Is $500K CEO salary too much for a non-profit organization?
Wounded Warrior Project is facing criticism from more than 40 former employees about how it spends the more than $800 million it’s raised in the past four years, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.
Wounded Warrior Project says 80 percent of their money is spent on programs for veterans. That’s because they include some promotional items, direct response advertising, and shipping and postage costs. Take that out, and the figures look more like what charity watchdogs including CharityWatch and Charity Navigator cite — that only 54 to 60 percent of donations go to help wounded service members.
Steven Nardizzi has been the Wounded Warrior Project CEO since 2009. In 2014 he was paid $496,415.
It’s in line with similar-sized charities, but former employees told us they thought it was too much. Nardizzi defended his salary to our CBS Norfolk affiliate last April. “My salary is less than one tenth of one percent of the donations that come in, and I am running an organization that is helping hundreds of thousands of warriors,” Nardizzi said in the interview.
The alarm about Wounded Warriors’ excessive spending was sounded earlier last year by another disabled veteran, Bryan Black. He also lists many veterans organizations that are very worthy of support.
“Team Rubicon is an organization I belong to and fully support. I often overlook them when referring to charities, as I see their mission differently. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.”
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