Avoiding veteran fundraising scams on #GivingTuesday

Lauren Warner
November 20, 2018 - 12:55 pm

Image courtesy of Combined Federal Campaign

On the unfortunate heels of another highly-publicized GoFundMe-homeless-veteran fundraising scam, #GivingTuesday is fast approaching.

To make sure that deserving and verified organizations don't get harmed by these scams, we've used Charity Navigator and Guidestar to rank and highlight some of the legitimate and deserving non-profits who could benefit from your donations this season. 

Image courtesy of Combined Federal Campaign

Within the 54,000 plus organizations registered for #GivingTuesday and the Combined Federal Campaign supporting 8,000 of them-- we're focusing on just a few that impact the military and veteran communities. (Note: un-rated charities are still viable; Charity Navigator only assesses organizations with over $1M in annual assets.)

  • Fisher House Foundation: provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. CFC Code: 11453 Charity Navigator Rating: 100.00
  • Semper Fi Fund: provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. They deliver the resources they need during recovery and transition back to their communities, working to ensure no one is left behind. CFC Code: 11459 Charity Navigator Rating: 98.23
  • Hire Heroes USA: assists with the transition from military to civilian life with free career coaching, helping veterans understand what job recruiters are looking for and how to translate their military careers into relatable skills that will get them hired. CFC Code: 59856  Charity Navigator Rating: 98.23
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV): assists disabled veterans, veterans, their families, their widowed spouses. CFC Code: 11322 Charity Navigator Rating: 96.66
  • National Military Family Association: NMFA fights for benefits and programs that strengthen and protect uniformed services families. CFC Code: 11365 Charity Navigator Rating: 96.09
  • Armed Services YMCA: offers programs & services from childcare and hospital assistance to counseling, emergency food, and clothing & education and youth and teen programs. CFC Code: 11085 Charity Navigator Rating: 93.12
  • Team Rubicon: unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Charity Navigator Rating: 90.97
  • Honor Flight Network: by providing flights around the country to veterans and providing them with a trip to see these memorials that stand for their service and the sacrifice of their fellow service members. Charity Navigator Rating: 90.32
  • Homes for Our Troops Inc: they build specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. CFC Code: 12525 Charity Navigator Rating: 89.76
  • Wounded Warrior Project: WWP's mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Our purpose is: to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members. Charity Navigator Rating: 86.02
  • USO: offers programs & services designed to lift spirits & strengthen resiliency to transition and deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. CFC Code: 11381 Charity Navigator Rating: 85.18
  • Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America – Represents new veterans and their families supporting campaigns such as combating suicide, ending the VA backlog, supporting female veterans, lowering unemployment, defending the GI Bill® and improving health CFC Code: 75335 Charity Navigator Rating: 79.98
  • American Legion: Service veterans, service members and the military community through programs such as scholarships, veteran assistance, veteran homelessness, youth sports and much more. CFC Code: 10327 Charity Navigator: Not-rated
  • VETOGA: VETOGA’s mission is to provide yoga, meditation, and healing arts to military, veterans, their families, and communities. We accomplish this by holding free monthly yoga classes, events, and veteran-specific 200-Hour Teacher Training throughout the year.  CFC Code: n/a Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • The Mission Continues: empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. They deploy veterans on new missions in their communities so that their actions will inspire future generations to serve. CFC Code: 46324 Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • Full Circle Home: their goal is to support the spouses of Armed Forces servicemembers during deployments. CFC Code: 35022 Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • The Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation: this is the Congressionally designated nonprofit whose mission is to provide the organizing, fundraising, and coordinating efforts to build a memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to honor our fallen warriors, U.S. service members, their families, and all those who supported our nation's longest war. CFC Code: n/a Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • Pin-ups for Vets: raises funds to improve Veterans' healthcare, donates funds to VA hospitals for medical equipment and program expansion, improves quality of life for ill Veterans across the United States through personal bedside visits to deliver gifts, promotes volunteerism at Veterans Hospitals, supports homeless Veterans with clothing and calendar gifts delivered to shelters, boosts morale for military wives and female Veterans with makeovers and clothing, and boosts morale for deployed troops through delivery of care packages. CFC Code: n/a Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • Operation Supply Drop: addresses Mental Health, Homelessness, and Employment for Veterans and their families accompanied by a global structure encouraging community service and commitment towards one another. CFC Code: n/a Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated
  • Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: provides support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. CFC Code: 11333 Charity Navigator Rating: Not-rated

Image courtesy of Combined Federal Campaign

Interested in donating something other than money?

  • Toys for Tots: mission is to collect new, unwrapped toys from October to December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children-- donate a toy.
  • Cars for Veterans: Proceeds from donated cars are used to fund programs provide case-managed social services and limited medical assistance to Vietnam- and Persian Gulf War- veterans and their families, with a focus on families with disabled children--donate a car.

To pick your own charity to donate to from the CFC, click here. To view the entire list of over 54,000 organizations, click here

Image courtesy of Combined Federal Campaign


To share your thoughts or story, contact us at gethelp@connectingvets.com.