DARIEN - The head of a Darien nonprofit agency that raises money for veterans defended its record today after a national watchdog group named it one of the worst charities in the nation.

The National Veterans Services Fund (NVSF) on West Avenue in Darien got a negative rating this week for the ninth year in a row.

National watchdog group Charity Navigator says NVSF is inefficient, with only about 30 cents out of every dollar raised going to program services.

NVSF executive director Phil Craft says the other 70 cents goes to the professional fundraisers who generate the charity's income.

Kraft says the job of collecting about $8 million a year cannot be done efficiently by him and the only other full-time member of his staff without using professional fundraisers.