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July 16, 2020

Where Does $100 to Wounded Warriors Go (2019)?

by Anne Paddock

The Wounded Warrior Project is one of the most well-known non-profit charitable organizations focused on rebuilding the lives of wounded veterans. Established in 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) charitable organization whose stated mission is to “honor and empower wounded warriors.”

Most donors want to know how their donations are spent.  If you gave $100 to the Wounded Warrior Project, the short answer is that most of your donation was spent on five things:

  • Compensation for employees ($25)
  • Grants ($16)
  • Direct Response – fundraising ($16)
  • Program/Other Provider Services ($13)
  • Warrior Events/Activities ($7)

But, if you want the long answer or simply more information, read on.

Key information about the Wounded Warrior Project is summarized as follows:

  • Headquartered in Jacksonville, FL
  • The organization has nearly 800 employees.
  • Wounded Warrior Project raises nearly $300 million annually, primarily from contributions, gifts, and grants.
  • With more than $300 million in net fund assets, the Wounded Warrior Project is in a strong financial position.

In 2019, the Wounded Warrior Project raised $282 million. Expenses totaled $281 million (not including depreciation) which can be looked at two (2) ways:  by broad general category (i.e. program services, grants, management, and fundraising) or by specific line item categories (i.e. compensation, travel and conferences, grants, fees for services, etc). Both are beneficial with the latter approach providing more detail.

Expenses by Broad General Category

The $281 million in expenses were categorized as follows:

  • $155 million (55% of revenue):  Program Services
  •  $ 45 million (16% of revenue):  Grants
  • $ 66 million (23% of revenue):  Fundraising
  • $ 15 million (6% of revenue):  Management and General Expenses

As illustrated above, the Wounded Warrior Project spent significant funds on fundraising – $66 million – or 23% of revenue).  Another $15 million was spent on management and general expenses, leaving $200 million or 71% of revenue for program services and grants.

Using the above information, every $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 23:  Fundraising

-$  6:  Management and General Expenses

-$ 29:  Subtotal: Fundraising and Management and General Expenses

$ 71:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 55:  Program Services

-$ 16:  Grants

-$ 71:  Subtotal:  Program Services and Grants

$   0

As illustrated above, $29 out of every $100 was spent on fundraising and management and general expenses. $71 out of every $100 was spent on program services and grants.

Expenses by Specific Line Item Category

The $282 million in expenses were categorized as follows:

  • $ 70 million (25% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $ 14 million (5% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $ 10 million (4% of revenue):  Fees for Services (accounting, legal, investment, etc)
  • $ 10 million (4% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $  5 million (2% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $ 27 million (9% of revenue):  Other Expenses (no detail provided)
  • $ 44 million (16% of revenue):  Direct Response (Fundraising)
  • $ 45 million (15% of revenue):  Grants
  • $ 36 million (13% of revenue):  Program/Other Provider Services
  • $ 20 million (7% of revenue):  Warrior Events/Activities

Using the above information, every $100 was spent as follows:

$100: Revenue

-$ 25: Compensation

-$  5:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  4:  Fees for Services

-$  4:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  2:  Travel and Conferences

-$ 16:  Direct Response (Fundraising)

-$  9: Other Expenses

-$ 65: Subtotal:  Compensation,Office, Fees, Advertising, Travel

 $ 35:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 15:  Grants

-$ 13:  Program/Other Provider Services

-$  7:  Warrior Events/Activities

-$ 35: Subtotal:  Grants, Programs, Warrior Events

 $   0

As illustrated above, $65 out of every $100 was spent on compensation for the 766 employees, office-related expenses, fees for outside services, advertising and promotion, travel and conferences, and direct response fundraising expenses.  $35 out of every $100 was spent on grants, programs/other provider services, and warrior events and activities.

The Wounded Warrior Project made $45 million in grants, $44 million of which were to domestic organizations while $1 million was to individuals.  41 grants greater than $5,000 were made with the largest recipients listed as follows:

  • $8,639,844:  Mass General Hospital of Boston, MA for the Warrior Care Network Program (WCNP)
  • $7,697,648:  UCLA Health Science Development of LA, CA for WCNP and to expand surgical treatment options
  • $7,043,991:  Rush University Medical Center of for the WCNP
  • $5,200,000:  American National Red Cross for comfort items and assistance
  • $3,501,107:  Emory University of Atlanta, GA for the WCNP
  • $3,000,000:  Team Rubicon of Los Angeles, CA to support training
  • $1,300,000:  The Mission Continues of St Louis, MO to support volunteer opportunities
  • $  750,000:  Operation Homefront of San Antonio, TX for financial assistance for veterans
  • $  573,000:  Homes For Our Troops to support adaptations in 12 homes
  • $  410,000:  Veterans of Foreign Wars of Kansas City, MO to support benefit counselors
  • $  400,000:  Travis Manion Foundation of Doylestown, PA for “Character Does Matter” program/workshops

878 grants totaling just over $1 million ($1,187,337) were made to individuals. The average individual grant size was $1,352.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018 for the year ending September 30, 2019), click here.

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