Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wounded Warrior Revenue Declines; Drop of $77 Million Matches Projections after Cutbacks

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wounded Warrior Revenue Declines; Drop of $77 Million Matches Projections after Cutbacks

Article excerpt

Byline: David Bauerlein

Newly released financial documents show Wounded Warrior Project suffered a $77 million drop in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, a downturn that snapped years of sizzling expansion for the Jacksonville-based charity.

The 19 percent drop in year-over-year revenue is in line with what Wounded Warrior's top leadership previously projected for the organization when officials cut staff and pared back some services last summer in wake of a plunge in donations.

The most recent reports, which were posted on Wounded Warrior's website, are for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

Wounded Warrior is midway through its current fiscal year. The charity did not give a dollar figure for what it expects its revenue will be this year, but it said the financial situation has stabilized. It is working to expand mental health assistance, which surveys show is a top need for veterans and family members.

"Our outlook is strong," spokesman Rob Louis said. "We are growing again. We are halfway through the fiscal year and are ahead of projections with positive momentum."

Wounded Warrior was founded to help veterans who suffered physical and mental wounds since the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001. It became one of the nation's fastest-growing charities as donors opened their pocketbooks to help those returning from the battlefield. Those donations took a hit after national media reports in January 2016 highlighted spending practices such as an employee conference in 2014 at The Broadmoor, a five-star resort in Colorado.

Wounded Warrior disputed figures used in the reports for how much the charity spent on program services. But the charity's board also ousted the two top executives, bringing in a new CEO as part of change that resulted in turnover in other top posts.

While the revenue side of the ledger fell in wake of the media reports, Louis said, Wounded Warrior was able to put $213 million into programs for services to veterans and family members in the 2015-16 year. …

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