Last December, the Washington Post ran a Page 1 story the used an American Institute of Philanthropy report to criticize veterans charities for being inefficient fundraisers.
Paralyzed Veterans of America received an "F" grade and was listed in a chart, which said: "Letter grades were based largely on the charities' fundraising costs and the percentages of money raised that was spent on charitable activities."
Well... PVA fought back and Homer S. Townsend Jr., the PVA's acting executive director, complained to the newspaper by saying the Post's publication of those grades "without an explanation of how they were derived is a disservice to readers and the affected charities."
Last Sunday, the Post's ombudsman agreed with some of PVA's criticisms.
Townsend said the organization lost $500,000 from a donor who didn't like the "bad publicity." Townsend said that by running the story on Page 1, The Post "gave those ratings unquestioned legitimacy. Your readers deserve explanations of this complex subject." And complex it is. My reporting found that charity watchdogs compete with one another and don't agree on standards.