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Posted on Mar 24, 2008 in Stuff We Like

Veterans charities: comparing apples and lemons.

Gerald D. Swick


Recently, a reader asked us a question about donating to charities that purport to help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many "charities" may meet the legal definition of that word, but the bulk of the money they receive from well-meaning donors ends up in the pockets of highly paid administrators instead of going to help vets.


People want to give to veterans, who have given so much of themselves; accordingly, an appeal to help vets is an easy way to get people to open their checkbooks.



Sadly, some “charities” are more interested in benefitting their bank accounts than in aiding those they purport to help. This is not unique to veteran-oriented charitable groups. 


So how do you tell the apples from the lemons, determine which groups spend most of their donations on the vets, or on whomever they claim to serve, and which ones divert most of the money to overhead and administrative costs? provided some recommendations for checking out charities, in a 2006 article titled “Make sure that your donations count.”


The article stated, “Three groups put large, general-interest charities under the microscope: The American Institute of Philanthropy (, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (, and Charity Navigator (”


Before whipping out your credit card to make a donation to any group, you should consider visiting these sites to see how they rate various charities.  All three use different criteria, so going to all three will give you the best overview.

Type the word “veterans” in their search engines to find charities that deal with vets.


Inspirational essayist George Matthew Adams said, "I never met an unhappy giver." A little investigation before making a donation keeps that statement true.



1 Comment

  1. Good Day,

    I, wish for assistance in order to receive residence in the following building in Joliet, IL

    at the “Western Building” off of Pine st.

    I have been approved for renting a apartment in this rental community. There is a $300. 00 deposit required and I ask respectfully for help as a United States honorable Veteran.

    I moved up here to Chicago area for the National Pipeline but the flood turned a good thing into a bad dream. Will you please help. Western Building 373 western Ave. Joliet, IL 60435

    :phone 815-726-2000 fax:815-726-6030 I have contacted other organization to help,

    but no one has responded.


    Marlon Williams