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Top Military Watchdog Rebukes “Wounded Warrior Project”

Feb 19, 2016

The Patriots Initiative Disqualifies Military Charity from Donor List

Media Contact:
Eric Beach

San Diego, California – February 19, 2016 – Amid new allegations of misuse of funds, The Patriots Initiative has invoked its “Four Strikes” rule and permanently disqualified the Wounded Warrior Project from its proprietary directory listing the most effective, best performing military charities.

According to WWP’s tax returns, spending on staff conferences and meetings increased from $1.7 million in 2010, to $26 million in 2014, which is the same amount the group spends on combat stress recovery.

TPI had already evaluated the Wounded Warrior Project three times since 2012 and WWP had consistently failed to qualify for accreditation each time due to unsatisfactory performances in efficiency, effectiveness/impact, leadership transparency and donor centricity. Now, with the most recent WWP performance allegations and fiscal metrics being publicized in the media, The Patriots Initiative has for the first time invoked its ‘Four Strikes’ rule and permanently disqualified WWP from its proprietary list – known as the DIRECTORY.

“We saw the need to simplify the philanthropic process for military donors and focus on connecting Americans with the most trustworthy, impactful and accountable nonprofits,” said Greg Hillgren, Chairman and a Founding Member of TPI. “Unfortunately, the Wounded Warrior Project consistently failed to satisfy many of the required criteria we consider necessary for donor engagement and success.” He added, “We hope that WWP will take immediate steps to redirect its operational metrics and begin to adhere to ‘best practices’ in the years ahead. We sense WWP’s intent is good, and certainly the needs of American wounded service members and their families warrants widespread support, but the reality of WWP’s execution has been, in TPI’s measured opinion, lacking. There are other nonprofit organizations doing better work in this space.”

The Patriots Initiative’s DIRECTORY identifies those exceptional nonprofits that have engaged in ‘best practices’ and proven themselves to be effective, efficient and reliable service providers specifically tailored for active duty military families, wounded warriors and veterans. Each charity has undergone a thorough evaluation by TPI’s staff and Board Review Committee, a rigorous exam invoking 8 performance/success criteria. TPI has evaluated more than 300 such nonprofits, and since 2012 has accredited approximately 100 as being worthy of donor support based on performance and adherence to ‘best practices’. Today, the DIRECTORY is the nation’s most comprehensive listing of rigorously vetted nonprofits serving the nation’s armed forces and veterans spaces.

Since its inception in 2008, TPI has refined and tested its underwriting capabilities and has already delivered more than $1,200,000 in grants to the worthiest nonprofits serving America’s armed forces communities. TPI also produces the nation’s most comprehensive list (the ‘Warriors in Transition MATRIX’) of direct contacts to vetted employers and educators with programs focused to hire and train American veterans transitioning to the workforce when their service to the nation is complete.

About The Patriots Initiative:Founded in 2008, The Patriots Initiative (TPI) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit. TPI has delivered over $1,200,000 in philanthropic grants to the most worthy nonprofits serving America’s military communities. Today, donations through TPI’s four funds – Discretionary, Wounded & Fallen, Families, and Veterans Funds – deliver impactful results connecting donors directly to trustworthy and accountable military nonprofits. Through its proprietary database known as the DIRECTORY, TPI identifies those exceptional organizations that have engaged in ‘best practices’ and have proven themselves – both qualitatively and quantitatively – to be effective, efficient and reliable service providers. For more information, visit Follow at @TPI4Patriots.

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