Conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel has accused Sean Hannity's Freedom Alliance charity of unethical fundraising practices and use of money. Schlussel points out how less than four percent of Freedom Alliance's earnings in 2006 went to the nonprofit's listed causes -- college funding for the children of fallen soldiers and care for wounded veterans.
Media Matters For America points out the accuracy of Schlussel's numbers analysis, but withholds judgment on the validity of her claims, as Freedom Alliance does not openly state on its Web site the percentage of raised funds that will go to their specific programs. Nevertheless, Freedom Alliance may be hurt by Schlussel's accusations that tens of thousands of dollars were spent on private planes for Hannity's family and friends.
In fact, less than 20%-and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively-of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferret the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity's statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes. Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.
Credit goes to Daily Kos, who broke this story back in 2007.
From Daily Kos (08/06/2007):
So if we were to assume that the average ticket price was $50 (we'll err on the conservative side) then the organizers of this event are skimming $37 a person off the top, not including other paraphenelia. Of course there may be some expenses involved but how much is each person being paid? It also means that 92% of all moneys being paid by concert goers is NOT going to the families of soldiers. Hannity claims that "100% of the profits" go to the families. Again, note the use of the word "profits." By the time Hannity and the Freedom Alliance have taken out money for "expenses" profits are few and far between.
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