Guest Post by Larry Kenny
Among the vast ocean of charitable organizations it can be difficult to find the most efficient ones, the entities that spend only a tiny fraction of their funds on overhead. Fortunately, there are companies that investigate charities and grade them based on how well they spend the money they raise. When it comes to veteran-related charities, a few have risen to the top of most lists. These elite foundations typically use less than 10 percent of their cash for administrative and fundraising functions. The five best veteran-related charities are listed below.
The Semper Fi Fund (formally known as the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund) is an immediate needs charity, providing every type of financial assistance to U.S. Armed Forces members as well as their families. Virtually any monetary need that arises in the aftermath of an injury or illness is addressed by the Semper Fi Fund. When appropriate, the fund also helps with ongoing treatment and longer-term rehab costs. See www.semperfifund.org
The Fisher House program works in much the same way as the world famous Ronald McDonald House charity. It operates a series of residences on military properties around the world where families of injured soldiers can stay to support their loved ones in the military. Since Fisher House opened its doors in 1990, the organization has provided more than 4,000,000 days of lodging to families in need. See www.fisherhouse.org
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the largest organization of its kind, helping veterans by providing community resources, health services, educational opportunities, and even employment placement and training. See www.iava.org
The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provides financial and medical assistance to military members who are critically injured or wounded. The organization constructed its own facilities to perform extensive physical rehab and brain injury treatment.
The USO is one of my favorite veteran’s charities. They do many great things for Soldiers such as schedule singers and entertainment for deployed Soldiers, have welcome centers in airports, and much more.
Remember to research any organization before donating money. Two of the most comprehensive resources for doing so are Charity Watch, a service of The American Institute of Philanthropy, and Charity Navigator. Both sources provide impartial analyses of 501(c)3 charitable entities and grade them accordingly.
The American Institute of Philanthropy’s Charity Watch: