The folks over at CharityWatch.org have just published a thoughtful guide to helping veterans and the military. The report is part of the CharityWatch Winter 2014-15 Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report. It’s available now only to CharityWatch members (annual membership is $50 for an individual). Among other things, the report:
- Reminds us that there are thousands of charities serving veterans and military, not all of which have “veteran” in their names. Enter “veteran” in the name search at CharityCheck101.org and you’ll find almost 16,000, while CharityWatch.org reports 40,000 nonprofits dedicated to serving the military and veterans (and 400,000 total that in some way touch veterans and the military.
- Alerts us to the Directory of Veterans and Military Service Organizations published by the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Veterans.
- Parses the Directory’s 35 needs categories and produces a list rated “C-” or better by CharityWatch.org that help meet those needs. Remember, CharityWatch.org grades are based on financial efficiency and do not consider the quality of the program services provided. So, you’ll need to dig further to see the actual results produced by any group.
If veterans and military needs are part of your charity focus, or if you would like an independent view on more than 600 mostly national charities, I suggest you become a member of CharityWatch.org and get the most recent report (and their other reports, that provide their full ratings and more).
Unfortunately, the veterans and military focused charity sector has produced a large share of under-performing groups. At SeriousGivers.org I’ve done eight reviews of individual groups over the last year or so. Here are the links,
- Fisher House Foundation [Angel]
- Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America [Angel]
- AMVETS National Service Foundation
- Operation Homefront
- United Service Organizations (USO)
- Wounded Warrior Project
- National Vietnam Veterans Foundation [Vampire]
- Paralyzed Veterans of America [Vampire]