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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Veterans

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

Programs: Advocacy programs iava conducts non-partisan issue advocacy to ensure that iraq and afghanistan veterans and their families are supported, protected and never forgotten. In 2014, iava and its members faced a va scandal. As the full extent of the backlog, malfeasance amd cover-up at the va came to light, iava led the charge for transparency and accountability. Due to iavas efforts to highlight the problem, the va reduced its backlog by nearly 60 percent falling to about 250,000 from a high of 611. 000. Additionally, iava conducted a comprehensive member survey, one of the largest non-governmental surveys, of 2,828 iava members, which helped us identify the most urgent policy issues facing the post-9/11 generation of veterans. Iava also conducted our annual storm the hill campaign, where 32 veterans from across the country were brought to washington, dc to receive communications and leadership training, and met directly with policymakers to advocate for progress on key veterans issues, namely reducing veteran suicide. Iava successfully advocated for the passage of the gi bill tuition will begin saving athe government an estimated $139 million beginning in 2014. In addition, expenditures related to advocacy for 2014 totaled $1,654,588, including $679,260 worth of irs recognizable non-cash contributions.

awareness programs iava works to put new veterans at the center of the national media conversation, and build public understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing our community. Our goal is to connect the 99% of the population who have not served in iraq or afghanistan with the 1% who have. In 2014, iava leadership and members were featured widely in major media outlets in print, online, radio and network and cable tv. We estimate that throughout the year, media coverage of iava resulted in 5,450,784,469 impressions reaching a broad national audience. In addition, iava launched weve got your back: iavas campaign to combat suicide to highlight the critical importance of preventing veteran suicide and making mental health care a top priority. These efforts were supported by our extensive social media audience: in 2014 facebook followers surpassed the 500,000 and twitter saw the highest percentage of growth, increasing by 41 percent from 2013.

rapid response referral program (rrrp) to help veterans make the often-challenging transition into civilian life, this program provides veterans and their families with personalized case management and referral services in a range of areas including: health and mental health, employment, housing/homelessness, legal aid, and financial assistance. During 2014, the rrrp team provided one-on-one transition assistance to a total of 2,155 veterans and family members, providing them with nearly 2,400 referrals to external service providers and benefits. Nearly 30% of these referrals were related to financial needs, up nearly 200% over the previous year and indicative of a significant and growing need within the community.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10 Iain S.

Volunteer

Rating: 1

It's disturbing to see the IAVA refuse to lend a voice to a non-interventionalist candidate who polls highest with Veterans.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I joined this group and (as mentioned above) almost immediately felt like a roster number. I received both email and actual letters asking for donations.

I tried to attend an "event" at Daytona Bike with them (2015) but they never showed up. I asked the American Legion, VFW, and Rolling Thunder (each had their own spots)if they had seen or heard of IAVA all week? They had not and according to the map provided IAVA was supposed to be close to the other vets group's spots.

This group also has a track record of claiming to represent veterans support for left wing political affiliates. The CEO is a big hillary donor...I gave this group 1 star, but I couldn't score them lower. I feel like I was totally misrepresented by this group of leftists.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 2

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.

Review from Guidestar

1 Ben Sok

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar