We like to focus on the positive here at RAW, but sometimes it’s necessary to point out the negatives, in the hopes of helping others avoid them. We hope to become a kind of lighthouse. With that, we’ve noticed an uptrend in people and businesses taking advantage of veterans. These unscrupulous entities prey on the compassion and empathy of supporters for veterans, by soliciting funds and goods. Many “organizations” like the ones listed in stories like this one will rake in millions. Only 4-10% of that making it to veterans.

There are some steps you can take to help crack down on these orgs, and to prevent other veterans from encountering the same fate. When you have suspected an organization is not distributing funds, goods, or services appropriately, you can assess the org’s income/expenses using Charity Navigator. While some orgs have a good rating on Charity Navigator, their financial management may reveal a darker truth.

When you have reasonable knowledge of an organization and wish to report it, you can do the following:

Step 1. Report it to the Better Business Bureau

Step 2. File a Complaint with the FTC

There is also additional information about actions you can take to protect yourself and fellow veterans on the FTC’s website.

If you have additional information, questions, concerns, or advice, please share it in the comments below.
If you have dealt with an organization that was not able to help you, it may not be a sign of misuse of funds or resources by the organization. It could mean that you don’t meet the criteria set forth by the organization. Some organizations, for example, will only accommodate amputees losing any limbs or fingers, while others only accommodate triple amputees, missing 3 or more limbs.

If you believe an organization treated you unjustly, you are welcome to leave a review on that org’s page here at RAW. If they aren’t listed, please consider adding them to the org queue. We will notify the author of any submission once the org/vso has been checked and added to the Directory.