.3%) is allocated to fundraising expenses. Is that the salaries of employees whose primary function is fundraising? Doubtful. It looks more like a percentage allocation.

Finally, only $1,142,070 (12.4%) of the $9.2 million total is allocated to management & general expenses.

That doesn't even cover the compensation of the "key employees, officers, directors, etc." listed on p. 8, which totals $1,744.201.

So it may be an arbitrary percentage allocation rather than an actual allocation, but I can?t be sure.

Page 10 lists $907,188 for fundraising exp, but Schedule G shows $1,485,886 JUST for coordination of direct mail, which is only one part of fundraising.

So what are the REAL numbers? It's almost impossible to figure out just from the tax return.

Sep 21, 2011
Question about the public awareness money
by: Thinkinboutit

After watching an ad for WWP, we were greatly impressed and are considering donating. Before donating I reviewed their financial statements etc. I followed a lot of comments and really I think I am only torn on one thing.

Public awareness? I get that it's important, but I guess I am having difficulty understanding how it seems so large compared to the total cost of the program itself.

Am I wrong in my thoughts about this? I don't want to donate to a program that spends the majority of the money on programs to make people aware. Or is awareness truly that important to the wounded vets that need assistance from my donation?

I get that their charter even states that making the public aware is important. I guess my beef is that their ad made the plea to assist the wounded vets, not make everyone aware of the wounded vets. WWP also made the claim that they assist the wounded warriors. But if the majority of the money received goes into "public awareness"....jeez, just how true is this?

It's a double-edged sword. The more people they make aware, of both the needs and their program, the more donations they receive.

Most of the large charities will tell you that without their public awareness programs, they wouldn't receive nearly as many donations. That's probably true, but if they weren't spending so much to generate those huge numbers, could they actually do more work for the wounded vets with the money they would get? There's no way to know.

Sep 20, 2011
wounded warrior project 990 form for 2009-2010
by: Anonymous

To check out any charity, especially this one, check out the 990 form. All honest charities will make this available. They cannot legally lie on this form.

For the wounded warrior projects go to their web site and find the financials button at the bottom.


Scroll down and click on "Form 990 2009-2010."

You will find useful info such as
income (line 8) $40 million
ceo and other salary (page 7-8) over $200,000
office expenses (page 10 line 13) $5 million

But what you really want to look at is "grants and other assistance to individuals" at the top of page 10 (line 2). This number is $597,000. This comes out to about 1.5% of the money donated goes to the wounded vets we think it goes to.

Make up your own mind but of every 100 dollars donated about a buck and a half gets to a vet. I personally would rather just give 100 bucks to a vet and be done with it. I hope this helps.

Aug 29, 2011
Re Comment JUL 3, 2011

To the individual who posted that they will not give to any orginization in which the CEO makes more then 100k a year, you're very mistaken.

Take a look at your CEO's from anything like LOWES, Bank Of America, 7 Eleven or even a low level Captain in the active duty makes 100k a year.

I work for a CAPT that couldnt command his way out of a wet paper bag but because he has a 4 yr degree from some no name college online we pay him to supervise a office responsable of planning parties and retreats for generals and retired COL'S. THATS SICK IN MY BOOK.

Leave the WWP to what they do best, HELPING THE SOLDIERS. Maybe you should go over seas and get your butt off the couch and stop moaning about everything people are doing to help soldiers.

Yours Truley,

SSG, we've published your comments, but are disappointed in the attitude they display, both towards our reader AND your Captain. Our reader was talking about charitable organizations whose CEO's are paid more than $100,000, not major corporations.

You're also mistaken about the amount your Captain is paid, unless he's getting some pretty hefty special pays.

That Captain is asked to shoulder responsibilities commensurate with his paygrade, as are you. He is entitled to your respect. Unless you intend for E-6 to be your terminal paygrade, you need a serious attitude adjustment. We hope you'll find it.

Aug 13, 2011
Wounded Warrior Project
by: Semper Fi

Think folks need to ask why Major General Hugh Forsythe USAF ret. resigned in disgust from the Board of Directors for the Wounded Warrior Project. Having spoke with him I would NEVER give a penny to WWP.

It would settle a lot of doubts and expose them for what they really are.

Semper Fi, if you are in contact with General Forsythe, please ask him to contact us, using our contact form. We'd like the opportunity to talk with him about Wounded Warrior Project.

Jul 18, 2011
Operation Support our Troops America
by: IraqVet

I went to see the LT Dan Band in Illinois this weekend, at an event run by Operation Support Our Troops America. They had 13k people, charging $25 a head, plus major sponsors. I asked their booth, and they claimed they had "all volunteer workers" and that nobody was paid or received benefits.

Is this true, because they racked up a ton of money, probably in the millions and I want to know if we as veterans had the wool pulled over our eyes.

Jul 11, 2011
Much Discussion About CEO Pay
by: Will

There seems much discussion about CEO pay and how it should reflect the job they do. While it does reflect the job they do it more importantly reflects the size of the whole organization.

For instance, some might be appalled at what the CEO of Red Cross makes per year. While the CEO of a similarly large organization (Salvation Army) makes an incredibly modest salary.

I don't want to quote numbers here because the full affect will be felt when you do the research for yourself and see the numbers.

My point is allegedly the CEO of WWP makes 200k a year to supervise and control less than a 100 employees. Seems to be a quite a huge disparity here, does it not?

Bottom line is executive pay should reflect the size of the organization and in this case the numbers don't reflect that and those who donate should be aware and cautious of that.

Will, thank you for joining our conversation and sharing your opinion. Your premise seems logical in one sense, and yet, not in another.

Does it require any less work or effort to manage a small organization than it does to manage a large one? It may, in fact, require more "nose-to-the-grindstone" type work from the CEO of a smaller organization, because there are fewer "assistants" or other employees to delegate to. And he's got a bigger job to do to raise enough money to keep the organization going.

Why should the CEO of a charitable organization be paid less than the CEO of another organization, just because his organization does charitable work? Their jobs, and thus, their efforts, will be similar. Why is one worth more than the other?

Let me suggest that those of you who are concerned about executive salaries do some online research regarding charitable organization's executive compensation. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Based on the research I did several years ago for a charitable organization in which I was involved, $200,000 is a little high, but is not out of line for a CEO's salary, depending, of course, on the size of the organization's purse. Look at it as a percentage of expenses, and then see if it looks out of line.

I think people are being distracted by the red herring of CEO's salary, and are losing sight of the millions of dollars that are going to for-profit fundraising and PR groups rather than to benefit our wounded warriors. The CEO's salary is paltry when compared to that amount.

Let's keep the focus on benefit to our troops, where it should be.

Jul 03, 2011
Follow the money
by: Anonymous

I will not contribute to ANY charitable organization that pays it executives over $100,000 per year.

I cannot accept your comment that "..you get what you pay for.". These are charities, and not for profit companies. Those that pay these high salaries will not get a dime from me.

I believe the head of the American Legion does not get a penny in salary.

Americans are too ignorant or lazy to do any checking on where their charitable donations put their money to use. I have scammed one time too many.

We certainly agree that people should know how the charitable organizations to which they intend to donate spend their money. That is the purpose of our section devoted to exposing how various charities use their funds.

Unfortunately, you are misinformed about the American Legion: Its 2009 tax return (the latest available) indicates that it paid $429,278 in compensation to current officers, directors, trustees, and key employees. That includes more than $103,000 paid to the two national commanders that year (they change mid-year). It spent another $12,789,566 in "other salaries and wages."

You're certainly free to disagree, but it is a fact that charitable organizations compete to hire the best executives, and they have to pay competitive salaries in order to hire qualified people (we've done a considerable amount of research into this). Running a charitable organization is different from running other kinds of businesses, so they must hire people who are experienced in charitable organizations.

We don't object to charitable executives being paid a fair salary to support their families.

What we object to is organizations that divert millions in donated funds to professional, for-profit, third-party fundraising organizations whose contracts give them the vast majority of the funds they raise (some as much as 97%).

That is the practice that needs to be stopped.

Jun 29, 2011
Saw the Trace Adkins commercial
by: Hope

I, too, just saw the commercial advertising the Wounded Warrior Project with Trace Adkins.

For my work I do medical transcription and type reports about veterans every day. It is very sad what happens to many of them while they are in military service, and sadder yet what happens once they come home and go looking for help from the country that they were just defending in their military service.

It saddens me even further to think that some of our fellow Americans will use a platform of charity to steal from us by luring us to donate money to what is supposed to be a good cause and then use it mostly for a good time instead.

I knew it was prudent to research WWP before I sent them a donation, and after reading all the comments on here, I think I will keep my money for now and find a better, hopefully more honest and more charitable organization that truly does put the veteran first.

I don't buy the excuse for one moment that charitable organizations must pay their leaders and employees high salaries. The less they pay themselves, the more likely it will be that the rest of us will want to contribute to the charity, and thus they will indeed be providing support to the veterans that they say they are raising the money for.

Hope, I understand what you're saying, but it is true that charities must pay their executives a reasonable salary in order to support their own families. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to hire qualified people.

But those salaries don't need to be exhorbitant.

The biggest problem we've run into is charities paying millions of dollars to for-profit fundraising groups. That's what needs to stop.

Jun 06, 2011
helping non-wounded warriors
by: Byron Jones

WWP is getting better every year and doing a great deal of good but there are huge numbers of non-wounded warriors and their families that have sacrificed, suffered and are still suffering emotionally and financially and they deserve our thanks and help also. The Thank A Warrior Foundation is trying to fill that void. Please check them out at www.thankawarrior.org and support them if you feel they are worthy.

Byron, thank you for reminding our readers that wounded warriors are not the only veterans who find themselves in need of assistance upon their return.

We have not reviewed Thank A Warrior, so will caution our readers to conduct their own review prior to making a donation.

Jun 02, 2011
Wounded Warrior Project , Inc. vs. Wounded Warrior Family Support, Inc.
by: Steve

The charity sued by Wounded Warrior Project was Wounded Warriors Family Support, formerly known as Wounded Warriors Inc. and the judgment was for $1.7 million.

WWP tried first to claim they owned the words-phrase "Wounded Warrior" (which they do not) and lost in the lower court. They appealed to the higher court and prevailed under the deceptive business provision.

The guy that lost the lawsuit is a retired Marine colonel, 2-tour combat vet in Iraq, and was actually doing some good things for vets. I believe they were located in Nebraska.

Bottom line WWP should have worked with him or helped rather then financially ruin him and his charity. That would have made more sense if it was really all about the wounded warriors at the corporate headquarters of WWP.

I guess it's all about the money.

Steve, thank you for providing that correction to your previous post.

I did find the case you mention, and I've written an article about it to give you and our other readers a few more facts (see link below). They paint a much different picture.

The case was not about WWP "owning" the phrase "Wounded Warrior," but about Wounded Warrior Family Support (WWFS) knowingly receiving donations intended for WWP. It did so by operating a website that was deceptively similar to WWP's in both name and appearance.

I think you'll find the facts outlined by the Court to be very different from what you were told: Wounded Warrior Project vs. Wounded Warrior Family Support, Inc.

If you read the Court's opinion, you'll see that WWP actually won the case at the district court level, where the $1.7 million verdict was rendered, and WWFS lost again on appeal.

Given your comment about WWP helping them instead of suing them, you?ll be interested to learn that in its early years, when WWFS was named Wounded Warrior Hospital Fund, operating in Germany, WWP did offer to assist WWFS with fundraising, but Colonel Folsom declined the offer.

Incidentally, the phrase "Wounded Warrior" IS trademarked, but not by either one of those organizations.

Please click on the link above to read more about the lawsuit.

Thank you for participating in our conversation.

Jun 01, 2011
To Anon that claims the other comments are Jibberish
by: Steve

Thanks to this website's administrator for supporting others' right to raise the issue of a bad experience with Wounded Warrior Project.

The Anon/Jibberish poster sounds like a plant to me and I am another that thru first hand experience will never again give to WWP.

I wasn't looking for any thanks for the money my group raised for them, but I WAS expecting that money to go to HELP the wounded warriors.

I don't care that the Wounded Warrior Project paid to get on the good side of the BBB ( Pay a fee and get a good rating) nor do I give a damn if the WWP gets high marks because "it's a great place to work."

What I do care about is finding out that donor dollars go for high salaries, travel and fancy retreats masked as fundraising, keeping a legal staff on retention to intimidate, threaten and sue other charities that actually do good work (Wounded Warrior Housing was sued and lost a judgment to WWP)under the false claim that they own the phrase "Wounded Warrior."

Editor's note: We have not independently verified the statements above.

WWP has one interest only and that's keeping the cash flowing for their own job security and helping wounded soldiers is a distant second or worse.

Just what is their charity rating these days? I'm guessing the "F" is correct.

May 24, 2011
I have never heard such Jibberish!
by: Anonymous

The information found on AIP is OUTDATED information since the report, which gave them a "D" rating; WWP has separated from the United Spinal Association and is now working as a separate entity.

Anon, our information clearly points that out, and also indicates the AIP ratings are from 2007.

Since separating they have been accepted by the BBB and have been named one of the best places to work not for the money but for the atmosphere.

"Acceptance" by the BBB entails payment of a hefty membership fee to be included in their listings.

I have personally seen how the WWP has helped encourage the wounded, raise morale and help families work through life changing issues. It is a shame to see what is being said about a great organization.

Anon, we're glad your experience with WWP has been a positive one; however, some of the people who've responded here have experience with them that is NOT positive, and they're entitled to disclose that, too. It's not jibberish just because it's different from your experience.

On a personal note if you are only raising money or helping the organization to get a "thank you" then maybe you should look inward to see what YOUR real reasons are for helping. I do know that I work with the wounded on a daily basis and if a smile or a even just a hand movement is all that I get then I feel blessed but if I get nothing just KNOWING that I have given a little bit of me for someone that has given so much is good enough.

Anon, I'm not sure who these comments are directed towards, but I don't think our readers can fairly be accused of only wanting to help to get a "thank you."

What they want is to know that the money they donate is going to the causes they intend to support, not to greedy third-party fundraisers, or to line officers and directors pockets. I'm not implying this is what happens at WWP, but it does happen in some so-called veterans charities, and unfortunately causes donors to become suspicious of ALL charities.

Thank you for the work you do to help our wounded. We all owe them a debt we can never repay.

Apr 22, 2011
Alleged Misuse of Money Donated to Wounded Warrior Project
by: Mike

Wounded Warrior Project is supposed to have misused a $200K donation from an active duty unit and used it for a managers only luxury retreat in the Shenandoah mountains. The 3-star commander is furious over this and no doubt will not allocate any funds to the them in the future.

It doesn't surprise me, based on what I have read here and heard from others. So much for helping the injured troops. The news agencies need to check this charity out.

Apr 22, 2011
Has WWP Been Downgraded to an F?
by: Anonymous

I was told today that they have once again been lowered and now stand at an "F" rating. Can anyone confirm this?

I understand they are spending large amounts of $$ on a fancy public relations campaign to rehab their "image."

Apr 21, 2011
Great Work being done
by: Ben

I am a wounded warrior who has benefitted greatly from WWP. I hear real warriors and families talk almost everyday about how their lives were changed, sometimes saved by WWP programs and the highly trained and dedicated staff.

Are the WWP executives and line employees compensated well? According to their 990, yes... well at least if you compare it to active duty military.

However, if you compare it to corporate America they are grossly underpaid, especially given the extreme importance of their work. The CEO of the organization makes less than $200K per year and has an incredibly difficult job and a critical mission. Compare that to any fortune 5000 company in a similar sized organization, with a mission that I believe we would all agree isn't even remotely as important, and the compensation pales in comparison, apprx. 70% less.

Let me say it like this: You get what you pay for, and I am fine with compensating these fine people what they are worth.

I am a wounded warrior, and I am a donor.... and I will ALWAYS be a donor. I suggest that everyone who posts here to read the book "uncharitable", and then post your thoughts.

The bottom line... Their mission, which is "to honor and empower wounded warriors" is getting done every single day... every staff person I have interacted with has been absolutely incredible, and the best at what they do... to me, that is worth whatever negative number crunching and financial document reviews are out there... at the end of the day the mission is being accomplished.

Apr 21, 2011
I will NOT give to Wounded Warrior Project

I wasn't aware of the D rating they had -- that is an outdated rating -- but I have spoken to wounded veterans that have gone thru their programs and not one story they tell would ever get me to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Their stories include fake claims on just how much of the donor dollars goes to the the wounded vets, being forced to pay for the Track Program, being required to sign a contract to make public appearances wearing shorts or short sleeve shirts to exhibit loss of an arm or leg for commercial exploitation, high salaries for management staff, new expensive cars for the same.

I understand they are also losing corporate sponsorships due to the lack of accountability.

Not a chance I will give anything to them -- and I like what Ive seen with other charities.

Apr 19, 2011
Who do they support?
by: Anonymous

A quick look at the web site gives me the impression that only wounded warrior since 9/11 qualify for any assistance - is that true?

The following information was copied directly from the WWP website:

Who does WWP serve?

Wounded Warrior Project's mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors who incur service-connected wounds, injuries and illnesses (physical or psychological) on or after September 11, 2001. You may also be eligible for the program if you are the spouse or family member and joining on behalf of a warrior."

So apparently the short answer is yes, that's true.

Apr 14, 2011
Confusion Means I Don't Give to WWP
by: Steve K

There are too many conflicting comments here for me to be sure that Wounded Warriors is a good charity to give my money to.

Therefore, until unequivocal positive A-B ratings are given to the WWP, they can put Trace Adkins, Taylor Swift, Ex Presidents HW Bush or George 2 on TV, I'm not giving.

There are plenty of other good charities that earn A ratings like Fisher House etc.

So like my title says confusion means I don't give to WWP.

Mar 31, 2011
Selfless Service - Wounded Warriors Project
by: CW3(P) Nathan Tierney

Having traveled frequently to Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, I have personally seen the work of the Wounded Warriors Project volunteers and staff.

In each case, they have treated wounded veterans with the dignity and respect that they so richly deserve.

Similarly, I have personally witnessed 18 fellow Americans stare at one of our young wounded warriors, a dual amputee, as he struggled to put his backpack on walking out the front door of Walter Reed.

Perhaps rather than judging another organization's administrative costs as expensive or not, we should each first look inward and answer that most fundamental of questions, "Will you stay on the sidelines and stare as a safe observer, or will you go forward and ask 'How can I help?'"

Issues facing veterans are not only the veterans? issues. Failure to recognize or address veterans? problems weakens the armor of our society, by abandoning those who served and sacrificed in the name of our country. And yet so many of us stand on the sidelines. Why?

Selfless service forms the core foundation of both our country, and our willingness to wear the uniform of our armed services.

Selfless service is shown in many ways, from a soldier risking his or her life to save a fallen comrade, a teacher tutoring a struggling student after class, or a volunteer working at a homeless shelter. There are countless ways in which each of us can serve others.

And regardless of sensational media stories, or partisan politics, all forms of selfless service are equal and needed.

As protectors of the founding ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we each have a story that has the potential to inspire other Americans to serve as well.

What is your story? "Fronts Change. Memories Don?t."

To learn more about what you can do, or to share your story, please visit The Frontlines. Thank you.

Very respectfully,
Nathan W. Tierney

Chief Warrant Officer Tierney, a wounded warrior and veteran of six combat tours, has created an ambitious project called The Frontlines, where he encourages you to tell YOUR story of selfless service to our nation.

He believes that by preserving your stories of service, you can help inspire other Americans to selfless service to their fellow man, whether in the military or elsewhere.

Sharing your story is a powerful way of healing, and many veterans tend to keep their stories to themselves. We encourage you to share your stories in writing, music and/or art by clicking on the link above.

Mar 21, 2011
by: Anonymous

While many complain that the "administrative" costs/salaries are too high - you get what you pay for in an employee. If you want a successful business person to run your organization, you have to pay them a reasonable amount.

At least these organizations are donating a portion of their profits to a good cause, which is better than most Corp America titans. Be happy they do what they do. Just my 2 cents.

Mar 10, 2011
Makes a person feel like they are being used
by: Anonymous

Have been sending much monies to various vets org.

After looking at some of expenses and how nuch really gets to the vets, makes one wonder if it is worth it to see high wages, soliciting costs and other expenses. I'm beginning to think I just might just want to send it directly to a V.A. Hospital.

Mar 04, 2011
WWP & TAC "Aid for Wounded Warriors"
by: USAF Vet

Can anyone comment about any known links between the WWP and the Team Azalea Charities (TAC) effort "Aid for Wounded Warriors"?

I'm planning to fund-raise for TAC via their "Run for Wounded Warriors" in the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon this October.

TAC is an "all volunteer" organization and claims to give nearly 100% of donations received to service-affiliated Medical Centers (e.g., Walter Reed) and several of the "A rated" charities listed here(Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, etc.).

From my limited ability to research the charity it looks legit, I'm just looking for any counter-perspectives or other experience.

BTW -- since I think they're legit and if you're looking to give, I'm collecting small donations for the TAC/Aid for Wounded Warriors program at:

Feb 21, 2011
Another WWP?
by: Kent Mitchell

I've seen Trace Adkins on a commercial for Wounded Warrior Project and it might be another WWP.
The website is supportwwp.org. They want to secure monthly donations varying from $19 on up.

I hope you can help us find out if this is a scam or a bunch of good guys.

Semper Fi

Kent, the web site you mention seems to be just another site operated by the Wounded Warrior Project, not a different group.

Feb 15, 2011
Concerned and still seeking an answer
by: BJB

I am a Vietnam veteran with awesome respect for our soldiers of today. I have visited Walter Reed and was in awe of the Wounded Warriors that I encountered there. Their positive attitude is wonderful to see.

In addition to joining the Walter Reed Society, I have been looking for another worthwhile charity to help support these brave soldiers. I thought Wounded Warrior Project was the answer, but have pause due to some of the comments on this page. I have contributed small amounts ($100 on two occasions).

I am not doing it for the thanks, but I do think it would be nice to receive a letter of acknowledgment. After all, as another comment stated, we are deluged with mailings "begging" for money.

To be honest, I would respond better, and probably give more, if all I received was a personal note after each individual donation. I am continuing my search for the charity for my future donations.

Feb 03, 2011
by: whistleblower

I pulled this from WWP's own financials on page 11 of 2009 annual report." Each TRACK student receives a scholarship that provides all books,materials."

TRACK students' tuition, books, and school supplies are covered by VR&E, chapter 31. But the reader is lead to think tuition is covered by WWP.

Several TRACK alumni have told me that when checking in to the TRACK program they meet with a Voc rehab counselor to have the VA purchase books, supplies, a laptop and an Ipod as an organizer. THE VET PAYS FOR all that with their educational benefit, not the Wounded Warrior Project.

WWP also tries to secure a sizeable donation from whichever private business volunteers resources and the opportunity for the externship.

This is a misleading charity that does not quite deliver the bang for the buck in helping warriors.

DON'T GET ME WRONG I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR ME, but they put a lot more everything into fundraising than in actually providing assistance.

Feb 03, 2011
by: Anonymous

I am an alumni of WWP. I wonder where the money is going? for example, WWP's Track Program pays for the laptops, books and tuition with the Warrior's OWN Chapter 31 benefits, yet WWP claimed they paid the tuition themselves in their own brochures.

Lodging and the stipend were provided very gratefully to the TRACK students, along with a backpack provided by Adidas or Under Armour.

WWP broke down and bought business suits (at a $200 limit) after the staff wanted the warriors to pay with the stipend that shrank from one cohort to another. My friend in Track said it went from like $640 to under $500 bi-weekly.

Several WWP alumni have asked for real assistance after graduating, some with children, and WWP provided them with no support at all except a list with Duval public assistance.

I am grateful for all they have done, but with all the income WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING? Just to more fundraisers. Most of the staff is fundraising with a few mentoring, running the TRACK program, and a few more assisting trasitioning active duty.

The project could do a lot more to actually assist and empower wounded warriors with what they currently have. Their Warriors to Work program leaves a lot to be desired; and from my friends that attended TRACK, most of them have not got out of the program what the program is saying. There is very little support afterwards, but I guess it's a great fundraiser.

Dec 15, 2010
Aloof Assistance
by: Bill Paul

Our group has asked me to work with WWP to put together an event to raise money for WWP.

I find their web representatives to be impersonal, almost like they are doing us a favor to raise money for them.

pon investigation, I learned another group in our area had a very negative experience with them. WWP representatives' (8 IN NUMBER) appearance was undesirable. Although these representatives were treated to activities and gifts valued at $12,000 per person, no thanks were forthcoming.

In my working with them on line all they seem willing to do is to offer to list the even on their website, provide links but no physical assistance, they just don't seem to care.

Difficult to work with, don't answer questions directly unless it suits their methods or procedures. We have placed our reputation on the Line committed to raising money for WWP and will follow thru on that commitment, but we will not do it not again.

Nov 11, 2010
Service? to WHOM?
by: Anonymous

I believe that we donated to WWP one time several years ago.

Since than we have been deluged with "gifts" and requests for MORE, More, More! Sometimes as often as once a WEEK for 3 weeks straight!

I get the idea that they are more of a self-perpetrating job society than a service to service persons.

Molly V.

Oct 24, 2010
A grade of 'D' might be generous.
by: Steve

WWP claims to spend 83% of donations on programs, but when you review their numbers on their financials, they use a lot of 'smoke & mirrors' accounting.

In their 2008-2009 financials (on THEIR website, see page 5)$33 million (out of a total $54 million in contributions)is listed as a program expense for 'public awareness'. Most of this comes from 'in kind' contributions of free advertising.

Another $6 million is spent on fundraising. Add the $7 million figure posted here for salaries & you can start to see how much is actually spent on our 'Wounded Warriors'!!!

Oct 20, 2010
Greatly Disappointed in this Project...
by: Glen A Smith

Firstly...even their Name was taken Directly from
the "In Service "Wounded Warrior" Units...
Which in and off itself has created a lot of Confusion...and Donations sent to the wrong intended places...

Then I read the 2008 Financial postings on the BBB website...
Of the Total program expenses listed...
$32,620,179.00 over 60% of the expenses
($22,784,679.00) are for Public Awareness (Fund Raising Expenses)...

Somebody is pocketing BIG BUCKS...
They don't have to pay Big Salaries...the Kick Backs through the back door always works..

Sure sounds like a SCAM to me...

Also of Note is that this is a split off of
another Big Dollar Charity...

Glen A Smith
100% SC Combat Disabled Veteran...

Glen, we appreciate your comments, and just want to make it clear we are not suggesting that anyone is pocketing money, but perhaps they could do a better job of how they spend it.

Oct 08, 2010
Wounded Warrior Project
by: Anonymous

As a Wounded Warrior, I can say that I have never received any benefit from the WWP. They use the term wounded warrior so they can raise money and pay high level staff between 100k to 200k.

If anyone wants to donate money there are other organizations that really do help wounded guys not just have it in there name.

They are not D rated for no reason.

Anon, please accept our gratitude for your service and your sacrifice in the name of freedom.

You say you have not received any benefits from WWP. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to share with us what sorts of benefits you applied for, and what the response was that accompanied any denial of benefits.

If you could provide specifics, it would help our readers understand more about WWP and how they operate.

Thanks again for your service.

Oct 06, 2010
WWP Benefit
by: Bill

In November 2006,I received in the mail a request for a donation to the WWP. Not ever having heard of this organization, I did some extensive homework and was satisfied that it was legit and served a good purpose.

I subsequently organized a benefit for the WWP, and after almost three months of preparation, held a two-day event which brought a net of $16,000 for the WWP.

During the almost three months of preparation leading up to the event, it was extremely difficult communicating with the WWP HQ; it would take days to get a response. I received very little in the way of support from WWP, and last but not least, could not get a representative to even make an appearance to receive the $16,000.

To top it all off, I never received one letter, phone call, fax, or anything saying thanks, kiss-off or any form of acknowledgment.

Needless to say, I will not recommend to anyone to support this organization. Not because I didn't receive any form of acknowledgment BUT because of their arrogance, high-priced help, etc.,I will discourage anyone from conducting a benefit for the WWP.

When they start donating 90-cents (+) of every dollar towards the services that benefit our WOUNDED WARRIORS... then I might consider changing my attitude toward WWP.

Thanks, Bill

Sep 21, 2010
WWP 2009 Tax Return Now Available
by: Anonymous

I've had many people question the WWP's salaries and staff recently. Have you reviewed the fiscal year 2009 now posted on charity navigator?

I'm not sure if I should continue giving them my money, any help would be appreciated.

Thank you for your question.

We have not had an opportunity to conduct an in-depth review of WWP's 2009 tax return. We currently have more than 60 pending requests to review various veterans charities, and we feel that in fairness to those readers, we must conduct initial reviews of the charities they inquired about before doing updates on previously-reviewed charities. Each review takes several hours of research.

However, we did take a quick look sepcifically at the salaries reported on WWP's 2009 tax return. WWP reports 86 total employees (down from 108 for 2008, which is the number their PR director provided above) and total salary, wages and compensation of $5,515,397.

There were 8 employees and former employees reported as receiving more than $100,000 in compensation. Their salaries ranged from $106,850 to $200,588, and totaled $1,133,640.

When the highly-compensated employees and their compensation is subtracted, that leaves 78 employees being paid a total of $4,381,757, for an average of $56,176.37. We don't know if this employee number includes part-time employees. If so, then obviously that would skew the average.

While the executive salaries do look a bit rich to the casual observer, they are not grossly out of line with charities of similar size. In order to attract qualified and experienced people, charitable organizations are required to pay competitive salaries.

WWP's directors, all of whom serve without compensation, include former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi, a Naval Academy graduate (1967), Vietnam combat veteran, and a member of the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAGC).

Aug 16, 2010
Thank You
by: Annette

An uncle died last Friday night and his children asked that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.

Your site has been most influential in helping me and my five siblings decide whether and how much to donate.

We will honor our uncle and his WW II service by donating to present day soldiers and veterans.

Annette, please accept our condolences on the loss of your uncle. Thank you for honoring his service by providing for assistance to those men and women coming after him who also serve our country.

Jul 28, 2010
BBB rating?
by: Anna W

When I looked up WWP on the BBB site, the only reference is to a KG FOX company, which is not the Wounded Warrior Project. Why is WWP not on the BBB site?

Hi Anna,

The Better Business Bureau charges a hefty fee ($790 for the first year, then $620 a year after that) to evaluate a charity and write and post its report.

Perhaps Wounded Warrior Project decided not to spend the money for such a review, and instead use it as the donors intended.

Apr 25, 2010
President Veterans Organization
by: Grace

In 2010 I have raised over $9,000.00 for YOUR organization, WWP.

The AIP report looks like you received a D rating instead of the United Spinal Association WWP. Four years ago when I started hosting Soldier Ride I found where you split in 2005 with United Spinal and are a separate organization.

The question at a meeting today from local veterans groups was, Do you give enough to Veterans? AIP needs to be set straight!!!

I personally am proud of your organization.

Grace, thank you for your comments. The AIP report, which does specify United Spinal Association's Wounded Warrior Project, was presented to Congress in 2007. That means that at the time it was prepared, it's likely that the most recent information available was from 2005, and Wounded Warrior Project did not yet have its own independent financial reports for review.

But thank you for pointing that out once again.

Apr 02, 2010
Response from Wounded Warrior Project
by: PR Director, Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project's mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP assists wounded warriors and their families through a long-term, holistic approach to their recovery, providing programs and services to aid their physical rehabilitation and improve their mental health and well-being. Whether through caregiver retreats, combat stress programs, career and education services or adaptive sporting opportunities, WWP empowers warriors with the tools essential to not just survive their injuries but to thrive and achieve personal and professional success.

Regarding any questions about our financials, we'd first like you to know that WWP believes in transparency. We continuously strive to keep administrative and fundraising costs associated with the operation of Wounded Warrior Project as low as possible. Based on our FY2008, ending on September 30, 2008, 82% of donations went to provide services and programs for our wounded warriors and their families. If you would like to review the our most recent audited financial statements and IRS Forms 990 please visit our website at www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Our 2009 forms will be available very soon.

Second, let us assure you that Wounded Warrior Project believes in accountability. WWP meets and exceeds all 20 standards for fundraising efficiency based on a grading system developed by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance which has been identified as one of the most prominent and balanced watchdog agencies http://www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Reviews/.

In addition, Wounded Warrior Project and United Spinal Association severed their relationship amicably in 2005 and since then WWP has provided audited financial statements as a separate organization. Both of which proved WWP to be highly efficient and fiscally prudent.

Further, see below for answers to your questions.

1) There were 108 total employees for FY2008. This includes full time, part time, interns, etc.

2) The outside services listed on page 22 [of the 2007-2008 Form 990] are contract services, consultant, direct mail caging, and technology services.

3) Promotional items are items given away such as t-shirts, lapel pins, pens, magnets, stickers, bracelets, etc.

4) Public awareness is any activity devoted to raising awareness as it relates to WWP and this generation of wounded warriors.

Thank you,
Ayla Hay
Director, Public Relations
Wounded Warrior Project

Mar 29, 2010
Wounded Warrior Project Not Listed
by: Ron Ettinger

I asked the question regarding Wounded Warrior Project because it is not listed in one of the highly regarded charity rating services, CHARITY NAVIGATOR. It does not give it a good or bad rating. It doesn't list them at all.

I will contact them to ascertain why that is.

Thank you for your helpful responses.



Charity Navigator requires filing of four IRS Form 990s (income tax return) before it evaluates a charity.

Wounded Warrior Project was previously a subsidiary of United Spinal Association, and has been a separate organization since only 2005. It has not yet filed its Form 990 for 2009, so there are only three Form 990s to review at this time.

As we mentioned to Cheryl above, you can review those yourself at Wounded Warrior Project's web site.

Thank you for following up on this important issue.

Mar 26, 2010
Why a 'D' rating for Wounded Warrior Project?
by: Cheryl

My son's car club has scheduled a charity cruise for May. They have invited the car club I am involved in to join them.

The charity is the Wounded Warrior Project and I noticed on your site, they have a "D" rating.
Can you tell me why?

Cheryl, thank you for your question. The veterans charities ratings posted on our site were done by the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), and reported to Congress in December 2007. While we can't speak for them, there are three major factors which generally explain most of the low ratings:

-- ineptitude at fund raising, i.e., an inability to raise the needed funds,

-- payment of large amounts to outside fund-raising groups or companies in order to raise the needed funds, and

-- payment of excessive salaries and benefits to officers of the organization.

As you can imagine, particularly in today's economic environment, it is harder than ever to raise funds. As a result, many charities outsource their fundraising efforts, paying the third-party fund raisers a percentage of the funds they bring in. Those percentages can be reasonable or not.

If you go to WWP's web site, you can review their tax returns for yourself. From their home page, click on "About," then on "Our Financials." Scroll down to the list of "Form 990 Documents." Form 990 is the federal income tax return for the organization. Please note that at the time of the AIP ratings, the most recent Form 990 filed by WWP was the one for the 2005-2006 tax year. The one for 2006-2007 had not been filed by the time of AIP's December 2007 report to Congress.

As you can see from our response to Ron above, WWP's web site indicates it now spends 83 cents of every dollar on program services.

From our review of the most recent Form 990, it does not appear that WWP is paying excessive salaries, so we think the low rating probably had something to do with the amount of their fund raising expenses.

We have contacted Wounded Warrior Project to ask for their response to this question, as well as some questions we had in reviewing their Form 990 for 2007-2008, and we will update this page once it's received, so please check back for their response.

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