A veterans’ charity that paid less than 2% of its income to veterans is closing its doors for good

Story Highlights

  • Charity run for veterans by VA employee got zero stars from rating groups
  • It has now closed

In an email to CNN, David Kaufman, the charity’s vice president, said the Veterans Foundation “has severed all ties” with the organization’s president, Thomas Burch, who, in addition to ‘being president of the charity, also has a full-time job as a government. lawyer with the veterans agency in Washington.

“Tom Burch has resigned from the Foundation and NVVF is closing completely,” Kaufman wrote in an email to CNN. “All fundraising has ceased and the only thing being done is the distribution of blankets, personal care kits and related items in the warehouse.”

In the original CNN report, the watchdog group Charity Navigator gave the Foundation zero out of four stars. According to its public tax returns, called 990, the Foundation took in $29 million over a four-year period, but nearly all of it went to telemarketers and fundraisers. Within a year, the charity also paid a parking bill of nearly $8,000.

Michael Thatcher, CEO of Charity Navigator, said the foundation deserved a zero rating.

“If we really cared about Vietnam veterans, is that an effective way to make a difference? I don’t think so. I can’t justify it. I can’t explain it.”

When CNN’s Drew Griffin approached the charity’s chairman outside his home in suburban Washington and tried to ask questions, Burch drove off in his vintage Rolls Royce rather than stopping to answer.

The VA, through a spokesperson, said it was unaware of Burch’s work as chairman of the charity. In an email, VA spokesperson James Hutton said Burch was still employed as an attorney but an internal investigation, led by the agency’s office of inspector general, was still ongoing. .

Attempts to reach Burch for comment both by phone and email were unsuccessful.

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