Veterans charities encompass those that support service personnel currently on active duty and their families, as well as those that aid former members of the armed forces. We provide the following guidance to contributors to assist them in selecting charities that effectively address the needs of veterans, active military personnel, and their families.

1. Beware of misidentification

Certain military and veterans charities use the same names but in a slightly different format or order. Before donating, verify if the organization is one you wish to support. While some resemblances are coincidental, others are deliberate attempts at deceit. It’s advisable to learn more about veteran charities you aren’t familiar with by visiting their website or reading reports from charity watchdog groups.

2. Research what the organization does


Please don’t rely on your assumptions about the actions of a veterans organization based on their name. Look for a concise explanation of its programs on their website. Veterans Charity Organizations handle a wide range of programs, reflecting the diversity of their purposes, and donors typically can’t tell what an organization accomplishes just by looking at its name.

Some of the roles of these organizations include things like:

  • Helping wounded and injured service members receive rehabilitation
  • Assisting veterans to apply for and receive benefits from the Veterans Administration
  • providing food and other necessities
  • Helping with housing needs
  • Assisting with higher education options
  • Helping with seeking employment
  • Helping with mental health services for those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

While some organizations concentrate on one of these services, others could provide various options. Usually, you can find a thorough summary of the organization’s roles on its website.

3. Be careful with telemarketers

One kind of fundraising that has occasionally been linked to dubious requests made by organizations supporting veterans is telemarketing, also known as telefunding. While telemarketing can be a helpful fundraising tactic to persuade past donors to increase their contributions, it is also employed by those looking to capitalize on Americans’ empathy for needy veterans and service members.

Organizations that only use telemarketing to raise money may encounter circumstances where expert fundraising firms receive a payment equal to or greater than 80% of the amounts raised. When improperly executed, telemarketing campaigns for veterans or military organizations can be costly for raising money, with nothing benefiting the organization. Find out more about the organization’s finances and programs before donating.

4. Enquire about how the organization uses donated items

Requests for in-kind donations, such as gently used clothing, have grown in popularity as a way for several veteran organizations to collect money. The specifics of how this operates differ depending on the group. Certain instances may occur where the veterans’ charity contracts an outside business to gather donated goods on its behalf and subsequently sell them at a thrift store under its management.

The charity may get a fixed fee for each household pickup or a tiny percentage of the products’ resale, depending on the terms of the contract.In summary, the donated items are unlikely to be given to veterans in need, with rare exceptions.

Unless you inquire with the charity or see an explanation on their website, you won’t usually know how the agreement operates. So, enquire how the organization uses donation items to ensure your support goes to needy veterans.


5. Don’t be pressured

Finally, avoid feeling obligated to donate money to a veterans charity immediately. Well-run veteran organizations like the Wounded Warriors Family Support will not pressure you to donate and will encourage you to learn more about what they do beforehand. If the perceived pressure manifests itself in the form of a phone solicitation or direct mail appeal, in that case, you should view this strategy as a red flag. This indicates that learning more about the organization is important before contributing.