While the Trust and Foundation are separate entities from DAV, the organizations and missions are closely aligned. All of us want ill and injured service members and their families to have access to the best resources possible to live high-quality lives with respect and dignity.
This relationship and the different functions of the three organizations are important to know because they’re key to maximizing what can be done for veterans.
You should also know that you can be an integral part of helping us find nonprofit organizations and DAV departments and chapters that would benefit from the grants and funding we offer.
Since 1986, the Trust has been a trusted steward of donated money earmarked for organizations outside of DAV. We take these contributions and disperse them through grants to deserving nonprofits that directly serve veterans and their families.
Last year, the Trust granted more than $9.8 million to eligible organizations. These included programs to assist homeless and at-risk veterans, therapeutic or recreation activities for those with physical or psychological limitations and organizations focused on vocational training for veterans. We’ll be publishing our 2022 annual report with more details soon, but you can learn more about the types of organizations we supported in 2021 here.
If you know of a nonprofit focused on helping veterans, let them know about the Trust. There could be an opportunity for them to receive a grant.
Organizations considering applying for grants through the Trust need to know a few things before submitting an application.
First, we only accept applications during four grant cycles each calendar year. The next cycle opens on April 1, 2023, and closes at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on April 30. Organizations can only apply for a grant once every 12 months.
Second, the Trust can’t guarantee a favorable outcome prior to applying. There’s also no pre-vetting of organizations.
Third, our grant reviewers look at all aspects of an organization, including its financial stability, how the grant money would be spent and other funding sources.
Fourth, an organization must submit several up-to-date supporting documents like the IRS Form 990, IRS Form W9 and audited financial statements. The dates on these forms must fall within the allowed window of time for a particular open season. More information about these requirements is on the grants webpage of the Trust website.
Things work a little differently at the DAV National Service Foundation. DAV departments and chapters can request funding through the Foundation’s Columbia Trust, which exists solely as a restricted fund to support DAV service programs. Chapter and department leaders are encouraged to look for unmet needs of ill and injured veterans in their community and come up with ways to serve them. A grant from the Columbia Trust can help fund these initiatives.
Last year, the Foundation and its Columbia Trust disbursed more than $6 million to assist departments and chapters with purchasing vehicles through the Transportation Network; to help fund DAV national, department and chapter service programs; to help fund the hospital service coordinator program; and other initiatives. The most recent Foundation annual report contains more details.
More about how both the Foundation and the Columbia Trust work can be found here.
There are so many veteran-centric nonprofits and DAV chapters and departments doing great things that could benefit and grow from some financial assistance. That’s why I want to spread the word for eligible organizations to apply; the Trust and Foundation both have money available.
You can help spread that word. Make sure to discuss the Charitable Service Trust, National Service Foundation and its Columbia Trust and each of their purposes at your monthly chapter meetings. Simply doing that could spark an innovative idea that would help veterans in your community.
My hope is the message spreads to those who need to hear it: DAV, the Trust, and the Foundation are here to help fulfill the promise we’ve made to America’s veterans. We will continue our passionate pursuit to support both innovative and tried-and-true ways of helping those forever changed by service.