Here is something that I have had multiple people send me to get my opinion on:
Does the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) have a bias against guns and gun makers?
Two weeks ago that would have sounded crazy, but this week many shooters are convinced that it’s true. Hundreds of hunts and shoots are held as fundraisers for the WWP, and gun companies donate to WWP for its projects. How could it be that this $185 million (2013 projected revenue) outfit could be anti-gun?
It started with a simple invitation — I wanted someone from the Wounded Warrior Project to join me for the Veteran’s Day episode of my national radio show, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk. I had no idea it would turn into a national dustup which now has the gun rights community in a turmoil — so much so that people are burning their Wounded Warrior Project shirts.
We were disappointed when the Leslie Coleman, PR director for WWP, said they couldn’t come on the show, but that happens. Schedules don’t mesh, things happen, but that’s not uncommon. No big deal. Except that Ms. Coleman said they were declining because we “are related to firearms.”
“While we appreciate the interest in having a WWP representative on your show on Veterans Day we are not able to participate in interviews or activities with media/organizations that are related to firearms,” said Ms. Coleman in her email. [Ammoland.com]
You can read the rest at the link, but basically the Wounded Warrior Project is willing to take money from gun makers and advocate groups, but is not willing to participate in any media interviews that would associate them with gun makers and their advocates. This is pretty hypocritical on their part, but I am not surprised. The WPP has for a while been more about raising money and with the current political environment they are keeping a low profile from gun makers and their advocates to make sure they can keep making money.
What concerns me more about Wounded Warrior Project and why I haven’t given them money in the past two years is how much in overhead costs they have. Only 55% of their funding goes to their programs while the rest goes to advertising and overhead. Because of this they only get two stars out of four for their financial ranking on Charity Navigator. Compare this to the Fisher House Foundation which is a charity I do support which 98% of their income goes to their programs. The USO another charity I support has 72% of its funding going to its programs. Something else I like about Fisher House and the USO is that this is something you can see helping servicemembers because nearly every major military hospital has a Fisher House and the USO is visible everywhere the US military is at. The WPP you only see them when they hold a race or some other event to raise money.
Anyway I am very skeptical when it comes to charities with high advertising and overhead. I highly recommend everyone watch Pink Ribbons Inc. on Netflix to see how breast cancer charities have become an industry and not just a charity. Something else to watch for on Charity Navigator is to see how much the CEO’s of these charities make. With the new tax deal that was passed many of them will now be taxed in the wealthy tax bracket since most of them make above $400,000 a year.