‘Tis the season to be jolly and the season when organizations ask for donations that they say will help veterans. The nonprofit world can be downright nasty and competitive. So where to put your hard-earned dollars? Sadly, there are organizations that spend a large percentage of the funds collected for veterans and service members on fundraising, salaries, and administrative costs.

One such solicitation landed in my mailbox earlier this year from the National Veterans Services Fund (NVSF) based in Darien, Connecticut. It presented a poignant reminder about the “thousands of disabled veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea”:

“Many of these vets literally gave their arms and their legs in battle to preserve your freedom, your prosperity, and your family’s future.”

In the next paragraph, it asks to send “your gift of $10 or more to our 2015 Annual Fund Campaign. Your $10 gift will mean so much to a disabled veteran.”

That solicitation came on a neat form letter, with an NVSF Washington, D.C. address. And, since I live in Oceanside, California, this “Annual Fund Drive voluntary reply form” had listed in its return address “2015 Oceanside Area Annual Fund Drive” with the NVSF Washington, D.C., P.O. box.

The envelope came complete with nonprofit stamps to coverage postage charges, and with this additional solicitation on the back: “P.S. Just $5 or even $3 will help a lot! Won’t you please send just $5 now to help in our efforts to help our disabled military veterans?”

It is a slick marketing program produced by Direct Response Consulting Services marketing company, and it was signed by Phil Kraft, listed as the NVSF “program director” in this annual drive. It didn’t mention that Phil Kraft is also the president and treasurer of the NVSF.

Since 2009, I have worked and volunteered at nonprofits that take pride in the fact that more than 90 percent of every dollar collected goes to services for veterans and social service programs in north San Diego County, with the remaining 10 percent or less going to salaries and costs.