Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Drops Soldier's Angels

In a previous post I mentioned that Soldier's Angels had agreed to take over management of the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. This was the result of numerous conversations and emails between Soldier's Angels and myself. I agreed to help as I could in the transition, but Soldier's Angels would take over the management and organizing of the Rendezvous.

One of the very first things that must be done is for the contract to be negotiated and signed with the Silver Legacy hotel, so we would have a place to hold the Rendezvous. Normally this should be done in December, as by the end of January the entire meeting room spaces are booked for the entire year. I contacted our guy in Group Sales at the Silver Legacy and told him that things were in transition and that we might be a little slow, but we'd get it done as soon as possible. I emailed and telephoned Soldier's Angels several times regarding the importance of getting this done right away so we wouldn't lose the space. I emailed them again last week, again stressing how important it was to get the contract signed, as there were a lot of other things that also needed to be done before September. The response was "...it seems to appear as the whole burden of the event is being pushed onto SA..." Since we had already agreed that I would sign a contract to transfer ownership of the Rendezvous and all rights to the Rendezvous to Soldier's Angels, I cannot understand how this could have been a surprise to them. They also stated that their staff were not paid enough to take on a project like the Gun Blogger Rendezvous! I'll bet they're paid more that I was for putting on the event for the last eight years...

So, I have now officially terminated the relationship between Soldier's Angels and the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. (Don't worry - Should have some fantastic news on a much better and more efficient organization for the  Rendezvous to join up with to benefit veterans in a few days!)

I took a little time to do some research on Soldier's Angels on the Net. You may want to do the same. It looks to me like the Soldier's Angels of today is a far different organization than it was five or six years ago. One online charity rating website gave them a grade of "D", while another gave them a grade of "D-". If what those site say is true, only 36% of the money collected by Soldier's Angels ever finds its way to the veterans. It is a matter of public record for a 501(c)3 non-profit, and I think their financial form is called a 990. If any of you know how to take a look at their 990 and see if this 36% is true, please let me know and I'll correct this post if it's wrong.


At Tuesday, March 04, 2014 9:10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 990 can have several forms depending on the type of org. but the real tipoffs are the ratio of gross income or receipts to "administrative expense". I'v seen "charitable" orgs run 60 or 70 percent admin costs. Which of course includes compensation to officers and board members. All too frequently the officers are paid very large amounts for their "fund raising expertise". Their should be a spot on the 990 which shows this but sometimes it gets disappeared in funny places. Also look at the ratio of income to disbursements for purpose for which organized. Unfortunately I've seen some of these where the charitable disbursements is only 4 or 5 percent of the money that comes in.


At Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:29:00 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Anybody heard anything from Maj. Zeigenfuss? His blog's been taken private.

At Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:52:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Completely said...

Not a word! I wonder if it was taken private entirely voluntarily, or if he was encouraged to do so?

GBR WILL be held this September, and although I can't announce the new charity quite yet, they are big about honoring veterans and getting them out in the fields for hunting, shooting, and other worthy projects. The organization's director is at the IWA Show in Germany this week, so it will be about a week and a half until we can make a formal announcement. The space at the Silver Legacy is being held for GBR.

At Wednesday, March 05, 2014 7:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody and any organization is more than happy to take a contribution when all they have to do is cash the check. When they have to WORK and EARN their income like the rest of the world, it is another story.

"Who will help Henny Penny make the bread? Not I, said Soldier's Angels..."

At Thursday, March 06, 2014 5:41:00 AM, Anonymous Linoge said...

Wow. Having been on the receiving end of Soldiers' Angels packages before, and having worked with them in the past to raise money, I confess to being disappointed, if not outright shocked at their response.

But, as you say, my experience with them was in the past. Here is to hoping the replacement organization you found is significantly more receptive!

At Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anthony said...

Sorry to hear about all the trouble Mike. I'll be curious to see who you are considering for next year!

At Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:18:00 PM, Blogger NotClauswitz said...

Charities are very difficult organizations to run, even at the University level they're often not self-sustaining - so too bad about that but looking forward regardless.


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