Major Wounded Warrior Project Donors End Support
It's been a little more than a month since CBS News and The New York Times released independent investigations slamming Wounded Warrior Project for allegedly wasting donation money on lavish conferences and events. And while the reports had several noteworthy flaws—and Wounded Warrior project rebutted many of the claims—the damage is already adding up for the veterans charity.
Late last week, CBS News reported that several of Wounded Warrior Project's major donors have ended or plan to end their support. Chief among them are Fred and Diane Kane, who since 2009 have raised $325,000 for the charity through their "Tee-Off for a Cause" golf tournaments. Via the report:
CBS News has learned Fred Kane is one of several major donors who are ending their support, and he wants answers from the group's board of directors. ...
"I feel like I am representing all these people who have donated over the years, all these seniors over 65 sending $19 month, all these people on fixed incomes. If no one is going to talk about this right now and it has to be me, then it has to be me," Fred Kane said.
He continued, saying he is done with the Wounded Warrior Project, except for his new mission of trying to see change there.
According to CBS News, the Kanes have cancelled their golf event and started a Change.org petition calling for an "open and public, independent audit and full accountability" from Wounded Warrior Project.
"I believe in the great work Wounded Warrior Project does, but feel that there may be serious governance issues and a lack of control in spending on non-veteran related programs, including, but not limited to: lobbying groups, travel, entertainment and employee 'perks,'" reads the petition. "Please help make a difference for our veterans. Please sign."
The petition currently has 1,629 signatures out of the necessary 2,500.
Wounded Warrior Project previously called the reports of reckless spending "patently false" and promised a full review. “The board takes very seriously the concerns that have been raised in recent days and is in the process of retaining independent advisers to conduct a thorough financial and policy review of the concerns,” the board said in a statement. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to our warriors and supporters and will ensure that the organization is effectively fulfilling this important mission.”
In late January, Charity Navigator added Wounded Warrior Project to its watch list.