The Council on Foundations has announced more than $106 million in new commitments to strengthen services and support for millions of veterans and military families across the United States.
Launched last year in response to the Obama administration's Joining Forces initiative, the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge includes commitments from thirty-four foundations, nonprofits, and corporations in the areas of education, employment, homelessness, community integration, and wellness. The commitments include pledges from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which is supporting efforts to eliminate homelessness among veterans; the Jewish Women's Foundation of New Jersey which is supporting a funding and community education initiative that addresses issues unique to women veterans; the Lockheed Martin Corporation, which will assist organizations serving military members, veterans, and their families; the New York State Health Foundation, which is working to strengthen behavioral health providers and evaluate emerging partnerships between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the private healthcare sector; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, which are focused on strengthening regional and state systems serving veterans and military families; and the WebMD Health Foundation, which is supporting mental health initiatives that address the needs of veterans and military families.
The council also released its first Impact Pledge progress report on the efforts of current pledge members. In support of the effort, the council created the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange, an online platform designed to facilitate the sharing of best practices, the identification of emerging needs, and additional donor support.
"Returning soldiers face serious, often simultaneous challenges, like adjusting to a new routine with their families, looking for new jobs and homes, starting college or training courses, and receiving physical and mental health treatment, among others," said Council on Foundations president and CEO Vikki Spruill. "Today's announcement shows philanthropy's ongoing commitment to meeting these challenges with significant action. In addition to the pledged funds, these organizations are committing to the information sharing, relationship building, and ongoing engagement that will make a lasting difference in the lives of our country's veterans and their families."