Rick Ungar pivots off of conservative talker Debbie Schlussel’s investigation and comes up with the following about Freedom Alliance’s “Freedom Concerts,” which were supposed to raise money to send the children of fallen soldiers to college and help wounded soldiers pay their bills.
Apparently they’ve done little of either.
In 2008, the charity raised $8,781,431 in revenue and gave out just $1,060,275.57–or 12%–to seriously wounded soldiers and for scholarships to kids of soldiers who have died. About 80% was spent on expenses, including $1,055,791 on postage, $925,392 on printing and $157,041 on travel.
Folks, when a charity’s expenditure on stamps equals the amount they spent fulfilling the actual mission of the charity, something is seriously wrong.
It is a well established rule of thumb that a legitimate charity is expected to spend 75% of its revenues on the mission of the charity. In 2008, Freedom Alliance spent 12%
And that was a good year!
The charity’s 2007 tax return reveals only 7% was spent on scholarships and payments to veterans. The 2006 returns reveal a truly appalling situation – while the organization took in almost $11 million, they spent only $400,000 on scholarships and grants to injured soldiers.
And apparently conservatives warned Hannity about his profligate ways. Schlussel shares this email from a “well known conservative writer” and his conversation with a friend at FOX News:
The guy went on to tell me about Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts,” which are staged across the country with the proceeds going to children of slain soldiers. Of course, as the guy tells it, there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage. The promoter apparently values Hannity’s star demands at well over $200,000 per event. The source says he heard that Oliver North pulled Hannity aside at one of the concerts and told him that this had to stop. But that may mean that, from now on, Hannity has to fly on a G4 instead of a G5, gets only a few luxury SUVs, and two or three suites.
Here’s the thing…the goal of this organization is very valuable and if it worked the way it should it would help a lot of people. So I applaud those who started this because I’m sure the intentions were noble.
Still, Hannity now has a choice…either return the money he has taken out of the organization (since we all know he can afford it) or suffer the wrath of conservatives, liberals and military personnel everywhere.
In short, do the right thing Sean.
More as it develops…