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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Special Operations Warrior Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, National Security

Mission: Provides the opportunity for children of Special Operations forces who die in combat or training to obtain a full four year colleg degree. Also provides immediate financial assistance for families of special operations people wounded in combat.

Target demographics: the families of fallen and wounded special operations warriors

Direct beneficiaries per year: 145 students with $4 million in tuition, books, fees, room and board and counseling services.

Geographic areas served: nationwide

Programs: 1. Ensuring college educations for the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations forces; 2. Providing immediate financial stipends to the families of severely wounded special operators to help with the financial burden of having a loved one hospitalized; and 3. Providing counseling and advocacy to the families of special operations personnel.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7 Cleyton M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the CEO for a charitable company who has worked with Special Operations Warrior Foundation for the last two years and look forward to many more. They are leaders in non-profit giving and give to a cause close to our hearts. Their transparency, clarity of mission, and amazing performance have established an incredible reputation. These are the reasons we work solely with Special Operations Warrior Foundation for our Military giving and charitable efforts. They are great people working for an outstanding non-profit. It is both an honor and privilege to work with SOWF and assist the families of Special Operations. We support SOWF for those that do the deed and live a life of example in service and sacrifice! Cleyton Bray ceo/SWAT Life: Brothers for Adversity, LLC

Donor

Rating: 5

I have personally seen the great work this organization has done for the families of my fellow warriors who were killed in my unit. Several of the men had young children and young wives. SOWF quickly steeped in to provide immediate financial and emotional support but it has been the long term support they have given to the families and children of these buddies that is most impressive. We in SF are a tight community and the guys follow up to make sure the widows and children are doing well. They tell us that the SOWF has remained in contact and provided every educational and vocational need that these children and even the wives needed to have a good quality of life and fulfill the dreams that my buddies had for their kids. I strongly support and endorse SOWF whenever someone asks me who they should donate to.

Al A.

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization that's helps family members of fallen heroes.

Kevin156

Donor

Rating: 5

Proud to represent the SOWF every year at the Reno Air Races! Race 99! No better organization out there for troops, by troops.

Lani O.

Donor

Rating: 5

I asked a warrior the best place to donate and his recommendation was Special Operations Warrior Foundation. I had never heard of it, but research showed me how well the donations are used. I contribute on a monthly basis.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization for a great cause. Please help spread the word.
Sua Sponte

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the organization we all should be supporting. I can't think of a more worthy cause. I worked around these guys for part of my life and have nothing but good things to say about them. Let's support their families.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization where I know my donation makes a difference.

1 Bucky B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a member of the task force that attempted to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980, it has been a wonderful thing to witness the SOWF provide college educations not only to the children of the eight warriors we lost on that mission, but to witness the superb effort they continue to make to provide counseling and education to the HUNDREDS of children of Special Operators who have been lost since then. Their extremely low overhead, with more than 90% of all money donated going directly to the children, and to the families of severely wounded members of SOF make them, in my opinion, the most worthwhile charity in America.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

Many of the children of my fallen comrades, from Desert One through the ongoing Global War on Terror, have been given scholarships through this wonderful, caring foundation. As a former Special Operator with five children, it was always comforting to know that, if something happened to me, my children would be counseled and educated, even in the absence of my spouse. This was a huge load off the shoulders of we who were sent into harm's way, often at great risk. It gave us one less big thing to worry about. One of my close friends was killed in Somalia, leaving three little girls behind. The SOWF has seen to the education of all of them - one of whom, now a school teacher, is married to the son of another fallen teammate who was killed in the Gulf War (the son is now an Army helicopter pilot.) The superb staff and leadership of the SOWF responds immediately to the news of any SOF member who is severely wounded or killed in the line of duty. Hundreds of children have been counseled when needed, and awarded full college scholarships through the SOWF, making them productive citizens. No child of a Special Operations Forces member who has been killed has been allowed to "fall through the cracks."

3

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the best foundation around. Not only is their mission critical to the families they help, but they always strive, with great success, to make sure their funding actually gets to those that need it the most. Proud to be a supporter. Bravo Zulu!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

When our son was killed in 2012 at the tender age of 26, this is the organization he had chosen for memorials to be made in his honor. Why? Because as a Special Forces soldier he knew the importance of taking care of his team even after death. This is an organization he strongly believed in for good reason. We as Nic's family are proud to lend our support and grateful that such an organization exists.

2 Kari L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported this organization through Painting with a Twist SOWF nights. As a surviving spouse I know how important it is to find a dedicated and legitimate charity organization for spouses and children. SOWF does it best!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Witnessing the pure expression of care that each and every member of and donor to this charity has been one of the greatest honors I have experienced in recent years. Never in my life have I seen such a dedicated group of people, nor one so committed to bettering the lives of those truly in need. Thank you, SOWF. What an incredible organization.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Having worked with special operators during my military obligation, I am still in awe of their sacrifices and dedication to team, mission, honor and country. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides me with the opportunity to give something back to these warriors and their families, even though it may not be much. They are grateful for every donation no matter the magnitude. Reading the success stories of the children who receive their educational grants and scholarships lets me know that this organization is doing great work while continuing to honor their fallen teammates.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Love supporting this non-profit as they truly make a difference in the lives of our warriors. Their vision is clear and they work everyday to fulfill it.

Donor

Rating: 5

Last year, our fourth close friend headed to Afghanistan for the first time, while another returned for his third tour of duty. Our teens wanted to help, in addition to standing by their friends, the men's children. Researching on charity watchdog Charity Navigator, they found the top rated Special Operations Warrior Foundation, & chose to have our family join them as donors in honor of a young man from their high school, Heath Robinson, a Seal who died in battle, leaving a young family behind.

SOWF spends shockingly little on administration & are rightly recognized as being in the top 1% of all organizations reviewed by Charity Navigator. They provide 3 critical services. 1) Seriously wounded Special Ops members - from any branch of the military - can have their family by their side when they are hospitalized out of country. 2) The children of Spec Ops soldiers killed protecting us will have scholarships for higher education. 3) That the surviving spouse & children will have a supportive community after the loss of husband & father (& with that the additional loss of the military community that had been home).

My daughter said, "These families exhibit character & commitment that we say we want to see in Americans, it is important that we say to them, 'We've got your backs."

Todd F.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been giving to this Nonprofit for years. It was established by a commander of an old unit I served in when I served the Special Operation Community. They take less then 5% in overhead, what you donate helps the family's of fallen warriors. Many young people have attended college due to this operation! I have received letters of thanks every time I donate and on a few occasions they have sent me a magazine highlighting the family's that have been helped and where the money actually goes. The operation is smartly run and even allows you to pay for the credit card/debit processing fees when you donate if you wish to help their bottom line and send more to the intended recipients! Last I heard over 200 children had graduated college with assistance since this fund was established! Thousands have been helped and they also assist families get to Bethesda to care for wounded warriors as well. Great outfit all around. I recommend you visit http://www.specialops.org/ their homepage and learn more. If I recall correctly many folks donate their time and are not paid. These guys and gals show what TRUE charity is about!

Donor

Rating: 5

I first learned of SOWF when I read Michael Durant's book about the Battle of Mogadishu (aka Black Hawk Down), where he mentioned them. I did my research and found that they were a top-rated charity with the vast majority of donations going to the children of fallen Special Operators in the form of college scholarships. Over the years I've seen a bunch of kids whose fathers were killed in Mogadishu being given the opportunity to attend university through scholarships granted by SOWF and every one was very grateful for it. This is a very well run organization and the publications they issue to donors once or twice a year are very well done and let donors see first hand the children that are being helped, along with some background on their fallen parent. Our Special Forces have been very active in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world and the families of those who have given their lives in the service of our country deserve our support. SOWF is the best charity I know of that helps these families.

Kenneth10

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to this organization since it's founding and will continue to support SOWF.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have men and women who die for us. The least we can do is help their children. This foundation gives each child of a special operations personnel who is killed in the line of duty a scholarship for college - and the family gets educational and financial counseling. I am always feel good when I send a check because I know there is very little overhead and the survivors are truly receiving the money.