America's worst charities

Our ranking based on cash paid to solicitors in the past decade

In detail#19: Vietnow National Headquarters

Vietnow National Headquarters was founded more than 20 years ago to help veterans and their families. Its touted programs include feeding the homeless, providing assistance with mental health issues, and paying college scholarships for vets and their families. The organization also publishes public awareness and educational material about prisoners of war and Agent Orange-related health conditions.

But the biggest beneficiaries are not men and women of the Armed Services. Over the past decade, Vietnow has raised $18 million through professional solicitors and paid the for-profit companies that raised that money $16 million. The charity spent 3 percent of donations on direct cash aid for veterans, about $32,000 a year.

In 2003, its relationship with a fundraising company, Telemarketing Associates, was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case. The contract between the charity and fundraiser said that the solicitor would keep 85 percent of the donations. The Illinois attorney general said the fees were excessive. The court ultimately concluded that the First Amendment prohibits prescribing the amount a fundraiser can charge.

Officials at the charity did not respond to multiple messages left at its national office.


In their own words: the Charity's mission

Vietnow will be providing assistance for disabled and needy war veterans and their widows and orphans, insurance benefits for members of Vietnow and members of chapters, and for care and assistance to hospitalized veterans.

Unedited mission statements provided by the Colorado Secretary of State


Vietnow National Headquarters

Known state disciplinary actions

Find out more about the actions in our database

States bringing actions Number of known actions Outcomes Total fines
Mississippi 1 Fine/penalties $500

Fundraising and spending history

For years prior to 2008, cash raised from other sources might be included in the "cash raised by solicitors" column.

Year 990
form
Cash
raised by
solicitors
Solicitor
was paid
Cash to
the charity
Charity
salaries
Cash to
direct aid
% cash to
direct aid
Reported
totals to
programs
2010 pdf $1,402,095 $1,179,659 $222,436 $35,074 $19,354 1.38% $174,191
2009 pdf $1,667,827 $1,403,432 $264,395 $35,928 $34,013 2.04% $152,285
2008 pdf $1,283,384 $1,073,838 $209,546 $32,584 $35,125 2.74% $165,861
2007 pdf $1,413,753 $1,244,939 $168,814 $31,860 $39,947 2.83% $180,974
2006 pdf $1,633,631 $1,453,746 $179,885 $33,216 $67,797 4.15% $216,047
2005 pdf $1,970,522 $1,748,726 $221,796 $31,946 $58,764 2.98% $206,006
2004 pdf $2,187,259 $1,963,507 $223,752 $27,396 $94,399 4.32% $248,586
2003 pdf $2,888,269 $2,565,557 $322,712 $27,009 $89,502 3.10% $238,216
2001 pdf $3,655,664 $3,225,473 $430,191 $17,698 $88,672 2.43% $164,363
zTOTALS $18,102,404 $15,858,877 $2,243,527 $272,711 $527,573 2.9% $1,746,529

Who raised the money

Year Solicitor Cash raised Cash to solicitor Cash to charity % to charity Activity
2008 Menacola Marketing $140,643 $118,140 $22,503 16.00% telemarketing
2008 Galloway Marketing $128,573 $105,430 $23,143 18.00% telemarketing
2008 Community Relations $12,485 $9,988 $2,497 20.00% telemarketing
2008 PR Marketing $13,225 $10,977 $2,248 17.00% telemarketing
2008 Caring People Enterprises $24,652 $19,722 $4,930 20.00% telemarketing
2008 Teleservice USA (Clawson, MI) $110,587 $93,999 $16,588 15.00% telemarketing
2008 Organizational Development $113,062 $96,102 $16,960 15.00% telemarketing
2008 Telcom Services $207,961 $176,245 $31,716 15.30% telemarketing
2008 Total Safety Publications $190,494 $156,205 $34,289 18.00% telemarketing
2008 Non-Profit Services $341,702 $287,030 $54,672 16.00% telemarketing
2009 Campaign Center $110,615 $94,023 $16,592 15.00% telemarketing
2009 Teleservice USA (Clawson, MI) $111,091 $94,427 $16,664 15.00% telemarketing
2009 Telcom Services $235,178 $199,183 $35,995 15.30% telemarketing
2009 Public Awareness (Irving, TX) $51,501 $43,776 $7,725 15.00% telemarketing
2009 PR Marketing $31,249 $25,937 $5,312 17.00% telemarketing
2009 Northeast Advertising Dba James Vincent $33,570 $28,198 $5,372 16.00% telemarketing
2009 Non-Profit Services $334,797 $281,229 $53,568 16.00% telemarketing
2009 Total Safety Publications $358,669 $301,282 $57,387 16.00% telemarketing
2009 Menacola Marketing $321,379 $269,959 $51,420 16.00% telemarketing
2009 Independent Marketing Solutions (Chetek, WI) $79,778 $65,418 $14,360 18.00% telemarketing

Who got direct cash aid

Year Recipient Cash received Location
2010 American Gold Star Mothers $1,500
2010 American Gold Star Mothers $1,000
2010 Gold Star Mothers National Monument Foundation $5,000
2010 University Of The Sciences $250
2010 Vavs Executive Committee $200
2010 Shawnee Community College $250
2010 Sons & Daughters In Touch $320
2010 Volunteers Of America-Florida $500
2010 Coalition Of Families $250
2010 Vietnow Chapters $5,500
2010 Loras College $500
2010 Larry Stark $750
2010 Pow/Mia Foia Litigation Fund $500
2010 Vietnam Veterans Memorial $50
2010 Stillman Banc Corp $549
2010 Nv & Gwv $500
2010 University Of St. Thomas $500
2010 Tomah Va Voluntary $250
2010 Nv & Gwv $600
2010 Gonzaga University $250
2010 Vigilant Music Llc $300
2010 Fair Foundation $500
2010 University Of Missouri-Columbia $1,000
2010 Slow & Low Bar-B-Que $946
2010 The Chosen Few $250
2010 The Highground $250
2010 American Gold Star Mothers $5,508
2010 Sons & Daughters In Touch $4,500
2010 Froggy Bottom Pub $543
2010 Fair Foundation $250
2010 Korea-Cold War Families Of The Missing $250
2010 Vietnam Veterans Gathering $50
2010 Agsm-St. Louis Chapter $75
2010 Veterans Community Programs $250
2010 Heft Family Memorial Fund $100
2010 Living Word Ministries $500
2010 Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding $150
2010 Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans $225
2010 National Ladies Auxiliary $100
2010 American Pride Entertainment $250
2010 Top Of Illinois Veterans Stand Down $250
2010 Transitional Living Services $500
2010 Veterans Service Division $1,000
2010 American Gold Star Mothers $2,700