Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America Inc

Rating: 4.12 stars   25 reviews

Issues: Human Services, Veterans

Location: 292 Madison Avenue 10th Floor New York NY 10017 USA

Mission: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the voice of the 21st century veteran. It was founded in June 2004 as a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a mission to improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. IAVA addresses the urgent issues facing the 2.2 million service members that have deployed since 2001 such as physical disabilities, mental health, suicide and unemployment by providing assistance, awareness and advocacy to serve those who have served. For additional information visit: http://www.iava.org
Results: 1. A community of over 97,000 member veterans from around the country. 2. Passage of the New GI Bill and continued assistance with implementation. 3. Passage of Advanced Funding of the Veterans Administration (VA). 4. Partnerships with the private and public sectors to provide job opportunities for unemployed veterans.
Target demographics: Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2 million OIF and OEF Veterans
Geographic areas served: National
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EIN 20-1664531
212-982-9699
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Community Reviews

Rating: 2 stars  

I'll start by saying that IAVA does achieve positive impact on the lives of veterans, from time to time. Any 50-person, multi-million-dollar organization has to do some good, once in a while.

But as someone pretty familiar with IAVA's operations, I think it's a highly overrated Veteran Service Organization. One major problem is that it has an unstable staff. Dozens of people resign from IAVA every year - program staff, communications staff, fundraisers, you name it. Check the website Glassdoor, which enables employees to review their companies, and you'll see that IAVA has been deserted by a growing number of disillusioned staffers who hate how the place is run.

So what's the problem? IAVA's CEO, for one thing, is a wonderful and charismatic "talking head" on cable TV, but he actually has no idea how to run a nonprofit. He's turned IAVA into a one-note anger machine - constantly attacking the VA, without offering realistic alternatives to what the Department is doing. This makes IAVA very unpopular in the government and (more damningly) very unpopular among other veterans' groups. IAVA simply does not play well with others, and it doesn't have the expertise or clout to solve veterans' problems on its own.

IAVA's programs also leave something to be desired. Its case management service is solid, but like the organization as a whole it suffers from high turnover and poor management. Meanwhile, IAVA's employment and education programs are quite weak. Also, the organization has a bad habit of making exaggerated claims about its impact, as well as lazy untrue statements ("IAVA is the oldest veterans' group supporting post-9/11 vets") that are easily challenged (WWP was founded the year before).

In short, unless you're really into anger, exaggeration, chaos and mismanagement...I think there are better VSOs out there. IAVA has done some real good, but given the size of its staff and budget, it should be doing much, much more.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

IAVA was instrumental in improving the education benefits for all service members and veterans. I was able to take advantage of the post-9/11 GI bill to complete my bachelors program. Without the superior tuition reimbursement and BAH stipend, I would not have been able to attend school and support my wife and children. IAVA is also supporting our Veteran Student Organization at San Jose State by sponsoring events and sending free promotional materials. They also help me with leadership training and individual mentoring. I am excited to be part of such a passionate organization that is perfectly aligned with my career goal of supporting our nation's Veterans.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would expand this organization to California where 2.2 million Veterans would be able to unite and make positive policy changes to the State's laws.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Passionate organization that is always fighting for the rights of our veterans. There are very few organizations out there dedicated specifically to the needs of this generation of veterans and I am proud to work closely with them. They survey their membership each year to make sure they are meeting their needs and it helps them figure out what programs and services are really needed. Two thumbs up!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar