December 09, 2015

New CNAS Report Identifies Trends Among Nonprofits Serving Veterans


A new report from the Center for a New American Security, titled “Charting The Sea Of Goodwill,” analyzes the landscape for nonprofit organizations serving the veterans and military community, and their funding sources, and concludes that a gap is emerging between need and resources in this sector. Although the veterans and military community continues to rely on support from the nonprofit sector, the available data suggests this sector and its funding is highly fragmented, and that revenue for nonprofits in this sector has been relatively stagnant since 2001.
Based on IRS tax data for nonprofit organizations, veterans population data, and other sources, CNAS researchers Phillip Carter and Katherine Kidder make a number of findings and recommendations in their new report:

  • Since 2001, revenue for military and veteran-serving philanthropic organizations has remained relatively constant.
  • Need within the veteran and military community has grown, as measured by nearly every metric available, from utilization of VA and DoD services to reported demand in surveys by veteran groups.
  • The combination of flat-lining revenue for the nonprofit sector and increasing demand indicates a growing divergence between available resources and the needs of service members, veterans and their families.
  • The sector must find ways to access new pools of capital, besides its traditional reservoirs of government funding and philanthropic giving, if it is to survive current trends.
  • Better systems to measure performance and success among nonprofit organizations are needed, including measures that are linked to outcomes such as wellness of veterans.

The link to the full report is available below:
This report was made possible through the generous support of Bank of America. However, the opinions expressed in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bank of America, consistent with CNAS policies on intellectual independence and support, available online at