CharityWatch REPORT
Issued December 2016

CharityWatch Articles & Donor Alerts

CharityWatch conducts research and publishes articles on charities. Current and archived articles we have written about this charity are posted here, as are select articles we have published with topics related to this charity or its cause. Visit our Articles page to view CharityWatch's entire library of posted articles.

CharityWatch Articles

WonderWork Co-Founder is No Mr. Wonderful

Brian Mullaney, the man who for charities like Smile Train and WonderWork, popularized the dubious fundraising advertising claim of "100% to Program," may face legal action and tax penalties, potentially for unjust enrichment, self-dealing, tax avoidance, and other claims related to his tenure as WonderWork co-founder, president, and CEO from 2011 to 2017. As part of WonderWork's bankruptcy proceedings, a Final Report of Examiner, filed in November 2017 by the court-appointed Examiner, detailed Mullaney's history of employing questionable fundraising practices to play on the emotions of empathetic donors, using most of the funds raised to pay for more fundraising while also enriching himself.

Have You Been Wondering About WonderWork?

Many CharityWatch members have recently been receiving a deluge of similar-looking direct mail solicitations from several charities with different, unfamiliar names: BurnRescue, FirstStep, and 20/20/20. The solicitations of these charities look similar to one another because all three are actually programs of a single charity, WonderWork, Inc.

Hot Topics & Donor Alerts

Donor Alert: $16 Million Award Against WonderWork May Force It to Cease Operations

Two charities, HelpMeSee and WonderWork, remain embattled in a lengthy legal dispute over a services agreement that has resulted in a $16 million arbitration award against WonderWork that includes compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees, and arbitration costs. 

While the dispute may be ongoing, what may not be ongoing for much longer is WonderWork, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on December 29, 2016. This protects the charity, at least temporarily, from paying creditors, including HelpMeSee. “Enforcement of the Arbitration Award would, for all intents and purposes, put [WonderWork] out of business,” WonderWork’s CEO, Brian Mullaney, stated in court filings.

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