Tag Archives: businesses

Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts – The Ultimate List

With Veterans Day around the corner, we wanted everyone to know about the great discounts and freebies available in your community. We have compiled a list of restaurants, parks, retailers, and more that will be offering Veterans, Service Members, and their families freebies and deals on services and goods.

Remember: Always check with the establishment in your area, not all locations on these lists are participating. You will also want to ensure you have proof of your service (Military ID, Drivers Licence with Veterans Designation, DD214, a photo ID in uniform, wearing your uniform, or some other proof of service). Finally, always ask your server/cashier/attendant for the discount, don’t assume they know about the discount or freebie… plus, you know what they say about assuming… 😉

We have compiled the lists according to type of establishment. Click on the link and you will be able to view the PDF in your browser then opt to print or save the list by clicking the appropriate icon on the bottom right. Have fun, enjoy, and thank you for your service!

2013 Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts – Food

Follow the link above to see the list of restaurants, bars, and grills that are offering Veterans Days freebies & discounts.

2013 Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts – Retailers

Click the link above to find out which of your favorite clothing stores are participating in Veterans Day by thanking our Nation’s Heroes with great discounts and free stuff!

2013 Veterans Day Freebies & Discounts – Parks & Museums

The link above will show you what events, parks, and museums are going to be offering discounts and free entry on Veterans Day.

That’s our list! Feel free to add any others you may know about. And remember, although they may not be on this list, a lot of establishments and companies offer discounts to Veterans, Service Members, and their families all year – be sure to ask!

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Selfless of Selfish: Determining a Charity’s Legitimacy

Attorney general sues veterans’ charity, alleging deceptive fund-raising practices

Calif. sues major veterans charity for millions, alleges fraud and self-dealing

Murray, Blumenthal, Nelson Call on Departments of Justice, Treasury to Investigate Charitable Organizations Exploiting Veterans for Own Financial Gain

Charities accused of overvaluing donations

It seems as though a lot of instances of fraudulent and deceiving Veteran charities are coming to light and we just want to help you make informed decisions. Below you will find a few different areas that you should look into before donating to an organization in order to ensure the legitimacy and trustworthiness of any charity.

#1 Local Hands, Local Dollars, Local Stories 

Keeping your dollars local is always a good thing – support your community! By staying local with your donations you have the luxury of being able to know the organization personally. Visit their office and take some mental notes: Is it a building full of closed doors? Are there clients present? Do they display what they do? Meet the people that work there: Are they friendly and helpful? Do they seem enthusiastic about their cause? And ask about their local impact: What have they done for the community? How many people have they helped? And compare that to how long they’ve been in business.

With local organizations you can get a feel for what they do and how they do it but you should still dig a little deeper and see how they work internally. Also, what if you want to give to an organization that isn’t local? It’s time to take a peek at their financials.

#2 On the Dollar Percentage

One of the first things you want to find out is how much of the donated dollar is being put towards their programs or charitable purposes. 60% is decent (60 cents on the dollar) but most efficient charities can allocate 75% or more towards their programs (75 cents on the dollar).

But how do you find out? There’s two ways, you can call and ask or most organizations have it posted somewhere on their site, or you can take a look for yourself by investigating their 990. You will want to look at Page 10, Line 25, Column B “Total Program Service Expenses” and divide it by Page 10, Line 25, Column A “Total Expenses” then multiply by 100. This figure will give you an idea of the on the dollar percentage.

Click here for an example using our own 2011 990.

#3 Overhead Percentage

Another way to determine a charity’s legitimacy is to figure their overhead by looking at their 990; it should be accessible to the public. Overhead refers to ratio of revenue to various costs. This number should typically be 25% or less, usually less.

To compute, find or request the organization’s 990 and look at Page 1 and Page 10. The formula looks like this:

(Part I, Line 18 “Total Expenses”) – (Part I, Line 13 “Grants Paid”) – (Part I, Line 14 “Benefits to or for   _______Members”) – (Part IX, Line 25, Column B “Total Program Service Expenses”)________

Part I, Line 12 “Total Revenue”

Click here to see an example using our own 2011 990.

Overall, we want you to be able to choose with confidence a charity that will put your donations to work and we used our own information to show you that it can be done – there are hardworking charities out there. We hope you use this information every time you are considering donating. These are simple tasks that can provide you with the data needed to decide if a charity is using your donations wisely as well as a great insight on where an organization’s mission is coming from: their wallet or their heart?

For more information on this topic or to see lists of rated charities feel free to visit any of these sites:

(link presence does not imply endorsement)

Charity Navigator (Top 10)

Charity Watch Top-Rated

Independent Charities of America

Best of CFC

BBB Charity Ratings & Reviews

GuideStar