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"F" Rated Veterans Charities to Watch Out For This Veterans Day!

   Nov 11, 2021

Veterans Day is an ideal time to remind donors that just because a cause is patriotic doesn't mean that a particular veterans or military charity asking you for a donation will use it efficiently or effectively. If veterans and military causes are important to you, it is advisable to be proactive and seek out a charity to support that will use your contributions the way you intend. Visit CharityWatch's list of Top-Rated Veterans & Military Charities to identify a worthy charity to support, and review this list of CharityWatch "F" rated veterans and military charities to consider which charities you may want to avoid. 


"F" Rated Veterans & Military Charities

Adoptaplatoon Solider Support Effort has a mission of providing deployed military service members with quality of life and morale lifting packages. In an article we published in 2019, CharityWatch called on Adoptaplatoon to adopt better accountability

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 31%
  • Overhead %: 69%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $57
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2020

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes on Adoptaplatoon:

  • Approximately 95% of Adoptaplatoon's revenue is derived from the fundraising efforts of a professional fundraising company. 
  • Adoptaplatoon is in a dispute with its direct mail service provider concerning mailing costs. 
  • Adoptaplatoon reported Paycheck Protection (PPP) Loan proceeds of $88,125. 


AMVETS National Service Foundation has a mission of providing support to veterans through service programs as well as providing community and youth-oriented programs designed to promote unity and patriotism. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 28%
  • Overhead %: 72%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $62
  • Fiscal year ended 8/31/2018

CharityWatch provides a separate rating for AMVETS National Headquarters


Blinded Veterans Association promotes the welfare of blinded veterans so that they may take their rightful place in the community. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 27%
  • Overhead %: 73%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $54
  • Fiscal year ended 6/30/2018

Select CharityWatch Articles:

  • Watch the video featuring CharityWatch's work on "D" and "F" rated Congressionally chartered veterans charities. 
  • Read our article about how Blinded Veterans Association received a more than 4 star rating on another charity rating website that crowdsources its reviews from the public.  


Coalition to Salute America's Heroes has a mission of providing support to wounded troops, veterans, and their families and informing the public of the needs of wounded veterans. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 28%
  • Overhead %: 72%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $62
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2020

Select CharityWatch Articles on Coalition to Salute America's Heroes:


Disabled Veterans National Foundation has a mission to change the lives of men and women who came home wounded or sick after defending our safety and freedom. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 4%
  • Overhead %: 96%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $90
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2019


Read CharityWatch's many Articles & Alerts on Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) here

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF) reports compensating four vendors an aggregate of approximately $25.5 million during 2019. The largest amount went to a company called Innovairre for "Direct Mail prod[uction]", according to DVNF's audited financial statements of the same year. 
  • In April 2020 DVNF applied for and received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in the amount of $169,600. 


For The Troops has a mission to send care packages filled with basic necessities, such as snack items, DVDs, CDs, and personal care items and magazines to our troops around the world. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 20%
  • Overhead %: 80%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $69
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2018

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the For The Troops (FTT) 2018 tax filing (IRS Form 990, Schedule O), For The Troops reports that Paula Cornell (FTT's President) and James Cornell (FTT's Secretary) are the only two officers of the organization, and are two of the six total individuals on the charity's board of directors in 2018 (IRS Form 990, Part VII, Section A). 


Help Heal Veterans (formerly Help Hospitalized Veterans) has a mission of enriching the lives of veterans and military personnel. It manufactures and distributes therapeutic arts and crafts kits to support the healing of veterans and active duty military; educates the public on the needs of veterans; and strives to make a positive environmental impact. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 27%
  • Overhead %: 73%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $58
  • Fiscal year ended 7/31/2020

Read CharityWatch's many Articles & Alerts on Help Heal Veterans (formerly Help Hospitalized Veterans) here, including Congressionally Scorned Charity Leader Receives $1.9 Million

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the Help Hospitalized Veterans d/b/a Help Heal Veterans (HHV) audit of July 31, 2020 (Note 10, Settlement Receivable): "In 2014, the State of California and the Organization settled a complaint with no admission or finding of any wrong-doing, fault, violation of law, or liability. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement, the Organization will receive $2,000,000 from the estate of the former President upon the passing of his spouse. During the year the spouse passed and the settlement was collected."


Homes For Veterans has a mission of constructing handicap accessible homes for disabled veterans of war. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 9%
  • Overhead %: 91%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $78
  • Fiscal year ended 9/30/2020

Read Fundraisers For 'F' Rated Charities Hit With a Combined $170.2 Million in Legal Judgments

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the Homes for Veterans, a NJ Non Profit Corporation tax filing for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2020, Homes for Veterans reports having two Officers and zero Individual Trustees or Directors. The reported Officer positions are President and Vice President, and they both share the same last name of DiPaola (IRS Form 990, Part VII, Section A).


HonorBound Foundation (formerly National Veterans Services Fund) has a mission to serve veterans and their families with honor, dignity, and respect by advocating for and providing immediate assistance to them during times of crisis. 

  • Rating: F  
  • Program %: 37%
  • Overhead %: 63%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $114
  • Fiscal year ended 6/30/2020

Read Bookkeeper of Veterans Charity Faces Felony Larceny Charge.  

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the HonorBound Foundation audit of June 30, 2020 (Note 9, Professional Fundraisers): "The Foundation has engaged professional fundraising organizations (the 'fundraisers') to solicit public support on behalf of the Foundation to accomplish its stated mission and related programs. The fundraisers are responsible for soliciting contributions through vehicle donations and all costs associated with fundraising activities. ... The Foundation receives a percentage of the net amount derived from fundraising efforts based on the agreement entered into with the particular fundraiser." Audit Note 9 reports that the professional fundraisers "results" for fiscal 2020 for "Vehicle donations" included:  "Gross Revenue" of $942,720; "Towing cost" of $402,264; "Fundraisers Costs" of $506,360; and "Net Amount" (received by HonorBound) of $34,096.


Mutts With A Mission has a mission to provide selected, specially trained service/assistance dogs to qualified veterans, wounded warriors, law enforcement officers, federal agents and first responders.

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 9%
  • Overhead %: 91%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $84
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2019

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the Mutts With A Mission audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 4, Related Party Transactions, Transactions Affiliated with Board Members): "Beginning in 2015 and continuing to the present, the Organization's direct mail program is directed by ForthRight Strategy, a professional fundraising consultant. One of the Organization's Trustees is employed by ForthRight Strategy and serves as the Senior Account Executive over the Organization's direct mail program. The Organization pays ForthRight Strategy a fee based upon pieces of mail produced in the direct mail campaign, and is not contingent upon revenue generated..."
  • According to the Mutts With A Mission audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 2, Concentration of Risk, Concentration of Support): "Over 90% of the Organization's support is from the direct mail campaigns directed by one professional fundraising consulting firm, ForthRight Strategy..."


Operation Finally Home has a mission to provide homes and home modifications to America's military heroes and their families. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 32%
  • Overhead %: 68%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $31
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2020


Paralyzed Veterans of America has a mission to be the leading advocate for quality healthcare for PVA members; research and education addressing spinal cord injury and dysfunction; benefits available as a result of members' military service; civil rights and opportunities that maximize the independence of members. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 31%
  • Overhead %: 69%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $68
  • Fiscal year ended 6/30/2018

Read Veterans Charities Protest Their F's.

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018, PVA reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III): Regarding severance payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 4A): "Sherman Gillums, Executive Director through November 2017, was paid a severance totalling [sic] $300,000..."John Ring, CFO through November 2017, was paid a severance of [$]110,000 in 2018..."
  • PVA reports total compensation in the amount of $472,286 paid to Sherman Gillums in calendar year 2017. The reported total compensation paid to John Ring in calendar year 2017 is $362,326 (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part II).


Purple Heart Foundation has a mission to holistically enhance the quality of life for all veterans and their families, providing them with direct service and fostering an environment of camaraderie and goodwill among combat wounded veterans. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 7%
  • Overhead %: 93%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $88
  • Fiscal year ended 6/30/202020

Read CharityWatch's many articles about Purple Heart Foundation (aka, Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation) here

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation consolidated audit of June 30, 2020 (Note 9, Recurring Losses): "For each of the preceding 5 years the Organization has generated net losses ranging from $950,000 to $7.6 million dollars. The current year loss of approximately $414,000 dollars has further reduced net assets to a deficit of approximately $1.1 million at June 30, 2020. 
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation obtained a forgivable loan in the amount of $294,000 under the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program. 


United American Patriots has a mission to generate public awareness, fund legal representation, and provide reintegration and functional support for our Nation's Warriors. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 37%
  • Overhead %: 63%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $63
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2019

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • According to the United American Patriots audit of December 31, 2019 (Note 3, Professional Fundraising Service Agreement): "During 2019, the Organization had a direct mail fundraising agreement with a professional fundraising service organization to solicit contributions to support the Organization's charitable purpose. The professional fundraising service organization was paid $105 per 1,000 direct mailing packages processed and a 20 percent rental of provided lists of contributors. The Organization terminated the agreement in May 2019 by giving 30 days written notice as required by the contract. "In June 2019, the Organization entered into a contract with a professional fundraising organization that stipulates that the Organization pay a flat monthly rate of $3,500 plus costs incurred for postage and other direct costs. The Organization terminated the agreement in December 2019 by giving 30 days written notice as required by the contract.

    "Subsequent to year end, the Organization entered into a direct mail fundraising agreement with a professional fundraising service organization to solicit contributions to support the Organization's charitable purpose. This professional fundraising service organization is paid $95 per 1,000 direct mailing packages processed for the first 2 million pieces per year, $85 per 1,000 direct mailing packages processed for the second 2 million pieces per year, and $75 per 1,000 direct mailing packages processed after 4 million pieces per year, adjusted for inflation annually based on the Consumer price index. In addition, a 20% or 40% commission will be paid for standard list rentals based on their origin. The Organization may terminate the agreement by giving 90 days written notice at any time during the contract period which extends through December 31, 2039. "The Organization entered into a digital advertising agreement with a professional fundraising service organization to solicit contributions to support the Organization's charitable purpose. This professional fundraising service organization is paid 25% of the gross revenue raised by the in-house list of customers and 15% of gross revenue raised through third party email lists. The fundraising organization is also paid a fee for each email sent. The frequency of emails sent by the fundraising service organization is determined by the Organization. The Organization may terminate the agreement by giving 30 days written notice at any time during the contract period. "Subsequent to year end, the Organization terminated its contract with its digital mail fundraising service organization and is currently providing these services in-house."


Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Foundation has a mission to assist needy veterans, military personnel and their families; advocate for veterans and active duty personnel; conduct historical education and commemoration; and to promote patriotism, youth activities, and community service. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 42%
  • Overhead %: 58%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $70
  • Fiscal year ended 8/31/2018

Read CharityWatch article Bookkeeper of Veterans Charity Faces Felony Larceny Charge.

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW) consolidated audit of August 31, 2018 (Note H, Employee Benefit Plans): "The Organization also has a severance pay plan, which provides benefits to employees upon termination who have been employed for at least 10 years. The estimated liability for such benefits (vested and nonvested) as of August 31, 2018 and 2017 was $1,192,640 and $1,129,213, respectively...

"The Organization has an executive severance pay plan, which provides benefits to employees upon termination who occupy an executive position at the time of termination. The estimated liability for such benefits as of August 31, 2018 and 2017 was $313,837 and $229,980, respectively. As of August 31, 2018 and 2017, $313,837 and $229,980, respectively, has been placed in a separate investment account to fund the vested portion of such liability..."


Veterans Relief Network has a mission to provide financial assistance to U.S. military veterans and their families experiencing financial difficulty. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 13%
  • Overhead %: 87%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $82
  • Fiscal year ended 12/31/2019

From CharityWatch Analyst Notes:

  • CharityWatch has identified two telemarketing campaigns conducted by professional fundraisers on behalf of Veterans Relief Network (VRN) for which VRN received only 10% of the gross contributions raised. According to the VRN 2019 tax filing, as well as its reporting to Oklahoma as part of its annual state registration, filed 8/10/2020, VRN used two companies, Midwest Publishing, Inc. and Innovative Teleservices, Inc., as paid professional fundraisers during 2019. The portion of the contributions raised that went to these respective fundraisers was approximately 90% (IRS Form 990, Schedule G, Part I, Fundraising Activities). In addition, VRN reports in its 2019 tax filing that it paid another professional fundraiser, Precision Performance Marketing, Inc., approximately 74% of gross contributions raised related to "Direct Mail Consulting" activity (IRS Form 990, Schedule G, Part I, Fundraising Activities).


Vietnam Veterans of America has a mission of supporting a full range of issues affecting Vietnam veterans, as well as, all veterans. 

  • Rating: F
  • Program %: 25%
  • Overhead %: 75%
  • Cost to Raise each $100 in Cash Support: $67
  • Fiscal year ended 2/28/2019

Read Thrift Store Donations for Veterans Charity Investigated and Vietnam Veterans of America's "Recycling" Program, Debunked! 

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