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Fights between charities: ‘Wounded Warrior’ Charity Unleashes Hell—On Other Veteran Groups

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Tim Mak reports in The Daily Beast:

For a charity supposedly devoted to helping veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project spends an enormous amount of time suing or threatening to sue small nonprofits—spending resources on litigation that could otherwise be spent on the vets they profess to serve.

At issue is the Wounded Warrior Project’s brand: The charity has become particularly litigious over the use of the phrase “wounded warrior” or logos that involve silhouetted soldiers. At least seven such charities have discussed their legal problems with The Daily Beast.

The Wounded Warrior Project has become, in the words of those it’s targeted for legal action, a “bully,” more concerned about its image and increasing the size of the organization than actually providing services to wounded warriors.

“They do try to bully smaller organizations like ourselves… They get really territorial about fundraising,” said the president of one charity with the name “wounded warrior” in their title.

He asked to remain anonymous out of fear that the Wounded Warrior Project would launch legal action against his group if he spoke out. His group hasn’t been sued, but he said individuals from the WWP had pressured him to change their name. “They’re so huge. We don’t have the staying power if they come after us—you just can’t fight them.”

The Wounded Warrior Project’s latest target is the Keystone Wounded Warriors, a small, all-volunteer charity based in Pennsylvania.

How small? Keystone Wounded Warriors had a total annual revenue of just over $200,000 as recently as 2013. That’s less than the $375,000 that Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director Steven Nardizzi was personally paid in 2013.

The Keystone group was forced to spend more than two years and some $72,000 in legal fees to defend itself from the legal actions of the Wounded Warrior Project, which brings in annual revenues of close to $235 million, according to the outfit’s most recent tax forms.

“That’s money that we could have used to pick up some homes in foreclosure, remodel them, and give them back to warriors. We spent that money on defending ourselves instead,” said Keystone Wounded Warriors Executive Director Paul Spurgin, a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran. . .

Continue reading.

Video at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

2 December 2015 at 11:03 am

Posted in Law, Philanthropy

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