Charity in Hot Water for Failing to Give Donations to Disabled Veterans — Dollars and Sense
A national charitable organization set up to help disabled veterans and their families is under scrutiny for allegedly spending millions of donation dollars on marketing and other services rather than putting it into the pockets of American veterans.
An investigation into the Disabled Veterans National Foundation has uncovered publicly available IRS 990 tax forms that report nearly $56 million in donations have been accepted since the organization began operations in 2007. The forms also show that little to none of that money was actually ever given to veterans.
Instead, it appears the DVNF is spending donation money on employing more fundraising services.
According to the investigation, the charity paid Quadriga Art LLC and its subsidiary, Brickmill Marketing Services, nearly $61 million from 2008 through 2010.
The DVNF has received an “F” grade from the independent charity watchdog, CharityWatch, which rates charitable organizations based on the amount they spend on fundraising compared to actual donations.
According to CharityWatch president Daniel Borochoff, two-thirds out of the 30 veteran charities that they rated were either given a D or F grade. He also said,
Up to $2 billion is raised in the name of veterans in this country and it’s so sad that a great deal of it’s wasted. Hundreds of millions of dollars of our charitable dollars intended to help veterans is being squandered and wasted by opportunists and by individuals and companies who see it as a profit-making opportunity.”
According to a report on the DVNF website, “truckloads” of donations were sent to the Saint Benedicts Veterans Center and Alethia House in Birmingham, Alabama, delivering $600,000 in tornado relief aid for veterans. According to this report, the DVNF sent five truckloads of blankets, sleeping bags, water, food, cleaning supplies, and other miscellaneous items to various homes and centers to provide outreach assistance for hundreds of veterans.
Saint Benedict’s executive director, J.D. Simpson says that the DVNF has sent them thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer, over 10,000 bags of coconut M&M’s, hundreds of pairs of Navy dress shoes and other items that fall into the centers “don’t need” list.
“I ask myself what the heck are these people doing stealing from our veterans. Because that’s what they are doing,” Simpsons said. “I don’t care how you look at it. These people have sacrificed for our country. And there are some people out there raising money to abuse ’em and that just makes me mad.”