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August 28, 2022

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Where Does $100 to Wounded Warriors Go (2021)?

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 in 2021, the short answer is that $13 was allocated to savings leaving $87 spent on four things:  

  • Compensation for employees:  $23
  • Grants: $16
  • Direct Response – Fundraising, A & P, Postage and Shipping:  $23
  • Program/Other Provider Services:  $10
  • Office, Fees, Travel and Other Expenses:  $15

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 about 800 employees;
  • Wounded Warrior Project raises about $300 million annually, primarily from contributions, gifts, and grants and has generally spent less than raised; and
  • With nearly $400 million in net fund assets, the Wounded Warrior Project is in a strong financial position.

In 2021, the Wounded Warrior Project raised $339 million (compared to $287 million in 2020), most of which came from contribution, gifts, and grants.

Expenses totaled $295 million 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 $295 million in expenses were categorized as follows:

  • $156 million (46% of revenue):  Program Services
  • $ 54 million (16% of revenue):  Grants
  • $ 69 million (20% of revenue):  Fundraising
  • $ 16 million (5% of revenue):  Management and General Expenses

As illustrated above, the Wounded Warrior Project spent significant funds on fundraising – $69 million – or 20% of revenue).  Another $16 million was spent on management and general expenses, leaving $210 million or 62% of revenue for program services and grants. $44 million (13%) remained unspent and was allocated to the general fund, which had $390 million at year-end.

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

$100:  Revenue

-$ 20:  Fundraising

-$  5:  Management and General Expenses

-$ 25:  Subtotal: Fundraising and Management and General Expenses

 $ 75:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 46:  Program Services

-$ 16:  Grants

-$ 62:  Subtotal:  Program Services and Grants

$   13:  Remaining Revenue:  To General Fund (savings)

As illustrated above, $25 out of every $100 was spent on fundraising and management and general expenses. $62 out of every $100 was spent on program services and grants.

Expenses by Specific Line Item Category

The $295 million in expenses were categorized as follows:

  • $78 million (23% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $16 million (5% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $ 9 million (3% of revenue):  Fees for Services (accounting, legal, investment, etc)
  • $11 million (3% of revenue):  Advertising and Promotion
  • $ 2 million (1% of revenue):  Travel and Conferences
  • $20 million (6% of revenue):  Other Expenses (no detail provided)
  • $51  million (15% of revenue):  Direct Response (fundraising)
  • $19 million (5% of revenue):  Postage and Shipping (primarily fundraising)
  • $54  million (16% of revenue):  Grants
  • $35  million (10% of revenue):  Program/Other Provider Services

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

$100: Revenue

-$ 23: Compensation

-$  5:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  3:  Fees for Services

-$  3:  Advertising and Promotion

-$  1:  Travel and Conferences

-$ 15:  Direct Response (fundraising)

-$  5:  Postage and Shipping (primarily fundraising0

-$  6: Other Expenses

-$ 61: Subtotal:  Compensation,Office, Fees, Advertising, Travel, Fundraising

 $ 39:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 16:  Grants

-$ 10:  Program/Other Provider Services

-$ 26: Subtotal:  Grants, Programs and Other Services

 $   13:  Revenue Not Spent:  To General Fund

As illustrated above, $61 out of every $100 was spent on compensation for the 800 employees, office-related expenses, fees for outside services, advertising and promotion, travel and conferences, postage and shipping and direct response fundraising expenses.  $26 out of every $100 was spent on grants and programs/other provider services.

The Wounded Warrior Project made $54 million in grants, $53 million of which were to domestic organizations while $1 million was to individuals.  60 grants greater than $5,000 were made (for details on the grants, see the Form 990, Schedule I, Part II, Grants and Other Assistance to Domestic Organizations and Domestic Governments.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2020 for the year ending September 30, 2021), click here.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Judge1
    Aug 30 2022

    These monies are labeled travel, fundraising, Grants, You can bet that none of the listed
    The Wounded Warrior Project made $54 million in grants, $53 million of which were to domestic organizations while $1 million was to individuals. 60 grants greater than $5,000 were made (for details on the grants, see Form 990, Schedule I, Part II, Grants and Other Assistance to Domestic Organizations and Domestic Governments.
    Just don’t give any monies to this type of charity.

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