Wounded Warrior Project Declines Church Fundraiser
Liberty Baptist Church and Academy in Fort Pierce, FL, recently registered to host a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Imagine their surprise when the charity responded that they did not accept donations from fundraisers run by religious groups. As reported on FoxNews:
We must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn’t allow community events to be religious in nature.
Facing an onslaught of shock and criticism, the WWP Facebook page generated this reply to virtually every person who mentioned the controversy:
We did turn down this potential fundraiser because it did not fit several of our giving guidelines for community events. Unfortunately, we mistakenly communicated to the church that the event was turned down because we do not accept donations from religious groups, which is not the case. We work with many diverse groups to honor and empower Wounded Warriors including religious groups. We have called the church to apologize for any confusion.
Despite repeated requests, the group declined to say what “several…giving guidelines” the church and school failed to meet. From the WWP FAQ, the group indicates it does limit its associations, but it doesn’t mention religion:
19.Are there any fundraisers WWP does not support?
WWP fundraisers cannot be sexual or political in nature and cannot be partnered with alcohol brands.
On another page, however, the very last footnote is more detailed [emphasis added]:
WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or weapon companies.
The self-contradictory statements by the WWP have yet to be explained.
As a private organization, the WWP is free to scope its fundraising efforts however it sees fit. It seems the WWP tried to avoid “controversial” potential fundraisers (political) as well as those it felt were ill-suited to its character (sexual, alcohol, and, to a lesser extent, weapons). Where religion fits in those factors is unclear.
Like some other groups, it seems WWP views religion as a stigma, at least until people find out they feel that way. The controversy has generated significant publicity — and not in a good way. Some of their donors — who are unhappy with the WWP but want to continue their support for other wounded troops — have begun to advertise other support opportunities.