Practical Tips for Fundraising for Veterans
With over 40,000 nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving the Veterans community, competition for private philanthropic dollars is fiercer and more challenging than ever1. Just six organizations raise 2/32 of the total revenue raised by Veterans organizations each year. Through Orr Group’s work with Veterans organizations, such as Elizabeth Dole Foundation and PsychArmor Institute, we’ve uncovered important fundraising strategies and recommendations for Veterans organizations to consider.
- With so many organizations serving Veterans and military families, it’s crucial to showcase how your distinctive and one-of-a-kind approach to supporting Veterans differentiates your organization from others in the field. Using a case for support, website, and other donor materials, clearly demonstrate how your organization’s strategy and service offerings are unique and unlike any other.
- Foundations and corporations use Veterans organizations’ key performance indicators to influence their funding decisions. While many Veterans organizations’ work focuses on Veteran families and civilians, funders are also interested in the measurable and tangible outcomes for Veterans. Identify measurable quantitative and qualitative metrics to effectively communicate impact and create a monitoring and evaluation framework to track progress.
- Fundraising and marketing materials that shed a positive light on Veterans and their families perform better than those that create a false image of the “helpless veteran.” Create externally-facing materials that paint a positive outlook by warming up the language and carefully selecting imagery.
- Veterans organizations have multiple entry points to secure funding from corporations – Corporate social responsibility (CSR) offices may wish to fulfill their commitment to their employees and community; Marketing offices may donate to demonstrate their support and gratitude for servicemen and women to their customers and stakeholders; and, Human Resources offices may seek to connect with Veterans and build a talent acquisition and retention pipeline. When engaging with a corporation, explore all aspects of its business that may have a vested interest in your organization.
- When it comes to Boards, funders agree it is crucial for leadership to represent the Veterans community and reflect a diverse group of individuals. Create a Board matrix to compare each Board Member in terms of their demographics, industry, skills, Veterans representation, and demographics to identify where you should focus your Board recruitment efforts.
These practical recommendations resulted from Orr Group’s work creating bespoke fundraising roadmaps for organizations that support veterans and their caregivers.
For more information about how your organization could retain Orr Group for a similar exercise, please contact Derek at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 719-8072.