Here are a few articles in the last few days that caught my eye which follow-up on the media firestorm surrounding Wounded Warrior Project.
3/21 – Charity Defense Council – Letter to Senator Grassley – The letter from the Charity Defense Council (CDC) to Senator Grassley is in response to the senator’s information request to WWP. The Senator asked for an explanation of the relationship between CDC and WWP along with an explanation of how a donation to CDC furthers WWP’s mission.
The letter provides CDC’s explanation.
Let me try to boil it down to a few sentences …
If WWP is going to be able to reach their large funding goal, they will need to have social acceptance of large number of dollars spent on fundraising. The letter says a fundraising ratio of 14% on a billion dollar charity would be $140M a year.
To facilitate that level of social change WWP will need all the help they can get. CDC might be able to help change social attitudes. Thus a contribution from WWP to CDC furthers WWP’s mission to raise large amounts of money.
You may not like the argument. You may not agree. You may find it offensive.
But that is the reason WWP made a donation to CDC, or at least my summary of CDC’s explanation.
The donation is disclosed on the 2014 990 as the second item on Schedule I.
After reading through Schedule I, the same question asked about the donation to CDC could be legitimately raised about several other donations on the list. I’ll guess there are great explanations available, but there are good questions to be had for an enterprising reporter.
Check out the full letter if you want more depth on CDC’s perspective.
3/21 – Wall Street Journal – Crisis of the Week: Scandal Engulfs Wounded Warrior Project – One commentator points out the WWP response has been defensive and lacks any suggestions of an apology. She says this will be a case study in how not to respond to a media crisis.
Second commentator says any accusations of extravagant spending is a serious crisis. He thinks WWP has taken several good steps, including termination of two senior staff, pointing out factual errors in reporting, pointing out bias of reporters (not getting response from audit committee chair before running the reports), and tightening up travel policies. Still more to be done, in his view.
Other public comments
Following comments listed without further analysis. Hattip to Prof. Mittendorf for retweeting them.
Here is the FaceBook link mentioned in Mr. Kane’s tweet.