The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is now in the middle of a massive reorganization and is firing half of its executive team, in addition to closing down nine offices.
Remaining officials are repurposing millions of dollars in funds to mental health programs, Military Times reports.
But for Mike Linnington, the new WWP CEO as of earlier this year, changing where funds are spent isn’t an admission of wrongdoing.
“This is a case where the negative publicity have caused us to take an internal look at how to do things better,” he said. “Where Wounded Warrior Project came from to where we are now is a success story. We have 90,000 post-9/11 veterans we’re helping.”
The WWP came under intense scrutiny in early 2016 after a CBS News investigation of the group revealed incredibly lavish spending on conferences and alcohol purchases, instead of on basic programs offering support for mental health issues.
“A lot of the warriors I saw needed mental health treatment. They don’t get that from Wounded Warrior Project,” a former employee told CBS News back in March. The CBS investigation focused mainly on finances, but int he past, WWP has suffered a reputational hit for aggressively going after similarly named charities over apparent intellectual property violations.
Since the scandals broke, WWP fundraising efforts have taken a significant dive, especially because the loss of its CEO and COO in March led to a drama-filled power struggle over who actually is in control of the charity.
But Linnington isn’t worried. The new changes, he said, are primarily about providing better services to veterans. Major donors come second to that goal.
“We’re still a very healthy organization,” Linnington said, according to Military Times. “We have been talking to our members throughout this process and making it clear that we aren’t changing who we are. We’re increasing investment in our most important programs, and still committed to helping veterans.”
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