Ugh. The volunteer, probably an ageing vet, who put that together, put it in an envelope, and sent it off probably felt so useful and satisfied with their work. Feels bad, man.
The Senate investigation seems to make DVNF the victim of the direct mail companies, but Minnesotastan’s information seems to point out that DVNF is just as suspect with its only contributions to veteran’s groups being useless crap.
Looks like you got stiffed a free pen.
I got a similar “we gave you crap, now pay us” thing from them recently. Or was it a check? It was so unbelievably fishy, not just the printed address sticker thing everyone else does, that I bothered to look them up and came to the same conclusion. I’m generally offended enough that there need to be veterans charities. Where the hell are my military tax dollars going, anyway?
Yeah, the Senate investigation sounds like bollocks. The org spent less than 1% on charities, and what it “spent” was giving un-solicited, unneeded white elephant gifts, like 11,000 packages of coconut M&Ms or a pallet of embroidered pillowcases (that it likely got corporations to donate as a double write off - getting rid of product they couldn’t move and getting a tax deduction for the full “value” of the product). Sounds more like the “charity” and the direct mail companies are really almost one in the same, and the charity is just a grinder to generate salaries, not charity. The fines should have been much higher and jail should have been involved. Until jail happens, these kind of total scams will continue to be a desirable, no-risk crime for scumbags to take advantage of good people.
(Also, the linked blog post is from 2012 - only the update is from this year.)
Hey! One veteran’s useless crap is another corporation’s helpful tax write-off!
This post from the comments at the blog post seemed informative and credible:
"AnonymousMay 11, 2012 at 12:44 PMSugar Magnolia:
You are correct about the HSUS but not about Charity Navigator.
CN rates 6000+ charities and doesn’t bother to look beyond charities’
self-reported fundraising expenses on Page 1. HSUS and other D and F
rated groups exploit this ineptitude by cooking the books, categorizing
all those guilt gifts as “program expenses” on their tax returns.
Charity Navigator rewards them for this deceit with a four star rating.
HSUS touts this rating in their relentless mailings begging for money
to rescue animals (they do not) and online pitches. Charity Navigator
routinely rewards disgusting charities like Feed the Children, which
imploded in disgrace last year. Four stars also for the East Asian
Institute, the subject of a recent 60 Minutes expose and a just settled
$1 million lawsuit with the Montana Attorney General. Countless millions
of dollars were extracted from donors to the above - and many more -
scam “charities” thanks to Charity Navigator’s incompetence and
undeserved self-crafted image as a serious watchdog.
P.S. D rated HSUS uses the same direct mail firm as DVNF, Quadriga, which
threatened to sue the CNN reporters for asking questions. Classy.
Charity Watch is as great as Charity Navigator is terrible. I encourage people
to complain to Charity Navigator and urge them to evaluate large
charities and groups with questionable reputations more extensively than
tiny groups with tiny budgets. Their methodology is pathetic. They
don’t even take the online comments into consideration before granting 4
stars to frauds like HSUS. HSUS has received comments like yours for 5
years). CN gives mediocre ratings to some of the best charities,
organizations that are guilty of…filing honest IRS forms."
We’ve gotten dozens of these thick packages lately. We just send them back unopened under the logic that any organization that blows money on shipping unsolicited garbage has serious management issues.
Not to be mistaken for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which is a legitimate organization that actually helps people.
BIG display! American flag!
Shoddy, indeed. The calendar book is for 2012-2013.
This is an example of how inadequate our system of rating and reviewing charities is. Something like this (sending “donations” along with a request for a donation) allows the organization to mark the expense “programs” rather than fundraising. It’s reflected in their 990 (the only real source of quantifiable numeric information), which would indicated (in the absence of a real investigation) that they’re efficiently using their revenue. Just a good reminder that it’s really, really hard to figure out whether a charity is worthy of a donation.
I checked compensation data for them and it doesn’t look like anyone is getting paid a ridiculous amount, but god only knows how accurate their reporting is.
My bad- compensation data doesn’t include the fact that the charity is basically a front for the direct mail company to which it “contracts” services! http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/30/us/new-york-fundraiser-settlement/
So is the blog post the OP writes about. It was necrobumped with an update.
Does anybody take online comments seriously? IIRC, Russell Brand recently averred that the Guardian’s comment section appeared to be composed of Daily Mail readers…)
I blame Frauenfelder for being all shoddy what, with leaving dates out of his blurb, and all.
“Necrobumped” must be what happens to BB posts in my RSS.
I’d respond to you but I don’t take you seriously…your post is self-refuting.
Well, not here…