Mady J. Schuman
February 20, 2016
Americans donated $358.4 billion in 2014. But military and veteran organizations received less than two-tenths of one percent of these philanthropic dollars. Simply stated, veterans are not on the radar. The philanthropic community needs a wake-up call that veterans deserve more than platitudes.
For most of the presidential campaign thus far, veterans’ issues have been an afterthought.JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES/FILE 2014Veteran Lloyd Epps tested his prosthetic leg at the VA hospital in Manhattan.
Candidates of all stripes have been using veterans as props to score points, but little attention has been paid to the real hardships veterans endure on a daily basis. And precious little time has been spent discussing policy prescriptions that would help the men and women who have fought for our country overseas.
However, over the last few weeks, veterans’ issues have been thrust back into the national spotlight thanks to a well-publicized event in which Donald Trump — under the guise of philanthropy — held a fundraiser. His stated goal was to bring in big bucks for the charities and other organizations that help vets. Instead, the event was a media circus designed to advance the needs of his campaign.
At the same time, veterans groups nationwide have come under scrutiny as one of the largest, richest, and most recognized brands in the space — the Wounded Warrior Project — has been put under the media microscope and its financial and fundraising practices called into question.
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