Sunday, February 03, 2013

Wounded Warrior Project Refuses Donations From Florida Church

We do far too little for our military veterans, particularly the wounded ones who have a far more challenging time adjusting to life stateside, so it's terribly disappointing when you hear some not so great news about a charitable organization dedicated to helping them. Especially one that is promoted by so many celebrities including conservative icons like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. With the economy still in shambles, charities need all the money they can get, so the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) declining to accept monies from a fundraising effort by a Christian Church and school in Port St Lucie, Florida, is terribly troubling.

Liberty Baptist Church and Academy were set to start their fundraising campaign when they were told by WWP to forget it since they were "religious in nature."

As reported by Todd Starnes at Fox Radio, the pastor of Liberty Baptist Church and Academy, Wallace Cooley, said that "they had already paid a $100 registration fee to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and were about to launch the campaign when they received an email from the organization."

The church had planned on taking up a special offering on the last Sunday in February and students were collecting money from family and friends.

“We must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn’t allow community events to be religious in nature,” read an email from the WWP community events team. “Please note your registration fee will be refunded within the next 7-10 business days.”

WWP said as a nonpartisan organization they cannot accept event fundraising from companies “in which the product or message is religious in nature.”
The rest here, plus video.

Their decision seems to have unintentionally diverted the spotlight to their financial practices, and has prompted many to claim they will no longer donate to the charity.

On closer look, they don't do that well in terms of how they use donations.  According to the Charity Navigator:

Financial Performance Metrics
Program Expenses55.0%
Administrative Expenses8.0%
Fundraising Expenses36.8%
Fundraising Efficiency$0.30
Primary Revenue Growth49.0%
Program Expenses Growth43.1%
Working Capital Ratio (years) 0.50

That's not so great. Of similar organizations they have the lowest rating.

Executive Director Steven Nardizzi pockets a little over $319,000 annually, although a few of those other directors make more.

It was a foolish thing to do, considering religion has nothing to do with political partisanship, and religious people are the one who are more apt to donate to organizations like WWP.


Jeff Baker said...

Are they connected with Liberty Alliance, the group that supports Westboro Baptist's protests at soldier's funerals? If they are, WWP should tell them what they can do with their money. And they should be very specific.

Incognito said...

Unless you know something I don't, Westboro Baptist has no affiliation with any other Baptist Church. So no, as far as I can tell, they do not. If they *were* supporters, I would agree.