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Wounded Warrior Project Spends Lavishly On Itself

The nonprofit sector benefits from a diligent press. In my experience as a compensation consultant to nonproift organizations, press inquiries are usually thoughtful, fact-based and an important peg in the process of insuring a healthy and ethical sector. While I found this Wounded Warrior Project article thoughtful, there are two points that I believe require more explication:

In addition to current employees, former employees and the President, one other group should have been queried; members of the board. The board of trustees of a nonprofit organization are our surrogates – we, the taxpayers “own” the nonprofits and the organizations are responsible to all of us. However, since we each individually cannot be responsible for each nonprofit organization, we put a group “in trust” for us. The board, usually unpaid volunteers, has a fiduciary responsibility to insure that the organization is run according to legal standards and that its main purpose is for the public good.

For this article to be fair, we need to have heard from members of the board. Secondly, the article’s premise is that the organization is profligate and that the among the funds raised, not enough are going to the veterans (or too much is going to the benefit of the employees in the form of lavish expenses, etc). The IRS has guidelines on executive compensation. If the CEO’s total compensation is as reported, then, as a nonprofit compensation consultant, I can aver that it is fair and reasonable based on comparables.

James Abruzzo, Consultant, Consulting, Executive Search, Nonprofit Compensation, Expert Witness, Wounded Warrior Project

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