The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge today announced $7 million in new investments to strengthen services and support for millions of veterans and military families across the United States. With their commitments, PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., Orange County Community Foundation, and CarMax and The CarMax Foundation join the 32 philanthropic organizations and corporations that have pledged since 2014. Through grants and other forms of support, nearly $283 million has been committed in the Impact Pledge to date.
“Being part of the Impact Pledge is not only a financial commitment in support of our servicemen and women, it is also a commitment by funders to collaborate and share expertise, information, and resources with each other to address the multitude of challenges facing our veterans,” said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “Impact Pledge members are tackling issues and effecting lasting change in veteran homelessness, access to education and job training, and a range of other health and wellness needs.”
In 2014 several member organizations of the Council on Foundations initiated the Impact Pledge in response to the call of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to the nation to join forces in supporting veterans and military families, especially those who had been deployed to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. These founding pledge members include the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Council on Foundations Veterans’ Advisory Group, and participants from the annual White Oak Conference hosted by Blue Star Families, which brings together the public and private sector to foster and create partnerships to address the ever-changing challenges of military family life.
The new Impact Pledge members announced their commitment on the first day of the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange’s annual Veterans Philanthropy Convening in Washington, D.C. Each year the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange brings together its members as well as members of the Impact Pledge and other funders supporting veterans and military families for two days of learning and sharing. The 2016 convening includes a funders’ meeting to discuss what the national narrative of veterans philanthropy should be after the formal end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the opportunities for collective impact and collaboration among the funders, and also includes meetings with federal officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Labor, and Defense Department to hear updates federal veterans’ priorities. A Capitol Hill event to inform policy makers about the lessons learned in veterans philanthropy is also scheduled. The 2016 Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge recognition reception on April 12 is a national event that also includes national military associations and veterans-serving nonprofits, colleagues in government, and other national groups with interests in veterans’ philanthropy.
This year’s convening features remarks from Don Cooke, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy, Robert R. McCormick Foundation; Duncan Niederauer, Former CEO, New York Stock Exchange; Colonel Nicole Malachowski, U.S. Air Force, Executive Director of the White House Joining Forces Initiative; Lee Woodruff, author and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation; Admiral Michael G. Mullen, U.S. Navy (Ret.), 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Patrick Murphy, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army, Justin Brown, Co-founder of HillVets, and Congressman Scott Peters, D-CA52, United States House of Representatives.
About the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange
The Council on Foundations created the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange (http://www.cof.org/content/supporting-veterans-military-families), an online platform, to allow philanthropic organizations to share best practices, identify and address emerging needs, leverage resources and investments for maximum benefit, and enlist donor support.
About the Council on Foundations
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.