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march/april 2008

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Veterans’ charitable organizations in general took a media hit last year when the charity watchdog group, the American Institute of Philanthropy, issued a widely publicized report that was harshly critical of several veterans’ foundations. The AIP found that some veterans’ charities were spending excessive percentages of the donations they took in—over 80 percent in some cases—to pay fundraising expenses, including salaries.

The good news is that the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund did not even come close to falling into the flunking category. In fact, VVAF spends a very small percentage of the funds it receives on administrative expenses.

“For the past ten to fifteen years, 95 percent of the donations to the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund have been spent on programs,” VVAF Executive Director Joe Sternburg said. VVAF’s Board of Directors, moreover, “receive no salary or stipends,” Sternburg said. “Only travel expenses are reimbursed. We have meetings three times a year. The rest of the time we do our Board work by teleconference.”



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