This collection brings together valuable insights from nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government agencies that work directly with veterans in communities across the country. The works collected here provide a deeper understanding of the problems many veterans and their families face and also potential solutions to address these very real challenges. The collection is broken into five key areas where veterans are facing obstacles and where nonprofits and foundations have been focusing their efforts.

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"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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Health of Women Who have Served report 2017

November 2, 2017

America's Health Rankings® and America's Health Rankings® Health of Women Who Have Served Report are built upon the World Health Organization definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and socialwell-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Our model reflects that determinants of health—Behaviors, Clinical Care, Policy, and Community and Environment—directly influence health outcomes.

2017 Corporate Playbook for Supporting Military Families

July 27, 2017

This report, by Blue Star Families and the Caster Center and sponsored by USAA, examines the unique strengths and challenges of military families, best practices for supporting military families, why your company should support these families, and the steps to begin or strengthen your company's plan to support military families.

Lost in Translation: The Civil-Military Divide and Veteran Employment

June 15, 2017

This research aims to define the effects of the civil-military divide on veteran employment and the extent to which the divide may be, in part, the root cause for many transition challenges facing veterans. This paper examines the divide as it stands today, its effects on employers and society, and specifically how it affects veterans transitioning from service to civilian work. Based on these effects, this paper makes recommendations for the government, employers, and veterans to outline ways forward and to ameliorate aspects of the gap that may be impeding employer and veteran success in leveraging this source of talent.

The State of the American Veteran: The San Francisco Veterans Study

May 1, 2017

"The State of the American Veteran: The San Francisco Veterans Study" by the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) outlines the findings of a survey conducted 2016-17 of 722 veterans living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This comprehensive study of the military population represents the fourth overall—and third in the state of California. It explored numerous areas, such as transition challenges, employment and finances, housing, health and access to veteran services.Emerging as a theme across various studies is that veterans throughout the state and the nation encounter significant transition issues. The San Francisco Veterans Study highlights that separating service members are not being engaged effectively or early enough in their transition process.

The State of Post-9/11 Veteran Families

November 1, 2016

More than 1 million post-9/11 veteran families live in the United States, accounting for more than 1 million veterans, 1 million spouses, and 2.1 million children. Another 1.9 million veterans are expected to exit the military over the next decade. To better facilitate the transition of veterans and their families to civilian life, we must understand the strengths they possess and the unique challenges they face. With this report, we aim to inform more effective postservice policies by supplementing existing research on the state of veteran families.

Health of Those Who Have Served Report 2016, Executive Summary

November 1, 2016

United Health Foundation is committed to helping communities across the country understand the similarities and differences between the health of those who have served and those who have not served (hereafter referred to as "civilians" for the purposes of this document). America's Health Rankings Health of Those Who Have Served Report reflects United Health Foundation's commitment to offering data-driven insights that can stimulate dialogue and action that continues to advance the health of those who have served, and builds upon the United Health Foundation's philanthropic initiatives to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces, veterans, and their families across the country.America's Health Rankings, in partnership with Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), collaborated with an advisory steering group of leading military and veterans and public health organizations to develop a holistic study of the health of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces compared with the health of civilians. The report establishes a baseline portrait of the health of those who have served, analyzing 24 health measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)–the world's largest, annual population-based telephone survey of more than 400,000 people.

Health & Well-being

The Promise of a New Day: Support for Service Members Transitioning to Civilian Life in San Diego

May 1, 2016

This report highlights the first year program evaluation of zero8hundred, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to proactively link transitioning military families to a broad range of resources, helping them successfully transition to civilian life in San Diego County.

Underserved: How the VA Wrongfully Excludes Veterans with Bad Paper

March 30, 2016

Not all who have served are "veterans" in the eyes of the Department of Veterans Affairs. If the veteran has less than a General discharge, the VA creates obstacles to getting health care, benefits, homeless resources and other services. Most of these veterans are simply turned away. Congress never meant for eligibility to be so exclusive, it intended that only veterans who served dishonorably be denied access. The VA's own discretionary policies unnecessarily deny hundreds of thousands veterans benefits, who are often those most in need of the VA's support. These former service members are more likely to have mental health disabilities and twice as likely to commit suicide. They are more likely to be homeless and to be involved with the criminal justice system.

Needs Assessment: Veterans in the Dallas-Fort Worth Region

March 29, 2016

The King Foundation and a collaborative of funders commissioned the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to assess the needs of veterans in the region to assist in planning future philanthropic investment by the Foundation and its partners. This report summarizes research conducted by CNAS researchers between August 2015 and February 2016, using a mixed-methods approach that included qualitative research on regional trends; quantitative research using data made public by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other agencies; a targeted survey of veterans in the region; and discussion groups with participants representing more than 50 organizations that serve those veterans.The following assessment attempts to answer the following research questions: What is the state of veterans in the DFW region? Where do needs exist among the DFW veteran population? How are the needs of veterans being met in the DFW region? What are the main efforts at meeting the needs of veterans? How does the coordination of existing services take place, and is there a collaborative structure in the region that guides investments, services, and the overall care?

Enriching Veterans' Lives: Through An Evidence Based Approach

February 24, 2016

This paper marks the launch of a new IVMF series focused on the critical topics of program evaluation, performance measurement, and evidence-based practice (EBP). The purpose of the series is to inform the broader community of veteran and military family serving organizations by highlighting examples of veteran and military serving organizations employing various methods of EBP, program evaluation, and assessment. By highlighting leading practices across the U.S., this series aims to promote learning and greater impact in service delivery across our nation's evolving and maturing community of veteran and military organizations.This case illustration highlights the evaluation efforts of the rising veteran and military serving organization Team, Red, White & Blue (Team RWB). Team RWB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2010 with the mission of enriching the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activity. Despite its relative youth, in 2014, the George W. Bush Institute's (GWBI) Military Service Initiative and the IVMF both identified Team RWB as a leading organization in building a robust measurement and evaluation program. The paper highlights how Team RWB integrates theory and research to drive its programming as an evidence-based wellness intervention and, in turn, produce data to inform its own organizational practice.Key HighlightsTeam RWB is an organization that values, at all levels, trust and transparency with its partners, funders, and community. This culture -- embodied by the 'Eagle Ethos' of positivity, passion, people, community, camaraderie, and commitment -- exists throughout the organization from the senior executive down to the community level.Research and evaluation of RWB's programs is and will remain vital to communicating its impact and improving how it targets resources to improve and grow its programs. The Team RWB "Eagle Research Center" is building an evidence base by quantitatively measuring its outcomes and using data to improve its program delivery.More than 1,800 veterans surveyed in 2014 and 2,500 surveyed in 2015 self-reported increases in creating authentic relationships with others, increasing their sense of purpose, and improving their health, by participating in Team RWB. Veterans also noted that participating in Team RWB had indirect benefits in their family relationships and work. Improvements on these dimensions contribute to an enriched life, with more program engagement leading to more enrichment.Team RWB achieves these results through local, consistent, and inclusive programs. The chapter and Community programs provide opportunities for physical, social, and service activities. The Leadership Development Program is comprised of national athletic and leadership camps, and a newly launched tiered leader development program.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Work After Service: Developing Workforce Readiness and Veteran Talent for the Future

February 2, 2016

The paper highlights how employers, veterans themselves, as well as public-private partnerships all play a part in how prepared a transitioning service member is once they enter the workforce. Workforce readiness is heightened when both the veteran and employer minimize assumptions and maximize their respective assets, ensuring a positive employment outcome for the veteran and a good return on investment for the employer.

Charting the Sea of Goodwill

December 9, 2015

"Charting The Sea Of Goodwill," conducts a comprehensive landscape analysis of the military and veteran-service organization space and its funding sources, and finds that while the support needed by more than 21 million veterans in America is growing, philanthropic support is fragmented and charitable contributions are not keeping pace. The authors of the report provide a comprehensive overview of the state of philanthropy for the military and veteran community from 2001 until now.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation