The DAV National Service Foundation’s Columbia Trust began in 1996 as an initiative by the Department of Colorado, encouraging outside-the-box thinking and unique projects to better provide service.
Departments and Chapters from around the country contribute to and benefit from the Trust. Funds are restricted so that they may only be used through grants specifically for service.
“The Columbia Trust is about creative generosity and providing the means to help others,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “It helps where the need is greatest, assisting with the services DAV Chapters and Departments provide for injured and ill veterans and their families.”
Commanders and Adjutants are encouraged to identify unmet needs and develop projects to serve ill and injured veterans in their communities. If a grant from the Trust is needed
to initiate or maintain programs, Chapters and Departments should apply.
Applications are reviewed by members of an advisory committee that includes one member from each of DAV’s national Districts, providing equal representation in deciding how to employ the Trust’s funds.
The Committee reviews grant requests and provides specific spending recommendations. The National Service Foundation’s Board of Directors is the final arbiter of the grant and acts to affirm, reject or modify the advisory committee’s recommendations.
Only service projects directly aimed at assisting ill and injured veterans and their families will be considered. “Common sense prevails,” Adjutant Burgess said. “Experienced DAV members should be able to recognize service to injured and ill veterans when they see it.”
Grants are not awarded to those Chapters and Departments demonstrating an ongoing ability to meet their proposed service obligations without the grants, ensuring the funds only go where they are most needed.
“The Columbia Trust allows us to share who we are and what we have,” Adjutant Burgess said. “It enables us to both give and receive. It provides the means to fulfill our promises to America’s ill and injured veterans and their families.”
More information about the Trust, a grant application and steps to contribute are available online at www.nsf.dav.org/trust/.