Category Archives: Nonprofit

Wounded Warrior Project Releases Powerful Results of 2017 Survey

Wounded Warrior Project Releases Powerful Results of 2017 Survey

wounded warrior projectWounded Warrior Project (WWP) remains one of the most effective organizations in the nation working on behalf of veterans, especially those dealing with the physical, social, and emotional wounds of war. One of the organization’s biggest focuses is helping individuals transition successfully from service to civilian life through a number of dedicated programs. In addition, WWP helps connect individuals to resources and programs that can assist them with their individual health concerns.

WWP also aims to provide veterans a voice so that different groups can understand their needs and start to address them more directly. Each year, the organization conducts the Warrior Survey, which gives wounded warriors the opportunity to share their concerns, thoughts, and experiences with WWP and other groups concerned with veteran rights and needs. The insights gained from the survey help shape WWP programs and government approaches to veteran care. For more than a decade, the survey has remained one of the most statistically relevant reflections of the American veteran.

Major Successes from the Last Year of WWP Work

Recently, WWP published the results of its 2017 questionnaire, which show a number of important gains in the past year. For example, nearly 90 percent of all veteran respondents reported receiving benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Last year, only 85 percent of respondents received these benefits. Another major gain concerns unemployment. The unemployment rate dropped to 13 percent this year for non-active-duty military members. Last year, this figure was 16 percent. Access to education also seems to be improving due to the efforts of WWP and other organizations. While only 30 percent of respondents possessed a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016, this rate is now 33 percent. While these gains are all fairly small, they show significant progress in the right direction.

Continuing Mental Health Issues among American Veterans

veteransAt the same time, a great deal of work remains to be done. American veterans continue to struggle with a number of physical and psychological health problems. More than three-quarters of all respondents reported experiencing between four and 12 serious injuries or health problems; these issues are often very complex and may require a significant number of resources to address.

One of the highest-ranking health issues is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the report. Many warriors continue to receive a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD, which can come years after the initial exposure to trauma. While the rate of PTSD has remained fairly steady in recent years, slight increases have been seen each year since 2015. In addition, the number of veterans who report dealing with depression continues to increase by small amounts annually.

The problem with mental health issues like PTSD and depression is the effects they can cause. For example, 75 percent of respondents said that they have trouble sleeping; this number is closely tied to the 77.4 percent of responders reporting PTSD and the 67.9 percent of respondents who stated that they experience anxiety-related problems. These issues can severely affect overall quality of life.

The survey also addressed another issue that often goes overlooked: military-related sexual trauma. More than one-third of all female responders said they dealt with sexual trauma during their service.

Physical Health Challenges American Veterans Face

Not all of the issues that veterans face are psychological in nature. In fact, many respondents deal with very severe physical injuries connected to their service. More than 7 out of 10 individuals said they had back, shoulder, or neck programs, and almost 6 out of 10 faced tinnitus. About half of all respondents reported severe headaches, knee injuries, and hearing loss.

Some of the physical issues that warriors face relate to changes in health status since their service. One of the most concerning findings of the survey relates to body mass index (BMI), which is the ratio of a person’s weight to his or her height. BMI ratings that fall in the obese and morbidly obese categories have continued to rise in the last three years. According to the 2017 survey, more than 45 percent of respondents fell into the obese category and more than 5 percent were morbidly obese. Only 13.2 percent of respondents had healthy or underweight BMI scores.

An additional study was launched to look into this weight-related issue. The researchers found that weight gains tend to increase just before and during the time of discharge. Within six years of discharge, rates of obesity triple. The subgroups most at risk of rapid weight gain include particularly young warriors, individuals with combat experience, and people who are overweight at the time of discharge. Some of the hypotheses offered to explain this result look at increased rates of depression and sleep problems, emotional stress, and limited physical activity due to injuries.

This survey helps WWP see where it excels while also pointing to potential areas for improvement. These include better weight-management support and more proactive mental health programs that combine social support with psychiatric treatment.

JPMorgan Chase Aims to Make More Powerful Impact with Giving

The old model of corporate philanthropy has begun to evolve. In recent years, several firms have abandoned the traditional strategy of writing checks for local organizations in favor of more strategic approaches that involve asking questions learn how to create a focused impact. A great example of this shift is JPMorgan Chase, which recently announced… Continue Reading

Ted Turner and His Landmark $1 Billion Gift to the United Nations

Ted Turner and His Landmark $1 Billion Gift to the United Nations

When people think about leading philanthropists, many picture Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has mobilized billionaires around the world to become involved with charity through the Giving Pledge. This pledge asks that signatories give away the majority of their wealth while they are still living. While the Giving Pledge played an important role in encouraging… Continue Reading

Chinese and Chinese American Philanthropy on the Rise

Chinese and Chinese American Philanthropy on the Rise

According to a recent study, philanthropic gifts from Chinese Americans have collectively increased almost fivefold over the last couple years. This group now gives a total of about $500 million each year to a variety of causes with one of the most significant being higher education. This trend mirrors what is happening in China, which… Continue Reading

Interest in Journalism Philanthropy Continues to Grow in US

Interest in Journalism Philanthropy Continues to Grow in US

Recently, The Guardian announced the inception of a new American nonprofit designed to support independent journalism and bolster story-telling. Already, the organization has raised more than a million dollars in philanthropic grants to support its mission. Operating under the name theguardian.org, the organization has pledged to fund honest and independent reporting on the most pressing… Continue Reading

5 Important Lessons You Can Learn from Strategic Philanthropy

5 Important Lessons You Can Learn from Strategic Philanthropy

Donors who want to make the greatest possible impact often turn to strategic philanthropy, an approach to giving that has become increasingly complex in recent years. Strategic philanthropy, which involves a great deal of research and planning, can have a measurable impact on communities around the world. Often, strategic philanthropy is individualized. After all, this… Continue Reading

Bill Gates Donates $4.6 Billion to Charity

Bill Gates Donates $4.6 Billion to Charity

Recently, Bill Gates made waves in the philanthropic community with the announcement of a ten-figure charitable gift. In June, he donated $4.6 billion worth of Microsoft shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, his personal charity. The gift was not publicly known until a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published in early August. Bloomberg… Continue Reading

The Current State of HIV/AIDS Philanthropy That You Need to Know

The Current State of HIV/AIDS Philanthropy That You Need to Know

One of the biggest challenges facing humanity in recent decades has been the HIV/AIDS crisis. While a number of strides have been made toward ending the disease, much remains to be done in countries around the globe, even in the United States. The most recent presidential election has raised a number of concerns about the… Continue Reading

The Debate about Charity Overhead – What You Need to Know

The Debate about Charity Overhead – What You Need to Know

The debate about charity overhead is often in the news these days. For example, the Wounded Warrior Project fired its top two CEOs last year after it deemed a million-dollar meeting was entirely too extravagant. Only a few years ago, Dan Pallotta gave his famous TED talk entitled The Way We Think About Charity Is… Continue Reading

The American Red Cross’ Support of Military Families

The American Red Cross’ Support of Military Families

The American Red Cross is well known for its blood donation drives, its CPR training classes, and its role in providing disaster relief. However, the organization also spearheads a number of other important initiatives, including services for military and veteran families. For members of the armed forces and their families, military service can involve sacrifice… Continue Reading