Wounded Warrior Project

Day 11 Jan 2014


The Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) is a registered 501c3 charity whose mission is to support and honor wounded veterans.  Their mission (from their web site) is to

  • raise awareness and public support for wounded military
  • help wounded military assist each other
  • provide unique, directed programs to support wounded military

A number of questions have been raised in the last few months about how well WWP carries out its mission and where the millions of dollars raised each year actually go. 

For example, in 2012, WWP took in approx $155 million dollars.  Their "overhead" is claimed to be:

Officers, Directors & Trustees $1,057,997
Other wages $15,415,666
Pension Plan $340,650
Employee Benefits $2,266,457
Payroll Taxes $1,594,740
Legal $499,509
Accounting $131,746
Professional Fund Raising $1,901,169
Advertising & Promotions $146,299
Office Expenses $12,451,303
IT $254,319
Occupancy (rent) $2,490,195
Travel $4,085,509
Depreciation $1,572,823
Insurance $215,654
Outside Services $20,915,404
Meetings and events $9,637,863
Direct Response Service $6,930,429
Promotional Items $4,055,567
All other expenses $3,659,493
Joint Costs (Expense from educational campaign and fund raising solicitation.) $25,576,675
Overhead Expenses $115,199,467.00

One must be a little careful when examining the "numbers" because much of WWP's work is done by contract with outside services.  Thus the amount of $ spent by WWP on direct services to the military may appear small.  It is clear that WWP pays their employees well, seems to have a lot of overhead and seems to have a lot of $ on hand at the end of the year.  Just where/how that $ will be spent is not clear.

Guidestar, an organization that gathers information on charities and encourages transparency, rates the WWP is in the lower half of charities with similar missions.  Per their website, WWP had income (donations) of $225 million in FY 2013 and spent $117 million on mission oriented services.

There are many emails circulating that claim WWP is a scam.  There are also numerous blogs and articles, for example this article from Veterans Today.  These may be true or it may be people reacting to what they think the financial statements say.  Each person must examine the evidence and make their own decisions.

Update:  [01-Jun-2014]  this author supported the WWP for about a year through their monthly automatic deduction program.  After substantial negative press and no clear explanations, I decided to stop my support.  Numerous emails and phone calls went no where.  It took several months and eventually some "outside help" to get WWP to stop billing me.  Does not seem like a well run organization to me.