Joining Forces Impact Pledge organizers announced five new pledges to the Philanthropy Joining Forces Impact Pledge at an event at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum last week. With the new commitments, a total of 35 participants have pledged more than $200 million over the next five years to support veterans and their families as they transition back into civilian life. The Blue Shield of California Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, and Bob Woodruff Foundation hosted the event in conjunction with the White House Joining Forces initiative. The new pledges came from Lockheed Martin, New York State Health Foundation, Wal-Mart Foundation, WebMD Health Foundation, and Yellow Ribbon Fund.
“The Council on Foundations applauds these five institutions for joining together to support the nation’s service members and their families,” said Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “This initiative continues to grow both in number of pledges and scope of work because of increasing collaboration and information sharing among organizers. Through the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange, the Council is proud to provide a forum for funders to come together to support our men and women in uniform.”
The milestone event was a mid-point in the project’s development to gather organizations that have already committed pledges, welcome new pledges, and provide opportunities to advance among public, private, and philanthropic partnerships. A spring 2015 meeting of funders and partners is being planned to welcome another new cadre of pledges to reach a new total of $300 million in pledge commitments.
The Philanthropy Joining Forces Impact Pledge is a cooperative effort within the philanthropic community to build a community of interest and action in the funding and nonprofit community to assist our warriors returning to their communities.
On April 30, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Round 1 of the Joining Forces with Philanthropy Impact Pledge, which mobilized over $100 million in new funding commitments in support of veterans and military families. This meeting is the second public event around the Pledge. Funders and other pledge participants coordinate their activities and promote their work through the Council’s Veterans Philanthropy Exchange.
An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.