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Leader in Veteran Nonprofit Evaluations Responds to Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Grants to Military Organizations

Jun 9, 2016

San Diego, California – June 9, 2016– As widely reported by the national media, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump claimed that the delays of grants to dozens of nonprofit military organizations were substantially the result of needing to fully vet the nonprofits being considered for the donations, a complicated and time consuming research process. Trump cited a total of $5.6 Million donated to 40 veteran groups, all of which have recently been named. Trump went on to say that he took none of the money for admin costs and that all donations went directly to these 40 charities.

The Patriots Initiative (TPI), an independent nonprofit that evaluates the effectiveness, impact and reliability of charities supporting America’s armed forces communities nationwide, commends the leadership efforts Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and thousands of other supporters have made to support the nation’s active duty and veteran military communities. While making no political endorsements whatsoever, TPI recognizes Donald Trump and others for Answering the Call by channeling donations to our military armed forces, veterans, and their families, and doing so only after carefully vetting the recipient charities. Carefully evaluating nonprofits today is a time consuming and often frustrating – but very important – task, and we commend the Trump organization for that effort.

Whether it was six dollars or $6 million, thoughtfully and transparently raising money and awareness for our armed forces makes a difference in the lives of those who defend our country daily.

The recent media flurries surrounding Trump’s donations have re-exposed a deeper problem existing in America today: one of doubt, a ‘crisis of confidence’ when it comes to donating money. This widespread donor uneasiness was worsened by the recent Wounded Warrior Project scandal. After recently commenting on the Wounded Warrior Project’s leadership failures and severe misuse of funds, The Patriots Initiative has become widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading evaluators of nonprofits serving the nation’s armed forces communities.

The Patriots Initiative exists for this very reason, to enhance donor simplicity, effectiveness, impact and confidence, and to combat donor doubts and misgivings about their philanthropy. TPI compiles The Directory, a comprehensive list of the nation’s most trustworthy and accountable nonprofits doing the finest work to support our military service members and their families. Prior to becoming an accredited member of TPI’s Directory, each candidate charity must complete TPI’s rigorous evaluation focusing on eight criteria including, but not limited to, their financial condition, efficiency, leadership, track records, and staff commitment/capabilities. The Patriots Initiative has evaluated over 300 such service providers to date, and approximately 120 have scored high enough to be accredited and listed on TPI’s Directory amongst the ‘finest in the nation.’

In addition, TPI recently granted $70,000 to support two of the nonprofits accredited and listed on the Directory that are focused on wounded/disabled veterans with nation-leading adaptive reintegration programs. To date, TPI has delivered grants totaling over $1.3 million, all directed to the very finest armed forces charities operating the most impactful, well-run programs.

Of the 40 military nonprofit organizations named by Trump, 10 of them have been previously evaluated and approved by TPI for The Directory. The remaining nonprofits are currently undergoing a thorough vetting by The Patriots Initiative, and the results will be announced during the third quarter. Unlike Charity Navigator, which reviews all categories of nonprofits, and limits its underwritings to the largest charities that have been in existence for nearly a decade or more, The Patriots Initiative dedicates itself solely to evaluating those nonprofits that strive to support America’s armed forces. Additionally, TPI evaluates newer, smaller nonprofits in this space… we have found that some of the most important advances are emerging from smaller, newer charities that are innovative in their planning and work. Accordingly, TPI’s sharp focus makes it the leader in armed forces community – active duty and veteran, alike – nonprofit evaluations.

Every nonprofit needs to be evaluated, whether it’s the Wounded Warrior Project, or any other notable organization, to ensure their efficiency, transparency, impact and effectiveness. The men and women of our nation’s military deserve the very best from us. Donors should feel comfortable knowing their money is providing the finest support for our service men and women.

On behalf of the staff, board and stakeholders of The Patriots Initiative,

Gregory R. Hillgren


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