Author: Reports Of Malfeasance, Mismanagement At Wounded Warrior Project Are Wrong
Author Doug White says in his new book, Wounded Charity, that the CBS and New York Times reports of malfeasance and wrongdoing at the Wounded Warrior Project were not accurate. Much of their reporting, Doug says, came from a Facebook group.
With a national scale of operation, there were disgruntled former employees who had created a Facebook group where they shared their experiences and perceptions of mismanagement. The story was rushed to press when the two highly-reputable organizations got wind that they were both working on it.
After exhaustive research, Doug concludes in his book that there was nothing fundamentally amiss at the Wounded Warrior Project.
Interview with Doug White, the Philanthropy Advisor of Self Employed.
The following is the pre-interview with Doug White. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
Tip 1: Do not rely on charity evaluators. They do not tell the whole story and they often can mislead the public about the worthiness of a charity. The only information most evaluators use is the financial data provided in the form the charity provides to the IRS and the state attorney general’s office. Evaluators disseminate nothing about the charity’s effectiveness or impact on society, which are the most important concerns of donors.
Tip 2: While the news media often do a good job highlighting a problem at a charity, people need to be aware that the stories might not always be accurate. I applaud the work of the media when they investigate charities, as they highlight issues that regulators often miss or ignore, but, as was the case with the stories about Wounded Warrior Project, they can get it wrong – and this is often a problem most felt by the people the charity is trying to help.
Tip 3: Boards play a crucial role in the successes and failures at charities. We don’t usually hear much about board members because the face of the charity is the executive director or president – think Wayne LaPierre at the National Rifle Association or Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood. Even though the top executive at a charity has an incredibly important position, the board provides the vision and strategic direction – so when something goes wrong at a charity, we need to know more about the board’s role.
Doug White. Photo Credit: Doug White
Doug White’s bio:
Doug White, a long-time leader in the nation’s philanthropic community, is an author and an advisor to nonprofit organizations and philanthropists.
Doug’s fifth book, “Wounded Charity, will be published by Paragon House in October. It describes–and debunks–the allegations of misspending and mismanagement made in January 2016 against Wounded Warrior Project, the nation’s largest charity serving veterans.
His most recent book, prior to “Wounded Charity,” “Abusing Donor Intent,” chronicles the historic lawsuit brought against Princeton University by the children of Charles and Marie Robertson, the couple who donated $35 million in 1961 to endow the graduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School. The family contended that Princeton abused its mandate to spend the money as the donors wished – and as the university agreed. The Foundation Center had this to say about the book: “Well-plotted with the slow burn of a decades-old frustration, and immensely readable with the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars at stake—to say nothing of the reputation of one of America’s most august universities—Abusing Donor Intent is equal parts thriller and cautionary tale.”
He is the former Director of Columbia University’s Master of Science in Fundraising Management program, where he also taught board governance, ethics and fundraising. Prior to that, he was a lecturer at and the academic director of New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising.
He has presented at over 600 conferences on philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.
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