Picking a nonprofit to get behind can be a daunting task. There are so many different avenues; feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, education, natural disaster relief, and the list goes on. All these options are phenomenal causes to get behind, and I know of one group that covers almost all of the above: veterans! This article will highlight the needs and benefits of veteran nonprofits and why supporting veterans can help diminish many of the above needs.
Throughout my short time in the veteran arena, I have been exposed to many different needs that are associated with the veteran community and the various nonprofits that help. It’s hard to pick which one to support. Now, this article isn’t about how to pick which veteran non-profit is the fit for your company; it’s about WHY you should choose to invest your time and money into the veteran community.
The military is the largest employer in the United States with the most diverse group of employees. There are currently over 17.4 million veterans in the US with demographics that correlate to the overall demographics of the United States. What this means is that there is an equal representation in the military when compared to the population of the United States.
The veteran community is extremely vast and can be found across the nation. It’s very easy for someone to run into a veteran, no matter what state you live in, and you can almost always pick them out in traffic repping their bumper stickers.
Veterans transitioning into the civilian world run into barriers that are difficult to overcome. When searching for veteran nonprofits to support, you can find a plethora that range from helping homeless veterans to finding service dogs for veterans with PTSD. If you’re passionate about a certain cause within the civilian world, there is probably a veteran nonprofit looking for help.
With the current social turmoil in the country, many companies and individuals are looking for organizations that they can turn to that will help support diversity in the workforce and enact change in the future. Veteran nonprofits are extremely inclusive in the help they provide, and their targeted audience is a diverse set of people from not only across the nation, but across the world.
“Veterans are the country’s largest untapped resource”, says Greg Parsons, CEO of Semper Capital Management, L.P. and leader of True North. During their time in the military, they are taught the fundamental skills of leadership, work ethic, and taking initiative. Many employers of veterans love their tenacity and their tremendous problem-solving skills. However, many people don’t hire these individuals. WHAT?! I know!
To help with this, there are many veteran nonprofits with the sole mission of helping veterans’ transition from a military position into a civilian job. To name just a few, you have Dog Tag Inc., Hire our Heroes, VetJobs, and America Wants You.
A large portion of veterans when they exit the military look to create something of their own. There are over 2.4 million veteran owned businesses in the United States that are helping the economy grow and allowing veterans to connect with their community.
The main barrier is that many don’t know where to start when it comes to creating a company and developing a business plan. Nonprofits, such as Dog Tag Inc., give veterans and their spouses the opportunity to learn how to create their own ideas and business plan during a 5-month hands on program.
These veteran nonprofits are essential not only in helping the veteran community, but to our own communities and economy.
Everybody loves a tax break, especially when that tax break allows you to spend money on causes that you care about, helps your company’s image, and gives back to the community.
If you are thinking about giving this holiday season, plan to itemize deductions on your tax return. By donating to charities, you can lower your taxable income by 60% for public charities and 30% for private charities.
If money is challenging because of COVID-19, or you’re trying to save money for the upcoming year, you can donate unwanted items to these nonprofits and write them off as deductions. So, all those canned soups and outdated/outsized clothing can go to a good use.
Let’s be honest here: The world of commerce has changed as the millennial generation shifts to become the largest generation of consumers. With over 72.1 million millennials in the United States, they hold a lot of buying power over businesses; so, you better stand out.
Millennials are increasingly more interested in companies and organizations that have a purpose and are concerned more about society than just making the big bucks. Cause Marketing is the rage in this day and age. People want to feel like they’re supporting a business that has ethics and cares for something bigger than themselves. According to a 2020 Lexington Law article, 81% of Millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to charitable causes and citizenship. But of course, you probably already knew this.
So, why chose a veteran nonprofit to help with company image? Veterans are warriors; people who have gone through the worst for the freedoms of our country. The best way to give back to those people who have given so much of themselves to our country, is to help them in their transition back to their communities. In the veteran nonprofit world, you hear the miraculous stories of those who have served and the sheer power and commitment that these individuals take on. The stories are sad, funny, dramatic, powerful, and should be shared through the support of companies. What better way to raise awareness for important veteran causes then through company initiatives?
Veterans are some of the most selfless individuals. They are people who give and don’t expect to receive anything in return. That is why they are the best people to help.
By giving to others, you are establishing a greater purpose within yourself and the company you work for. If you’re a company who is looking to do good in the world, or even just an individual passionate about giving back to the veteran community, by helping veteran nonprofits you are doing a service that is greater than yourself. This feeling cannot be matched by simply writing a check and moving on. You must put yourself into their shoes and see the difference that your money can make for a community that just needs a little push.
This holiday season try to do a little research into the veteran community and see the various nonprofits you can support in their transition into civilian life.
Author: Riley Gregoire