Initial reactions to Sen. Grassley’s letter to Wounded Warrior Project

May 18, 2016, 8:52 am
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Here are a few of the first reactions I’ve seen to the letter that was released to the media by the Senator’s staff on Monday.

Professor Brian Mittendorf describes what he sees as The Fundamental Issue in the Wounded Warrior Project Inquiry. The underlying issue in the letter from Senator Grassley to WWP is just a different way to look at the core issues in the discussion. The issue: Read the rest of this entry »

GuideStar begins major effort to let charities report their outcomes

May 13, 2016, 8:54 am
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

GuideStar Premium is a new feature allowing charities to describe their goals and what progress they’re making. This provides NPOs the opportunity to quantify their outcomes and impacts.

This is a big step. It is a wonderful experiment.

GuideStar Platinum: Measuring Nonprofit Performance at Scale provides an overview of the new platform. This page provides more detail on the service.

Charities are allowed to self define the measures used. Organizations self measure their progress.

This will create wide variety in the measurement tools. I believe that is a wonderful thing. Self defining outcomes will allow a measure that is very carefully tailored to a particular organization. Over time I am guessing there will be some sort of comparability between charities within a specific sector which will allow some vague level of comparison within sectors.

The important point is that the outcomes for a rescue mission are radically different from an at-risk youth mentoring program, which in turn are radically different from a civil rights group or public issue advocacy group. Each organization needs a metric that specifically addresses what that organization is trying to accomplish.

There are somewhere in the range of 250 charities listed at Platinum Early Adopters. Congrats to these organizations taking the first struggling steps to publicly declare their quantitative progress against their outcome goals.

I took a look at the results for about a dozen of those early adopters. Here’s what I learned from my nonrandom sample.

Traditional input measurement

Read the rest of this entry »

Lots of news about Wounded Warrior Project controversy in last few days – 4/1

April 1, 2016, 9:10 am

Lots of things in the news this week. Here are a few things that caught my eye, including Steve Nardizzi and Al Giordano starting to speak out on public platforms.

Public service announcement ads – You can find the Youtube feed of the WWP PSAs here. Brian Mittendorf asked to see the PSAs and WWP provided the link.

Ponder ads in light of ASC 958-720-45 requirements. There is huge room for discussion here. As a tip for enterprising reporters, here are my two tweets:

wwp joint cost alloc


  • ASC 958-720-45-35 – call to action
  • -48 – audience
  • -50 – content (oops, I mentioned -48 in the tweet)

Former CEO and COO speak up – Mr. Nardizzi and Mr. Giordano started a twitter account: TheWoundedTruth, @WoundedTruth. If you have a twitter account and have been reading my articles, you might want to follow @WoundedTruth.

They also started a blog: The Wounded Truth. If you are interested enough to still be reading, you might want to add the blog to your RSS feed.

3/30 – Stars and Stripes – Feud erupts at Wounded Warrior Project between board and founder – WWP founder John Melia has publicly called for the resignation of WWP board chair Anthony Odierno. Reason for the call for resignation is that a meeting which had been scheduled on April 4 between the board and Mr. Melia was cancelled by the board. Read the rest of this entry »

News reports in the last week about Wounded Warrior Project – 3/30

March 30, 2016, 9:10 am

Here are a few articles I found interesting about WWP in the last week, including an interview with the departed CEO and COO.

3/28 – News 4 Jax – Wounded Warrior Project names interim COO – The WWP board appointed retired Major General Charlie Fletcher as interim COO beginning April 11.  He has 30 years experience on active duty. He currently is one of the people on the advisory board.

3/28 –Board Source – Wounded Warrior Project-A Classic Case Study – Author is paying close attention to the WWP story. Real, current situations are wonderful teaching tools. Responses to Sen. Grassley’s inquiry letter will provide lots of insight.

Read the rest of this entry »

More Wounded Warrior coverage – 3/24

March 24, 2016, 7:49 am

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 …

Read the rest of this entry »

Wounded Warrior Project fiasco moves into the political realm. Other comments over the weekend.

March 21, 2016, 6:59 am

Stars and Stripes has a good article summarizing the current story and looking forward a few steps. Senator Grassley pulls the WWP story into the political realm.

3/18 – Stars and Stripes – New project for Wounded Warrior charity: Regain trust. Article discusses the dangers facing WWP in terms of public perception and the impact on donations.

Article summarizes a number of recent articles, which makes this a good survey to catch up on what’s happened lately.

I recommend the article for you because of the great way it brings together a number of different threads of the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

More coverage of Wounded Warrior Project – 3/16

March 16, 2016, 8:59 am

I’ve seen a few more articles of substance in the last two days on the WWP board firing their CEO and COO. Will discuss three articles to see what we can learn about this fiasco and how to deal with a crisis.

Balancing act

The board is in a delicate balancing act.

The media and likely some major donors want the juicy details on why the two execs were let go. I’m interested, too.

The board needs to be careful on how much information they release because of legal exposures, HR issues, and the possibility of causing additional harm to the organization and constituents.

Read the rest of this entry »


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