Veterans charity is under scrutiny: Know how to protect your charity donations
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's a frustrating story, millions of dollars intended to help Veterans that they never saw.
The National Vietnam Veterans Foundation raised more than $29 million in four years and less than 2% actually went to Veterans' causes.
Scandals like this might make you think twice about donating to a charity. So we went to find out how you can you make sure the money you donate is going to those who need it?
Charity Watch is an organization that grades organizations says the most important thing to understand when donating is knowing the program that the charity is fundraising for and how much of the proceeds go towards those who it benefits.
Donations that were meant for the men and women who serve our country instead went to line the pockets of the national charity's founder.
The New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, says John Burch, the head of the American Veteran Support Foundation used thousands of dollars in donations to pay for personal travel, night clubs and expensive food.
Charity Watch also takes note that there several Veteran charities that take advantage of donors. For charity watch to give a good grade to a charity, 75% or more of their budget should be going towards the charitable programs.
Schneiderman found that in 2014, only about 10% of the $8.6 million that American Veteran support took in for Veterans actually went to programs to help veterans.
Stephanie Kalivas of Charity Watch says if you want to donate make sure to ask how much of your donation goes towards the charity because a lot of it might be going to a fundraising company hired by the charity.
Charity watch also says to make sure your giving to the charity you intend to give to because some scam charities will create a name similar to a reputable charity.