Scam of the day – March 14, 2016 – Wounded Warrior Project fires administrators

The Wounded Warrior Project was created in 2003 to help wounded veterans coming back to the United States.  It started modestly, but grew dramatically in recent years, taking in almost a billion dollars in donations since 2009.  However, despite much good work helping returning veterans, there have been charges for quite a while of lavish spending unrelated to the charity’s purposes as well as large salaries paid to administrators, particularly Steve Nardizzi, its chief executive and his right hand man Al Giordano.  Following an internal investigation, Nardizzi and Giordano both had their employment with the Wounded Warrior Project terminated last week.  According to approximately 40% of the charities donations were spent on fundraising and administrative expenses in 2014.

Some charities are pure scams where scammers take all of the donations and never provide payments or services to anyone other than the phony charity’s administrators.  However, other “legitimate” charities may, strictly speaking, not be violating any laws, but take an outrageous amount of money to pay inflated salaries of administrators and costly fund raising efforts that do little to advance the charitable purposes of these charities.  I have written many times about various charities that fit this pattern.


As a rule of thumb, charities that spend more than 25 to 33% of their donations on their own administrative costs including large salaries may be considered to be charities you may wish to avoid. A good place to go to find out whether or not a charity is first and foremost a scam and then to learn how much the charity spends of its donations on its own administrative expenses is where you can find this information for free.

Scam of the day – October 28, 2013 – Wounded Warrior Project scam

The Wounded Warrior Project is most assuredly not a scam.  It is a charity that has numerous programs to help wounded American veterans.  Unfortunately, according to Columbus, Ohio police, the name of this commendable charity was used by Joseph Earl Stewart who was recently arrested for going door to door soliciting donations for the charity when he had absolutely no connection to the organization, and according to police, merely kept the money that generous people thought they were giving to The Wounded Warrior Project.  According to the Columbus police department, Stewart had managed to steal thousands of dollars from unwary donors before he was caught.  This case exemplifies the difficulties in knowing when you make a charitable donation whether the person you are giving your money to is legitimate or not.


A good policy to follow is to make your charitable donations directly to the charities either online or by mail and only then after you have confirmed both that the charity you are giving to is legitimate and that the website or address you are using is the correct website or address.  By giving charitable donations in this manner, you can not only be sure that the charity will actually receive your donation, but you also are insuring that more of your donation goes toward the charity’s charitable work rather than having some of it go to a commission to a person collecting from you door to door or by phone solicitation.  In order to check whether the charity is legitimate as well as its correct address and even to learn how much the charity spends on administrative costs as compared to its charitable work, go to  By the way, gives The Wounded Warrior Project a three out of four star rating.  If you want to give to the Wounded Warrior Project directly, you can go to their website