Senator Grassley sends letter to Wounded Warrior Project asking for more information

May 17, 2016, 6:02 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Yesterday Sen. Grassley sent another information request to Wounded Warrior Project. The request went by electronic mail, which means a couple of hours later it appeared in public.

The full letter is visible here.

The letter was discussed in an article at News4Jax.com:  Senator questions Wounded Warrior Project spending.

First few comments are looking at donated ads. Letter asserts that backing out about $80M of donated ads drops the program service percentage from 80.6% down to 66.6%.

I tried recalculating the 66% number in half a dozen different ways but can’t figure out how the calculation was made.

Fourth paragraph repeats the criticism of watchdog organizations who exclude SOP 98-2 allocations from program. Paragraph suggests that $41M of joint cost allocations should be removed from program.

Take your pick on how to account for long-term care support

Fifth paragraph opens up a very confusing discussion of funding for the Long-Term Support Trust. Since the letter is a public document I will quote it: Read the rest of this entry »


Discussions on the WWP financial statements I would like to see

May 16, 2016, 9:05 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As I’ve watched coverage of the Wounded Warrior Project financial statements in recent months, I have been surprised by the shallowness of the coverage. Minor issues draw heavy focus while major issues remain unaddressed.

Majoring on the minors

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Deeper coverage of Wounded Warrior Project – 5/10

May 10, 2016, 9:36 am

I’ve noticed a number of articles lately that dive deeper into the WWP issues that the first round of coverage. These articles are discussing substance.

4/24 – Wounded Warrior Project – Statement by interim COO Charlie Fletcher – Interim COO promised to continue mission to serve wounded warriors and make the changes need to move organization forward.

5/4 – Florida Times Union at jacksonvile.com – First Coast News: Wounded Warrior Project executive resigns – The WWP Chief Programs Officer resigned, citing personal reasons.

Article gives no more detail.

The webpage listing the executive staff shows the CPO position as second of nineteen. My paraphrase is this looks like a strategic planning position with additional emphasis on managing and directing programs. His most recent experience was in development. He is a ’93 West Point grad.

Following article gives some speculation of what might be behind the resignation.

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More coverage of Wounded Warrior Project – 4/21

April 21, 2016, 8:42 am

Seems like the coverage of the WWP financial situation is slowing down. A few interesting articles for your consideration:

4/9 – David Bauerlein at Florida Times-Union – Ousted Wounded Warrior Project executives defend in their leadership of Jacksonville-based charity – This is the original article that generated the AP story I mentioned earlier. The Times-Union article is far better.

Note to the public relations, financial, and executive leadership of charities: pay attention to this article. The reporter not only understands joint cost allocation rules, he can explain the issues. Check out the section of the report titled How much really goes to veterans?

Perhaps it is just a function that I don’t get out very much, but I have noticed over the last couple of years that there are several reporters around the country who have a solid understanding of nonprofit accounting. There are quite a few reporters who are skilled at reading a 990. Keep that in mind as you interact with media.

More clearly than I have read anywhere else, this article explains Mr. Nardizzi’s regrets.  He wishes the 2014 conference had not been held at the Broadmoor. It doesn’t matter that WWP got discounts on room rates, food, and meeting space. He also wishes he had not rappelled down the side of the building.

Both of those things have given an impression the organization is wasteful.

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More coverage of Wounded Warrior Project. Former CEO and COO talking to media. 4/12

April 12, 2016, 9:36 am
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Stephen Nardizzi and Al Giordano are talking to a variety of media outlets. They are defending the organization and their work. We hearing their side of the story.

Here are a few articles of interest in the last week or so. One odd tidbit is the major report received as part of the board’s investigation was provided in oral form only – the AP article says the board says there was no written report.

Another surprising tidbit – In the Chronicle of Philanthropy interview, Mr. Nardizzi indicates he was told not to speak to the media when the story broke.

One more observation after reading these articles – none of the following reports address the issue of whether WWP does or does not have a broken corporate culture.

4/10 – AP – 2 ousted executives defend work at Wounded Warrior Project – Mr. Nardizzi has repeated his comments on the things he regrets. Previous comments were not clear to me. In this article he is quoted as saying in a different interview that wishes the conference drawing so much attention has been located somewhere other than a luxury hotel. He also wishes he had not rappelled down the side of the building.

Those things allowed others (read that as media) to misrepresent the organization. His regret is allowing things to happen which would be  misrepresented.

His previous comments were confusing to me.

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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

References:

  • 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.

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