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RichardWalden

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5 reviews

Review for Wounded Warrior Project, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Now that CEO Steven Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano have been fired or forced to resign from WWP, perhaps it can refocus on veterans' needs rather than "team building" at 5 star resorts and running those endless paid ads by celebrities. Read the group's I-990 federal tax return and see the many high salaries Nardizzi paid his pals; see the multi-million dollar fund raising contracts which powered it to taking in over $350 million last year at very high overheads; see the $150,000 grant to the Nonprofit Defense Council which advocates that high fund raising overheads are a necessary evil if you want to grow. Nardizzi is now 0 for 2 on charities he either ran or was their #2 executive. He might consider a new field of endeavor as he may be unsuited to philanthropy.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field
 

Review for Wounded Warrior Project, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

The WWP CEO should encourage all potential donors to read through his nonprofit's federal I-990 tax return, as it is quite clear that the organization is a fund raising vehicle benefiting him and a growing group of his pals in Orlando, FL, who are listed by their own accountants as making over $300,000/year. [see CharityNavigator.org's comments section under the WWP listing for the growing number of unhappy Vets who have read through their tax returns]. WWP has a very high fund raising overhead (see consultants listed on the tax return and the amounts they are being paid for their services). While they list a number of grants to local veterans organizations, those grants by and large are small and don't begin to approach what WWP spends on fund raising activities which fuel its growth. I find their use of celebrities and actual wounded servicemen and women's testimonials hard to watch--especially after reading their tax return. Committing $19/mo for a year gets you a wounded warrior blanket which looks to me like it's counted as a program expense or donation. Steve Nardizzi, the CEO, should not complain when his group is criticized.

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field
 

Review for Wounded Warrior Project, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

I wish more Wounded Warrior donors or people affected by their massive TV advertising would read their IRS 990 tax forms filed by their own accountants. WWP is a fund raising vehicle more than anything else. It does give many small grants to real vets groups to cover its tracks but it spends so much on celebrity advertising and all the latest technical ways of fund raising that these expenses dwarf what it gives away. The guys in Jacksonville, FL making $300,000 salaries are pre-occupied with MORE....more money. Read the list of consulting firms they use for fund raising; read the figures for products they give away--those WWP logo blankets for $19/month donors are carried as program expenses. James Gandolfini died long ago and they are using his WWP ads to pull in money from a beloved actor's image. Trace Atkins knows better: he was a Celebrity Apprentice to Donald Trump!!. Bruce Willis probably has never read a nonprofit tax return but wouldn't like what's in WWP's. A suggestion to Nardizzi, their leader---better to say you function like United Way but for Vet's organizations and not pretend you are doing direct services to Vets. Our Vets deserve better!

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field
 

Review for Samaritans Purse, Boone, NC, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Unfortunately, two Samaritan's Purse volunteer medical staff in Africa contracted Ebola and are now at risk of death. Let's watch Samaritan's Purse CAREFULLY and see if they use this unfortunate happenstance in their fund raising appeals. Rev. Franklin Graham should be on his knees praying for their survival and not engaging in right wing political activities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Retire Franklin Graham to a life of silent reflection of his sins.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field
 

Review for Operation USA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Operation USA is widely lauded among other international disaster relief and economic development organizations for its creative, effective and rapid response to disasters; it stays long after others have left; it does NOT accept any US Government funding and is thereby independent and not an adjunct of US foreign policy. It shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize as a key part of the Int'l Campaign To Ban Landmines with its unique focus on advancing the technology of landmine detection and removal.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

responding to major international disasters in the US and in 100 other countries over 30 years

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure they had the funds necessary to respond even faster to those in need and stay for a longer period after the immediate disaster has abated

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's small; it's fiercely independent; it is unafraid to criticize other charities for misbehavior or ineffectiveness o outright fraud in advertising

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

from all backgrounds 12-85 years old; the professional staff of just 10 sends over $20 million a year worth of aid, one of the most efficient charities in America

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do what it has been doing for 30 years but do it more effectively. Smaller is better and budget size does NOT equal quality of programs as the Red Cross, Feed The Children, Operation Blessing, Samaritan's Purse and others vividly illustrate

Ways to make it better...

more people had realized that robotically sending money to the Red Cross and other mega-charities isn't necessarily the most effective way to channel their compassion for disaster victims

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping up with deteriorating health conditions in the US and a failing world economy which, along with climate change,is stressing all means of providing assistance

One thing I'd also say is that...

look at Operation USA's website www.opusa.org and contact them for ways you can get involved

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Board Member & Co-Founded organization with actress Julie Andrews and others.