Acadiana is known for its giving spirit to help others in need, especially when it comes to our nation's veterans, but, unfortunately the community must remain vigilant against groups misusing donations.

The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana President and CEO Sharane Gott said the organization is keeping an eye on a well-known charity known to assist U.S. veterans, but has recently come under scrutiny.

The Wounded Warrior Project's CEO Steve Nardizzi and COO Al Giordino were recently fired following national news reports pointed out monetary donations were used for extravagant parties and conferences.

According to a August 2015 report issued by the BBB's Wise Giving Alliance, Wounded Warrior Project reported a total income of $304.2 million with total program expenses costing $175 million. Administrative expenses totaled $9.2 million.

The Wise Giving Alliance offers the following tips to help donors give wisely and make the most of their generosity:

  • Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations such as the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Get free access to charity reports at
  • Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
  • Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.
  • Be wary of emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
  • Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.