Since 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has secured more than $160 million in benefits for military families of those severely wounded in combat. Even more impressive, more than $2 billion has been paid to them and their families.
This is a viable and crucial not-for-profit organization with huge sponsors, including Bank of America, Under Armour and Verizon.
However, all that good will and military backing is now taking a back seat to a nasty PR fail as the WWP has fired its two top executives, according to CBS News.
CBS News found Wounded Warrior Project spends 40 to 50 percent on overhead, including extravagant parties. Other veterans charities have overhead costs of 10 to 15 percent.
More than 40 former employees told CBS News that spending by the charity was “out of control.”
To wit, Wounded Warrior Project’s CEO, Steven Nardizzi, and COO, Al Giordano, were fired after a meeting Thursday afternoon in New York. All just in time to find out WWP has been added to Charity Navigator’s watch list.
Nardizzi collected a handsome salary of $470,000, but still saw fit to send less that 60 percent of the charity’s funds to military families. Let that sink in for a moment. The diabolical duo spent “more than $250,000 a year on snacks and soda,” and had bi-weekly “fun” outings like scavenger hunts, walking tours, room-escape challenges, costume contests, bowling events, go-karting, and “laughter yoga.”
We applaud the efforts of HR executives everywhere trying to curtail retention by making a festive atmosphere for employees, but seriously?!
“I would like to thank WWP’s dedicated employees, donors, sponsors and partners who have stood loyally by this organization over the last six weeks while the Board conducted a very comprehensive review of its operations and the allegations that were made,” said Anthony Odierno, Chairman of the WWP Board. “It is now time to put the organization’s focus directly back on the men and women who have so bravely fought for our country and who need our support.”