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Thread: Charities for military by the grade A+ to F- some surprises

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    Senior Member RACING JUNKIE TheYellaBrick's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Emmett, Idaho

    Charities for military by the grade A+ to F- some surprises

    Here is a list of veteran charities and their ratings.
    I’m a tad chagrined by the USO(C+) since it has been
    A biggie with us as has Fisher House(A+) which scores big!
    Most are worthless and should be avoided.
    Some Nonprofits Shortchange Troops, Watchdog Group Says
    By Philip Rucker, Washington Post Staff Writer

    Americans gave millions of dollars in the past year to veterans charities
    designed to help troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, but several of the
    groups spent relatively little money on the wounded, according to a leading
    watchdog organization and federal tax filings. Eight veterans charities,
    including some of the nation’s largest, gave less than a third of the money
    raised to the causes they champion, far below the recommended standard,
    the American Institute of Philanthropy says in a report. One group passed
    along 1 cent for every dollar raised, the report says. Another paid its founder
    and his wife a combined $540,000 in compensation and benefits last year,
    a Washington Post analysis of tax filings showed.

    Richard H. Esau Jr., executive director of the Military Order of the Purple
    Heart Service Foundation, based in Annandale, said the cost of fundraising
    limits how much his group can spend on charitable causes. ‘Do you have any
    idea how much money it costs to advertise? It’s unbelievable the amount of
    money it takes to advertise in the print and electronic media,’ he said.
    ‘I’m very proud of what we do, and we certainly do look after everybody.
    F or no F, the point is we do the right thing by veterans.’
    Borochoff said many veterans charities are ‘woefully inefficient,’ spending
    large sums on costly direct-mail advertising. ‘They over solicit. They love
    to send out a lot of trinkets and stickers and greeting cards and flags and
    things that waste a lot of money that they get little return on,’ said Borochoff,
    who plans to testify before Congress today.

    The philanthropy institute gave F’s to 12 of the 29 military charities
    reviewed and D’s to eight. Five were awarded A-pluses, including the Fisher
    House Foundation in Rockville, which the institute says directs more than 90
    percent of its income to charitable causes. One group received an A, and one
    received an A-minus. Jim Weiskopf, spokesman for Fisher House, said the
    charity does not use direct-mail advertising. ‘As soon as you do direct mail,
    your fundraising expenses go up astronomically,’ he said.

    One egregious example, Borochoff said, is Help Hospitalized Veterans, which
    was founded in 1971 by Roger Chapin, a veteran of the Army Finance Corps and
    a San Diego real estate developer. The charity, which provides therapeutic
    arts and crafts kits to hospitalized veterans, reported income of $71.3
    million last year and spent about one-third of that money on charitable
    work, the philanthropy institute said. In its tax filings, Help Hospitalized Veterans
    reported paying more than $4 million to direct-mail fundraising consultants.
    The group also has run television advertisements featuring actor Sam Waterston,
    game show host Pat Sajak and other celebrities.

    Bennett Weiner, chief operating officer of the Better Business Bureau, said
    the agency has 20 standards for reviewing charities, including that a
    charity’s fundraising and overhead costs not exceed 35 percent of total

    The American Institute of Philanthropy, a leading charity watchdog, issued a
    report card this month for 29 veterans and military charities. Letter
    grades were based largely on the charities’ fundraising costs and the
    percentage of money raised that was spent on charitable activities.

    Air Force Aid Society (A+)
    American Ex-Prisoners of War Service Foundation (F)
    American Veterans Coalition (F)
    American Veterans Relief Foundation (F)
    AMVETS National Service Foundation (F)
    Armed Services YMCA of the USA (A-)
    Army Emergency Relief (A+)
    Blinded Veterans Association (D)
    Disabled American Veterans (D)
    Disabled Veterans Association (F)
    Fisher House Foundation (A+)
    Freedom Alliance (F)
    Help Hospitalized Veterans/Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes (F)
    Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (A+)
    Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation (F)
    National Military Family Association (A)
    National Veterans Services Fund (F)
    National Vietnam Veterans Committee (D)
    Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (A+)
    NCOA National Defense Foundation (F)
    Paralyzed Veterans of America (F)
    Soldiers’ Angels (D)
    United Spinal Association’s Wounded Warrior Project (D)
    USO (United Service Organization) (C+)
    Veterans of Foreign Wars and Foundation (C-)
    Veterans of the Vietnam War & the Veterans Coalition (D)
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (D)
    VietNow National Headquarters (F)
    World War II Veterans Committee (D)
    to those who

    God Bless our folks in uniform
    "We the People, have your backs"

  2. Racing Junk

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