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Charity Rating

Kids Wish Network
4060 Louis Avenue
Holiday, FL 34691
tel: (888) 918-9004
EIN: 31-1579097

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Board Leadership

Karen Pelle
President

Health : Patient and Family Support

[DONOR ADVISORY]

Kids Wish Network

Where dreams really do come true

 

Charity Navigator has become aware of the following information in connection with this charity:

  • In February 2012, WFLA (Tampa’s NBC affiliate) reported that an employee of Kids Wish Network (KWN) questioned the charity’s "fundraising methods, its contracting practices and reports it sent to the IRS" (Form 990).  Although the charity reports that it has a Whistleblower Policy, it subsequently fired the employee alleging that she "was stealing proprietary information via computer to set up her own charity for granting the wishes of sick and dying children." For more details, please see WFLA’s report.

  • According to WFLA's reporting, one of the points raised by the employee was that the charity failed to disclose on its Forms 990 business transactions involving interested persons.  Kids Wish Network has since filed amended Forms 990 which show that it has engaged in business transactions involving interested persons (a current or former officer, director, trustee, or key employee; a family member of a current or former officer, director, trustee, or key employee). Specifically, Mark Breiner, former Director of Kids Wish Network, is an employee and shareholder of United Charities International, Inc. and Amerasource. These companies provide licensing and consulting services to Kids Wish Network and were paid a total of $692,771 in FYE 2011 and $993,000 in FYE 2010. For more details, please see WFLA’s report, the charity’s amended Forms 990, a copy of the contract between Amerasource and KWN and a copy of Amerasource's Florida registration.

  • According to the IRS Forms 990 filed by KWN, a number of family members were or are in leadership positions at the charity. Shelley Breiner was the charity’s treasurer and co-founder with Mark Breiner.  Mark Breiner was the co-founder and the Director. As of FYE 2011, Barbara Askin, Shelley’s mother and Mark Breiner’s mother-in-law, remains a paid officer of the charity (secretary). 

  • On November 27, 2012, Kids Wish Network posted a response to this Donor Advisory which can be found on its website here.

  • On July 3, 2013, NBC2 reported that “…the Florida Attorney General and the Department of Agriculture both announced they're investigating” Kids Wish Network. The report also notes that the Florida Department of Agriculture “…has received 146 complaints against Kids Wish Network since 2003. Over the past 10 years they have received 20 complaints against the charity's financial operations. More than 100 complaints are against their solicitor for Do Not Call violations.” And the story also mentioned that the “Kids Wish Network raised $25 million in 2011. Only $239,000--or three cents of every dollar--actually went to sick kids.” For more information, please see the NBC2 report.
  • On June 6, 2013, The Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting published a list of the America’s Worst Charities. Kids Wish Network was ranked the #1 worst charity in that report. For more information, please see the full report, The Tampa Bay Times article and the Kids Wish Network's listing in that study.
     
  • Kids Wish Network provided Charity Navigator with this rebuttal, which appears on the organization's web site.

Charity Navigator, as an impartial evaluator of publicly reported financial information, takes no position on allegations made or issues raised by third parties, nor does Charity Navigator seek to confirm or verify the accuracy of allegations made or the merits of issues raised by third parties that may be referred to in the Donor Advisory. However, Charity Navigator has determined that the nature of this/these issue(s) warrants making this information available so that donors may determine for themselves whether such information is relevant to their decision whether to contribute to this organization. (See How we decide to post a Donor Advisory).

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