American communities are eager to welcome veterans back into civilian life. Without a consistent way to identify, quantify, and assess the veteran population’s needs, it is difficult for philanthropic organizations and governmental agencies to determine how much and what kind of support will make a difference as they seek to ensure that our veterans and their families thrive after service. To address this critical issue, the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the National Veterans Intermediary announce the groundbreaking launch of the Local Partner Self-Assessment Tool (LPSAT).
Made possible by a $4.85 million gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the data tool will assess the capacity of communities across the nation to collaborate effectively for impact in the lives of veterans.
“Veterans don’t return home to federal agencies or nonprofits; they return home to communities,” said Nancy Berglass, President of National Veterans Intermediary (NVI), citing a quote from her own policy work. “Thanks to a transformational gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, LPSAT will provide unique and critically important insight on the challenges these local communities face as they strive to honor our nation’s social contract with those who have served.”
LPSAT is the first step of the Craig Newmark “Next Chapter” initiative, a multi-year, data-driven approach to improving veteran well-being by expanding the ability of veteran-serving organizations across America to collaborate with one another. Starting in October 2019, the Bob Woodruff Foundation and National Veterans Intermediary will gather data from the Intermediary’s network of 103 local partner collaboratives, which collectively serve an estimated 15 million veterans across 42 states. The assessment process will include gathering information on organizational objectives and priorities, stakeholder engagement, and operational capacity. The findings will be evaluated to determine whether local resources are being used to meet the specific needs of veterans in each community.
Insights gleaned from the data will be made available for free on NVI.org so that foundations, scholars, policymakers, and local leaders can use the information to make research-informed decisions that will help them better serve veterans.
“In my experience, decisions about where resources should be deployed require a data-driven understanding of both the local and national needs of our veterans and military families,” said Robert McDonald, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “The LPSAT data will provide mission-critical insights into how well-prepared American communities are to meet those needs.”
Throughout the process, the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the National Veterans Intermediary will study LPSAT to determine whether other areas of philanthropy can successfully adapt its assessment model to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their community organizations. The long-term vision for the tool is that it can be repurposed to serve causes beyond those relating to veterans.
“This is an innovative investment in improving the next chapter for our nation’s veterans, as well as an important step in the future of American philanthropy,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “We are experts in identifying and meeting the emerging challenges of the population we serve, and the support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies will enable us to invest in the best possible solutions to those challenges.”
With this philanthropic support, the Bob Woodruff Foundation also established the Craig Newmark Fellowship. This subject-matter expert will capture, analyze, and disseminate all that the Foundation is learning as a leader in the veterans’ landscape. Through this work, they will create an improved understanding of the challenges of the post-9/11 military and veteran population, as well as the programs that address their needs. The inaugural Craig Newmark Fellow, Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, is an epidemiologist with a career track record of applying professional and academic expertise to studying mental health, substance use, and suicide prevention among service members, veterans, and their families.
“Americans owe a lot to the folks who risk their lives to protect those of us at home, and their families make sacrifices right alongside them,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and long-time member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation Leadership Council. “This new tool will help to better equip the entire country for serving our veterans and military families right where they live and work.”
Newmark has long supported the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s mission. Later this year, Craig Newmark Philanthropies will return as the Vanguard Sponsor of the 13th Annual Stand Up for Heroes event, which will take place on Nov. 4 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This support will help make it possible for veterans from across the country to attend an evening of comedy, music, and inspiration.
ABOUT THE BOB WOODRUFF FOUNDATION
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was hit by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans. To date, BWF has invested more than $65 million to find, fund and shape programs that have empowered impacted veterans and service members, and their families, across the nation. For more information, please visit https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.
ABOUT NATIONAL VETERANS INTERMEDIARY
National Veterans Intermediary (NVI) increases the collaborative capacity of local communities to serve as stewards of a national ecosystem working to achieve optimal well-being for veterans and their families, wherever they are. Inspired by the collective impact framework and activated by collaboration funding, our program supports Local Partner Collaboratives through shared learning, stakeholder engagement and thought leadership. NVI is an initiative of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. For more information, please visit https://nvi.org.
ABOUT CRAIG NEWMARK PHILANTHROPIES
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism & the information ecosystem, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans & military families. For more information, please visit: CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org