August 28th, 2013
01:33 PM ET

Kids Wish Network responds to report on AC360

This week, AC360 featured Drew Griffin's reports on the Kids Wish Network. They were produced in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting and the Tampa Bay Times. They found the charity raised some $127 million in donations over the past decade, but spent precious little—less than three per cent in cash—to help dying children.

The Tampa Bay TImes has a full breakdown on the Kids Wish Network's finances including their tax returns.

The Kids Wish Network responded on Twitter:

kwn tweet

Anderson responded to the Kids Wish Network's tweet:

anderson tweets

You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Drew Griffin's report on-line

Please click here, if you have a tip for Drew Griffin and the CNN Investigations team

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Ruth.

    I've often wondered if those charities that ask for mone for the poor kids in 3rd world countries are honest. It breaks my heart when I see these poor children, but I do 't want to be "taken"

    September 2, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  2. Bahia Paw

    Thank you, Anderson and staff, for bringing to light the shadiness of the, "Kids Wish Network." Groups that give nothing more than a token amount to their stated mission really make it difficult for other 501(c)(3) organizations including community service organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious groups. Those of us who support and work for non-profits struggle enough ... we don't need or want to operate in the shadow of groups like "Kids Wish Network." Encourage your listeners and readers to use websites like, "Charity Navigator," or "Charity Watch," before they give. Also, contact your state's Office of Attorney General. I like in PA and with one phone call I learned that a group seeking donations gave only 7% to its stated mission. Every organization that has any integrity will gladly respond to questions and send information to prove where every last penny goes. Please know that there are trustworthy organizations out there, who respect you enough to be fully transparent! Please do continue to support these trustworthy organizations!

    August 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  3. Steve

    LOL – read the accounting report that Kid's Wish Network posted on the rebuttal page! The first page of the report says that the "audit" is not an audit, but just a reporting by the CPA firm of numbers given to it by KWN, numbers it cannot verify.

    The FACT that KWN is trying to pass off this report as "audited" and the auditors are very openly saying that the report is NOT audited, shows that something fishy is going on.

    August 28, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
  4. hilreal

    Simplest solution is to only donate to local charities where you can see the work that they are doing. Chances are if a charity is hiring a professional solicitation company that a large percent is going in the solicitors pocket. I am always leary of anyone purporting to help children and defenseless animals....plying on your sympathy.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  5. Pat

    I stopped giving to a lot of charities after finding out what little really goes to actually helping the cause and tired of not getting any positive updates of how the donations helped. Also, I'm sick of getting return address labels, note pads and the like. I give to give not to accept things I have plenty of. The March of Dimes, I found out, is the biggers fake. They continue to torture animals in their needless experiments for drug cures. There are a lot that don't, so don't buy the story that "they all do". Check them out first.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  6. sammy750

    The issue is that the State of Florida is doing nothing about this fraud company. They have looked at it and give them a few fines of under $6000. Florida seems to be the center of big corporate crimes since Florida does nothing. The Kids Wish Network which is a fraud continues to sue anyone that speaks about or against them. DO NOT DONATE MONEY TO THIS FRAUD KIDS WISH NETWORK. They have changed their name before.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  7. Richard Steinberg

    Anderson, did you read the response? They say the numbers were incorrectly used. They tell you why. They attach proof. You reply that it was in their tax form. You hope that people are angry enough that any claim that a particular charity is bad will make you popular, with reckless disregard for the facts.

    They say the story was wrong on the "whistleblower." Sounds like you should be investigating the whistleblower. You don't answer that. Are you ready to retract that part of the story?

    You say "why won't they come on the air and defend themselves?" Simple. You are a media personality with a following, and they fear you will persuade your fans despite the truth. In criminal trials, failure to testify is not an admission of guilt. If they present the facts in written form, why can't you respond.

    You might even think you are doing the right thing, not pandering to improve your ratings. Well, your name is attached to these tweets - not the people who did the study you cited - and you have a responsibility to listen to their answers before condemning them.

    I don't know whether they are a good charity or a bad charity. But you need to respond, not just counter-attack.

    There are bad charities out there. But you have to work harder to identify them.

    August 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Kate

      I read the response. It was a great deal of talking and very little in the way of facts. A whole lot of well, if you play with the accounting numbers, then we give a whole 56%. So out of every dollar gained they give .56 cents. That is according to them.

      You realize if you give to St. Jude EVERY cent goes to the kids. PERIOD.

      Cooper did bring up the investigation by the FBI and the results of that. That was not hidden at all.

      August 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  8. Michael

    Way to go, Anderson. We need more crooks like these exposed so that people can donate to charities that really WILL help kids!

    August 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  9. john vance

    Some of these organizations are truly scams, some are just very poorly managed. Either way, unless you're just looking for a place to dump money for tax deductions and don't care where it goes after that there are undoubtedly many other charities which would more efficiently and effectively utilize your contributions.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  10. Dana Stanecek

    Anderson, thank you very much for revealing charities that are not forwarding funds collected to the places people who donate, intend their donations to go. What I fear is that this will make people like myself leery of future donations. Could you please give us the good with the bad? What if each time you reveal a bad charity, you also reveal one that actually does what it says they’re going to do? I appreciate all you do! Dana

    August 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  11. RobertHowe

    John King ( on 360) answered exactly as I was thinking re: Obama's Syria position and statement about getting Congress to approve action before his election and after. Turns out you find a different perspective when you are the guy driving the bus.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  12. Mike Davis

    Anderson thanks for running this story. You highlighted a corrupt non-profit giving a bad name to others. But please set the record straight. I've worked with small non-profits and most have, under very difficult circumstances, tried to raise money for their missions. Yes, some individuals abuse the system. I believe the majority try to achieve their mission without enrichment to the officers. In fact, most utilize many volunteers to make the goals come true. Keep up the good work.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  13. steve

    Charity lashes back? Outrageous! Hard for them to give up the greedy stealing business.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  14. Arthur Itis

    about time this came out...dont forget the red cross...mda...and united way...sadly the law only requires that 10% actually go to the cause..the rest is salaries BONUSES and expenses...some pay their directors half a mil a year or more...their excuse seems to be...well they could make much more in the private sector...this things ought to be totally voluntary...no one gets paid...the mda telethon...jerry lewis as said publicly more than once that he's the only person who doesn't get paid..nice to know most of my donation is going into professional fund raisers and contracted telemarketing companies executives pockets. WTG Anderson!!! don't let em get away that easy...

    August 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  15. Bill Burness

    WHO EXACTLY GOT PAID THE $109m? How much did each employee/company make? What is the name of the company(s) that received the $109m?

    August 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  16. JM

    I have given to the KIds Wish Network in the past – never again. I'll stick with St. Jude's Hospital.

    August 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  17. J.J.

    Does your investigative reporting include all the"Feed this child, save this dog,help this homeless vet,cure this disease" ads we see on CNN dozens of timesa day on CNN?

    August 28, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

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