This section of the VCOC MOAA website includes info about the COMMUNITY projects and programs supported state-wide by the VCOC and Virginia MOAA chapters. Some of these projects started out as Legislative goals and objectives of VCOC MOAA and have come into being due to the support of all Virginia chapters.
Included are: Virginia Wounded Warrior, Virginia scholarships, and the Virginia War Memorial.
To go directly to those topics, point curser to menu item "Virginia Projects" above left, look at the subsection listing which should show just to the right of the menu, and then click on the submenue item you are interested in.
This section started 22 March 2009
CHARITIES FOR VETERANS & FIRST RESPONDERS CHECK THEM OUT BEFORE CONTRIBUTING
article excerpt - full article in documents at right
You may be surprised to learn that veteran & first responder charities have the worst performing reputation among charities.According to the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) (www.charitywatch.org), too many veterans (and first responder) charities choose to spend most of their donated dollars on direct mail and telemarketing solicitations, executive salaries, and other overhead expenses that do not directly benefit veterans or our active duty military.
You may ask, how do I know where my contribution will go?How my contribution will be spent?
AIP lists several criteria, the foremost being the percent of contributions expended on fundraising costs.Overhead costs, including education, should be 35% or less.Single digit overhead costs are attainable and provide the greatest confidence that the majority of the funds are going to our troops and veterans.There are other criteria, but this one is basic.
AIP lists some 500 charities and rates them.Check the AIP website for the charity of interest to you, even if it is a well known veterans fund.If it is not listed, search the internet for a home page.If the fund is reputable, it will provide a balance sheet or a report of income and expenses for you to judge.
Avoid committing to pledges over the phone from telemarketers regardless of their affiliation.
It only takes a few minutes to check.Be vigilant and ensure our troops and veterans are supported with your contributions.
/ Jack Hilgers COL,USMC, Ret, March 2009
COL Jack Hilgers is the Legislative Rep for Hampton Roads (Virginia) Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).He has extensive fundraising experience, and is active on the Virginia Council of Chapters (VCOC) of MOAA.