Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Charities for Veterans Shortchanging the troops

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. [MSNBC]

Veterans are having a tough row to hoe it seems. Last week or so we learned that the Army was wanting wounded veterans who had been unable to complete their enlistment terms to refund their enlistment bonuses. That included veterans who had lost legs, arms, eyesight, etc. while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now we learn that veteran's charities aren't spending the money they have collected from donors on the veterans.
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.
I don't know why, but I'm not surprised.

"One group passed along 1 cent for every dollar raised" according to the report. Another paid its founder and his wife a combined $540,000 in compensation and benefits last year.

Can you imagine that?
There are no laws regulating the amount of money charities spend on
overhead, fundraising or giving. But the institute's report suggests
that 20 of the 29 military charities studied were managing their
resources poorly, paying high overhead costs and direct-mail
fundraising fees and, in some cases, providing their leaders with
six-figure salaries.
Knowing how people can be it is amazing to me there are no laws regulating these "charities." Charity organizations have, in the past, bilked donors out of their money. Apparently with impunity absent regulatory laws and enforcement of them.

And here we are in the Christmas season. Merry Christmas everyone!