The Joining Forces Special Collection was actively curated from 2014 until 2017. A bibliography .csv file detailing the contents of the collection is available to download (see “Explore” menu). Titles continue to be accessible, but the collection is not being actively curated.

Archived date: August 29, 2022

Collection title: Joining Forces Special Collection

Collection URL:

Availability: 2014-2017

Title count: 118 titles

Creator: IssueLab, a service of Candid.

Description: 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.

"Soldiers" by Adam Baker licensed under CC NC 2.0

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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.

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?

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

Needs Assessment: Veterans in Southwest Pennsylvania

November 17, 2015

This assessment by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) finds that Southwest Pennsylvania veterans are struggling with issues pertaining to education, access to benefits and economic security immediately after leaving military service. It also finds that the region's 235,000 veterans differ dramatically in how they feel about veterans benefits and their own well-being depending on whether they served before 9/11 or after. This mixed methods study provides a comprehensive portrait of veterans in Southwest Pennsylvania, one of the nation's largest and densest veterans communities. CNAS researchers used cutting-edge analytical tools from the Veterans Data Project to better understand the population, leveraging public data sets made available by DoD, VA, and the Census Bureau to understand macro-level trends in the area. In addition to this data, the CNAS team conducted interviews and working group discussions with individuals representing more than 50 public, private and nonprofit sector organizations serving veterans in the region, and conducted surveys of area veterans as well.

Education & Employment; Health & Well-being

Passing the Baton

November 10, 2015

As the 2016 election cycle moves into full swing, four CNAS experts lay out a comprehensive overview of issues facing the veteran and military community and a plan with substantive recommendations for how the next President can best serve the veteran and military community.

Needs Assessment: Veterans in the Western United States

December 13, 2013

In this report, the authors focus on the diverse challenges facing veterans in 12 states and communities that account for nearly one-third of all veterans nationwide. They report on the specific challenges of mental health care, employment, housing, family support, reintegration and legal matters with which veterans in the region are contending and propose steps to address them. Among their recommendations, Mr. Carter and Ms. Kidder urge private philanthropists, as well as public funders, to encourage communities to build collaboration and coordination mechanisms that allocate increasingly scarce resources efficiently and

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Expanding the Net: Building Mental Health Care Capacity for Veterans

November 11, 2013

In this brief, Senior Fellow Phillip Carter calls upon the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand its mental health care resources to meet the growing needs of veterans across the country. Although the VA will spend nearly $7 billion this year on mental health care for veterans, Mr. Carter argues that this is not likely to be enough. The report urges the VA to rely more on the private sector and work more closely with local community and private philanthropic organizations.

Health & Well-being

America's Veterans: A Sound Investment

September 1, 2013

In this report, the authors argue that society should leverage the latest generation of men and women leaving the military, and the skills, expertise and experience they bring to the civilian workforce. The authors examine the employment challenges facing the nation's nearly 2.6 million post-9/11 combat veterans as they transition to civilian jobs. They note that recent veterans "have struggled with unemployment rates that exceed the national average" despite recent survey findings that showed "most managers felt that military veterans were "better" or "much better" than civilians in areas such as teamwork, reliability, openness to other cultures and races, and work ethic." General Caldwell and Major Burke knock down several stereotypes about recent veterans and offer recommendations that business and government can undertake to help veterans successfully navigate the civilian labor market.

Education & Employment

Upholding the Promise: Supporting Veterans and Military Personnel in the Next Four Years

November 1, 2012

After more than a decade of war, several years of constrained national budgets and a changing veteran population, the second Obama administration must confront how best to uphold its promises to the nation's men and women who serve or have served in uniform.In this report, CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Phillip Carter urges the Obama Administration to develop an inclusive, strategic policy approach that serves veterans and military personnel as well as they have served the nation. He calls upon the administration to tackle urgent issues such as military and veteran suicide, while working over the long term to prevent the civilian "sea of goodwill" toward veterans from turning into an ocean of apathy as current wars wind down, and public attention turns away from the men and women who have fought those wars.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation

Employing America's Veterans: Perspectives from Businesses

June 11, 2012

Employment is an important aspect of reintegration into civilian society for many transitioning service members. Despite general American goodwill and intent to support veterans, many companies must emphasize business-related reasons to hire veterans. Thus, any effort to improve veteran employment outcomes must consider employer perspectives and the institutions and processes in place to facilitate and incentivize the hiring of veterans.This report provides empirical data representing the experiences of 69 companies of varying size, location and industry. In this report, the authors discuss to what extent, and for what reasons, employers think it is good business to hire veterans. Additionally, from the experiences of those employers who hesitate or have concerns about hiring veterans, Harrell and Berglass also describe the challenges to veteran employment and make recommendations for policy changes to improve the employment situation of veterans.

Education & Employment

Well After Service: Veteran Reintegration and American Communities

April 1, 2012

Most veterans successfully transition out of uniform and into civilian life. However, some recent veterans face service-related challenges, and there is no government agency, program or mechanism that properly and holistically addresses their wellness. Instead, communities across America, many of which are unfamiliar with the military and service-related needs, are left to support those recent veterans that need assistance reintegrating into civilian life.This report begins with a new definition of veteran wellness, a concept that differs from both military wellness and civilian wellness. The authors also analyze the efforts of current community-based models for delivering services to veterans. Building upon this new understanding of wellness and the best practices of community-based models, the authors outline a new framework for stakeholders, including government agencies, policymakers, community leaders and business, offering concrete recommendations for how the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and community-based and private organizations can work together successfully to reintegrate veterans into civilian society.

Family & Community Reintegration

Investing in the Best: How to Support the Nonprofits that Serve Veterans, Service Members and Their Families

April 1, 2012

Over 2.4 million men and women who have fought the most protracted wars in American history are coming home to rejoin their families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. Most will return with skills and talents that will enhance the quality of life in their communities and continue to serve the nation. Some will bear scars both visible and invisible, and face needs that were previously unknown. For those veterans and their families who need support, a broad range of nonprofit organizations stands ready to help.Yet, donors who wish to support the most effective organizations that help meet the needs of veterans and the military community face a staggering array of choices. There are over 40,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States with missions that specifically focus on the needs of service members, veterans and their families. Meanwhile, thousands of organizations with broader aims also offer programs that serve this population. Given this range, it can be difficult to determine which organizations operate most effectively and would best serve veterans, given additional philanthropic support.

Funding, Strategy, & Evaluation