Nonprofit Newswire | State Does Battle Against Veterans’ Fund-Raising Groups

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DateMay 23, 2010; Source: Register-Guard | The way things are going, the U.S. Defense Department may to have to launch a military-like campaign to put down the many organizations claiming to collect money on behalf of veterans but mostly keeping what they raise for their personal benefit. First—as NPQ reported earlier—a group calling itself the U.S. Navy Veteran’s Association was exposed as a likely multi-million dollar scam. Now comes a story this week from the Eugene, Ore., Register-Guard that the state has sued three nonprofits that claim to benefit veterans but appear to be pocketing proceeds for themselves, and has reached settlement with two others.

In one suit brought by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, the state alleges that that Associated Community Services, the fundraising arm of Veterans of Oregon & Members, collected more than $500,000 on behalf of its client but “little if any of the money benefited the homeless and hospitalized vets that donors were told they were helping.” The state also claims that since mid-2009, No Veterans Left Behind Association, which sells veterans-related gear and asks for donations from storefront booths, has kept 80 percent of the money it raised.

Separately, the state reached settlements totaling $180,000 with Center Stage Attractions and The Veterans Fund. Center Stage, which is based in Florida, set up a call center in Oregon to raise money for The Veterans Fund. According to the Register Guard, Center Stage made false statements to potential donors. We salute those who are diligently fighting scams like these being perpetrated in the name of and on behalf of those who deserve better.—Bruce Trachtenberg