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Old 02-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Army charity hoards millions, investigation finds

AP - As soldiers stream home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the biggest charity inside the U.S. military has been stockpiling tens of millions of dollars meant to help put returning fighters back on their feet, an Associated Press investigation shows.




Army charity hoards millions, investigation finds
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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Default AP IMPACT: Army charity hoards millions

AP - As soldiers stream home from Iraq and Afghanistan, the biggest charity inside the U.S. military has been stockpiling tens of millions of dollars meant to help put returning fighters back on their feet, an Associated Press investigation shows.




AP IMPACT: Army charity hoards millions
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:11 AM   #3
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Wounded Warrior Project works to regain trust...

New Project for Wounded Warrior Charity: Regain Trust
Mar 20, 2016 | Wounded Warrior Project said last week's dismissal of two top executives has brought order to the popular veterans charity, but recipients of services are worried, donors are jittery and experts contend it's not going to be that simple to regain the public's trust.
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"They are on thin ice right now," said Doug White, a teacher who leads Columbia University's master's program in fundraising. "In the nonprofit world, we don't have assets. We have trust. Once you let that go, it's a long, long climb back." The move by the organization's board last week to dismiss the charity's two top executives followed media reports of lavish spending and mismanagement. Since then, the charity's Chairman Tony Odierno, who is acting CEO until a new chief is found, said the board has spent "a great deal of time" talking directly with donors and alumni worried about Wounded Warrior Project's fate -- and its integrity. "We certainly understand the concerns that have been raised and we are moving to address those concerns as quickly and decisively as possible to reestablish donor trust," he wrote in an email.

Odierno said he's confident the board can right the ship now that CEO Steve Nardizzi and chief operating officer Al Giordano are out. And some donors and charity partners have expressed similar sentiments. But Odierno acknowledged in an interview with the New York Times that donations had fallen. The organization can still meet its obligations now, he said late last week, "but I am concerned about our ability to meet our obligations in the future."


Fred Kane, who raised $325,000 for Wounded Warrior Project since 2009, told Stars and Stripes this week that his nonprofit voted Saturday to dissolve and other donors were canceling their fundraising events as well. "It's a very sad thing," said Kane, who ran golf tournaments to benefit the charity. "They breached the public trust and there is going to be fallout, even with small charities that do good work."

At stake is more than just donor confidence. With more than $300 million in donations last year, Wounded Warrior Project has become a go-to charity for wounded servicemembers and veterans, counting more than 100,000 servicemembers and their families among its alumni. In addition to its signature adaptive sports and peer mentoring programs, the charity offers critical, long-term services for veterans and families of the most severely wounded that are not available elsewhere. If donations continue to fall, some programs could be threatened. "It terrifies me to think that because of what's going on -- that people would stop supporting them," said Colleen Saffron, whose husband, retired Staff Sgt. Terry Saffron, was severely wounded by an explosion in Iraq in 2004.

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Wounded Warrior Project fights to save face after high-profile firings
March 11, 2016 - The abrupt firing of Wounded Warrior Project’s top two business leaders Thursday came without any apologies for the embattled charity’s past financial moves, but with an acknowledgement that changes were needed to “restore trust in the organization.”
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WWP’s Board of Directors confirmed late Thursday evening that it had fired CEO Steve Nardizzi and COO Al Giordano after an independent review of organization operations. The charity has been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks over how it has managed more than $800 million raised in donations in recent years. Former employees have alleged more money is being used for lavish conferences and employee perks than for veterans outreach and assistance. Other groups have criticized WWP’s ratio of expenses to charitable work.

Board members dismissed those accusations in their statement, calling recent media reports “inaccurate” and saying independent auditors found more than 80 percent of donations to WWP go to programming. “The organization’s commitment to injured service members, their caregivers and family members remains steadfast,” the statement said. “From 2010 to 2015, participation across WWP’s many programs increased from approximately 1,850 wounded warriors to more than 144,000.” Still, the group acknowledged that the internal review did uncover some problems, saying that “some policies, procedures and controls at WWP have not kept pace with the organization’s rapid growth in recent years and are in need of strengthening.”

That includes promises that employee travel will include economy class plane tickets — officials insist less than 1 percent of their air travel was first-class and closer oversight of director expenses. Board members did not respond to requests for specifics on the firings, and said in their release only that they “determined the organization would benefit from new leadership” before dismissing Nardizzi and Giordano.

The statement offers no apologies for past actions but does thank the “dedicated employees, donors, sponsors and partners who have stood loyally by this organization over the last six weeks.” Earlier this month, WWP officials testified about group operations and policy before the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees, noting that all its programs are free because “we believe the injured veterans we serve paid their dues on the battlefield.” The charity claims 85,000 wounded veterans as members, along with 16,000 veteran caregivers.

http://www.militarytimes.com/story/v...ment/81638582/

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Old 04-12-2016, 02:33 AM   #4
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Gravy train's over with...

2 Ousted Executives Defend Work at Wounded Warrior Project
Apr 11, 2016 Two men ousted from top executive positions at Wounded Warrior Project say their leadership upheld the intent of donors who contributed millions to one of the nation's largest veteran support groups. Al Giordano and Steve Nardizzi want the Jacksonville-based charity's board of directors to publicly release the results of an independent review of its records.
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The board announced late March 10 that Nardizzi was no longer chief executive officer and Giordano was out as chief operating officer. Amid news reports alleging wasteful spending, the board hired outside legal counsel and forensic accounting consultants for a records review. The board has named retired Maj. Gen. Charlie Fletcher as interim chief operating officer and launched a national search for a new CEO. Since their ouster, Nardizzi and Giordano have been defending their work in media interviews, op-ed pieces and posts on their blog, mysite. "The two most painful (allegations) are that somehow we're not treating donor dollars appropriately and that we're not taking care of warriors," Nardizzi told The Florida Times-Union in an interview. "For me, watching the news reports, those were the most personally painful allegations, and obviously untrue."


In a statement Friday, the board said the independent review's findings were submitted orally and summarized in the March 10 announcement, and there was no written report to be released. "The board continues to implement changes that will move the organization forward and do everything necessary to support the thousands of men and women who rely on WWP on a daily basis," the statement said. Former Marine John Melia launched Wounded Warrior Project in 2003 and later recruited Giordano, a longtime friend, and Nardizzi, a lawyer who never served in the military, to the charity. Melia left in 2009, and Nardizzi and Giordano were credited with subsequently building the organization into a major fundraiser.

Nardizzi said there were some things he should have done differently, such as not choosing a luxury resort in Colorado for an annual employee conference in 2014. He also regretted rappelling down the side of the resort during the opening night of the conference, an action caught on video. "I would change that so you wouldn't have the ability to misportray that event as something that it wasn't," he said.

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