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.