Wounded Warrior Project officials are firing half of their executives, closing nine offices and redirecting millions in spending to mental health care programs and partnerships as part of an organization overhaul in the wake of spending scandals earlier this year.
Mike Linnington, a retired Army lieutenant general who took over as CEO of the embattled organization earlier this year, said the moves aren’t an indictment of past practices at the charity but a recognition of changes needed to keep the group relevant and providing the best resources possible to veterans.
“This is a case where the negative publicity have caused us to take an internal look at how to do things better,” he said. “Where Wounded Warrior Project came from to where we are now is a success story. We have 90,000 post-9/11 veterans we’re helping.”
The moves come months after the 13-year-old organization came under attack for accusations of exorbitant staff salaries, lavish corporate retreats and other reckless corporate spending.
Without acknowledging any wrongdoing at the time, board members dismissed two top WWP officials and promised better transparency and accountability of group finances.
Those finances are a hefty total. Fundraising jumped from under $100 million five years ago to more than $300 million last year. Linnington acknowledged that the recent scandals have hurt fundraising totals this year, but insists the changes are focused on ways to better serve veterans and not just appease big donors.
That includes boosting support for some programs, like the Long-Term Support Trust initiative and parts of the group’s Warrior Care Network, but also killing off others.
Read more at Military Times
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