The transition after active duty service challenges faced by veterans and their families has been the core theme for the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange since 2014, a network of funders and donors interested in supporting veterans and military families. The VPE has developed a learning and peer sharing agenda to help funders stay on top of important research about post-9/11 veterans needs and to share promising practices. Issues explored in the few past years have inlcuded veterans employment, community engagement, and nonprofit capacity building. Formulation of a public policy agenda in this arena for philanthropy is now evolving, sharpening its focus on clearly defining the role of philanthropy versus the role of the government in supporting the nation's veterans --- informed by the lessons of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for 17 years.
At this year's annual convening, the theme will focus on veterans and military family well-being after transition. Many veterans face real challenges as they reintegrate into the mainstream community after combat, assignments in hostile environments, or deployments in the unending war on terror. Their families are affected as well.
The Miami convening will present guest speakers and foster participant discussions about the role of philanthropy in educating and aligning community-based services needed to meet veterans transition and community reintegration needs. Many, if not most, nonprofit social and health service providers have veterans or their family members in the mix of their client base but may not be aware of the unique needs that veterans have during their transition back into civilian life. Understanding key community indicators for achieving veteran physical and mental health and overall well-being, and how these can be communicated to communities will be the primary learning objectives.
Generously supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
April 29 – Pre-Convening Dinner for Community Foundations 6:30-8:30 p.m., Lure Fish Bar, Loews Miami Beach Hotel
There will be a special complementary dinner for community foundations attending Leading Together 2019 to discuss the opportunity for community leadership on veterans support in your community and the potential for donor recruitment. Any community foundation attending the conference may RSVP for this event at April 29 Dinner.
May 1 – Day One
- 4:30-5:45 p.m. — Opening session: What Veterans and families are saying about their well-being after service
- 6:30-9:30 p.m. — Off site networking reception and dinner in Miami's famous Wynwood Walls District
May 2 – Day Two
- 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. — Peer Discussions and Guest Speakers
- Key indicators of veteran and family well-being
- Supporting veterans in nonveteran-centric grantmaking and importance of holistic transition planning
- Health issues unique to combat veterans that jeopardize long term well-being, including impacts on the women who serve
- The role of foundations vs government for successful community reintegration and well-being
- Spreading veterans philanthropy best practices to other funder communities
- Regional Philanthropy in Action
- Special presentation about the profile of Puerto Rico's 100,000 veterans and Hurrican Maria's impact on their long-term well-being
2019 Annual Convening Working Group
- Barbara Bartle, President & CEO, Lincoln Community Foundation
- Donald Cooke, Vice President of Philantropy, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
- Catharine Grimes, Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
- William Lockwood, Program Officer, May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
- Megan Everett, Veterans Director, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
- Emmanuel H. Johnson II, Program Officer, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
Veterans Philanthropy Exchange Founders Group
- Blue Shield of California Foundation
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
- Lincoln Community Foundation
- Robert R. McCormick Foundation