Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation
406 W. 34th Street
Suite 920
Kansas City MO 64111-2778
VFW Foundation Unmet Needs

Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 968-1128
Mission Statement
The mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation is to support programs and services that secure, manage and distribute resources to improve the lives of veterans, military service personnel, their families and the communities where they live.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard M. Potter
Board Chair Mr. Keith Harman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Commander-in-Chief, VFW
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1996
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement The mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation is to support programs and services that secure, manage and distribute resources to improve the lives of veterans, military service personnel, their families and the communities where they live.
Background Statement Founded in 1899, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (the VFW) is America's oldest combat veterans organization, and has been headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri since 1922. The VFW Foundation was established in 1996 and is the official 501(c)(3) charity of the VFW. The VFW Foundation provides funding for various programs that benefit military service personnel, veterans and their families. VFW veteran service programs are provided free of charge, and VFW affiliation is not required.
Impact Statement

In the past year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation made positive strides toward our goal of assisting America's military service personnel, veterans and their families. Numerous goals were attained including:
  1. In collaboration with participating Burger King franchisees, raised over $650,000 for the VFW Unmet Needs program. Since 2004, the VFW Unmet Needs program has granted more than $8.1 million to assist over 5,000 military families and veterans with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, vehicle repair, medical expenses, food and other basic needs.
  2. In collaboration with Sport Clips Haircuts, raised over $1 million for the “Sport Clips Haircuts Help A Hero Scholarship.” The VFW has awarded over $3 million in scholarships to more than 800 veterans and service members through the “Sport Clips Haircuts Help A Hero Scholarship” program since January 2014.
  3. Raised over $500,000 to support the work of the VFW’s accredited Veterans Service Officers, who provide direct, pro bono assistance to help veterans navigate the complex process of securing earned benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In 2016 alone, the VFW helped 494,521 veterans recoup over $7 billion in benefits and disability compensation.
Needs Statement
  1. Increase aid for economically-disadvantaged veterans and military families in the Greater Kansas City region and nationally.
  2. Training for VFW-accredited Veteran Service Officers who help veteran-clients submit VA benefits claims at no charge, and represent their clients free-of-charge in processing the claims through to completion.
  3. Programs and services that support veterans in the transition from military to the civilian workforce.
Service Categories
Military/Veterans' Organizations
Family Services
Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Areas of Service
National
MO
KS
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Eastern Jackson Co
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
KS - Wyandotte County Urban Core
The VFW Foundation is national in scope and supports numerous programs that serve our home community of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The 2018 VFW National Convention will be held in downtown Kansas City July 21-25, 2018. Approximately 10,000 VFW and VFW Auxiliary members and their families are expected to attend.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement The VFW Foundation’s purpose is to raise sufficient funds to provide the optimum service level to our target population—military service personnel, veterans and their families. This is a collective group of individuals who have often made significant personal sacrifices to protect our freedom. Many U.S. veterans and military families are struggling financially. Thus, we help these deserving individuals deal with unforeseen expenses. We address other issues, especially those due to service personnel who have been severely injured or disabled in their combat assignments. VFW-accredited Service Officers are ready to intervene on their behalf in dealing with the VA so they can receive the optimal entitlement assistance.
Programs
Description

  1. Unmet Needs provides grants (not loans) of up to $5,000 to active duty or recently discharged service members and their immediate families to assist with basic needs such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, vehicle repair, food, etc. Payments are made directly to the creditor. Since the program's inception in 2004, Unmet Needs has distributed more than $8.1 million in assistance to over 5,000 qualified military families, with nearly half of those funds going towards basic housing needs.
  2. The VFW Foundation also financial support for the National Veterans Service program. Funding is utilized to ensure veterans receive the VA entitlements which they have earned through personal sacrifice to our nation. Through our comprehensive network of over 1,900 VFW-accredited veteran service officers, we provide this representation free-of-charge to all veterans regardless of VFW affiliation. VFW Service Officer accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Each accredited Service Officer has demonstrated the ability to satisfactorily represent benefit claims as attested by the Director of VFW National Veterans Service and approved by the VA.

Program Budget $1,500,000.00
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Military & Veteran Affairs
Population Served Veterans, Families,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success The short term success of our program indicates that the urgent financial, physical and emotional needs of troops, military families and veterans can be addressed in an immediate manner. By providing financial assistance, intervening on behalf of veterans to make sure that they receive entitlements for their combat injuries, and providing other services, morale is boosted, and stress and anxiety alleviated.
Long-Term Success
Long-Term Success is measured in the amount of services or funds directly contributed to troops, military families and veterans in urgent financial, physical or emotional need. One in particular addresses assistance to troops and their families to help defray the costs of rent, mortgage, utilities, vehicle repair, medical expenses and food/basic assistance. To date we have granted over $8.1 million. This commitment has helped military families to recover from financial emergencies which might have caused them to be evicted or to lose their homes. Also, in 2016, 494,521 VFW Service Officer clients received nearly $7.2 billion in earned benefits from the Veterans Administration.
Program Success Monitored By Our support of the VFW's National Veterans Service Department, which helps veterans receive their rightful entitlements for injuries and disabilities incurred while in service, helped 494 thousand veterans receive over $7 billion in 2016 alone. We also helped support $3.3 million dollars in educational scholarships for middle and high schools students through the VFW's Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests.
Examples of Program Success Steven (last name withheld) was in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan when he suffered severe combat wounds. Returning home to the United States, he soon fell behind on his house payment as he waited for his VA entitlement paperwork to be processed so he could receive regular financial compensation. Funds from the VFW Foundation were used to pay his mortgage and ensure that he and his family would not be evicted. Soon, thereafter, he began receiving regular VA payments and he has incurred no other financial difficulties.
CEO Comments The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation supports a wide variety of programs both here in Kansas City and nationwide. In Kansas City our services are geared to local area veterans. We also give financial assistance to needy military families to help ease emergency situations relevant to rent, mortgage, utilities, vehicle repair, medical expenses and food/basic assistance and; provide free communication options for our troops overseas and U.S. military hospitals. In the last two years, we have intensified our efforts to keep these issues in the consciousness of the American public. As our troops continue to defend freedom around the world and to keep us safe on the homeland, we must never waiver in support of these individuals who personally sacrificed so much to protect the freedom we enjoy.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Richard M. Potter
Term Start Dec 2016
Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Experience Richard Potter was appointed Foundation Director on December 1, 2016 and confirmed at the VFW Foundation Board meeting in February 2017. He is responsible for providing overall leadership to achieve the VFW Foundation's philanthropic fundraising goals and objectives in support of VFW programs and services. He brings to his position more than 30 years of management, marketing, and resource development experience in corporate, nonprofit, and academic environments, with significant expertise in foundation and corporate relations. In previous positions at Kansas State University and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Richard facilitated program investments from numerous corporations and private foundations, including the WK Kellogg Foundation, PepsiCo, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and the UPS Foundation.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
NameTerm
Mr. Richard G. Freighburghouse Dec 2012 - Nov 2016
John G. Lowe Mar 2010 - Dec
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 6
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 0
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 2
Male 4
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
The VFW collaborates with numerous local veterans groups such as the KC Vet Center. We are often the first point of call for organizations such as Catholic Charities, Lutheran Ministries and area homeless shelters who seek assistance for veteran clients. Meeting space in our building is used free-of-charge by the Broadway- Westport Council, Liberian Community and Boy Scouts District Council.
 
At the national level, VFW collaborates with the Student Veterans of America. The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship grants 10 exemplary student veterans (fellows) the chance to join the VFW legislative team on Capitol Hill during the VFW Legislative Conference in early spring each year. The fellows walk the halls of Congress, educating their legislators on the issues facing today’s student veterans, and have the opportunity to meet with policy-makers from federal agencies responsible for implementing veterans' policy.
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2005
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2006
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2007
3-star ratingCharity Navigator2008
2-star ratingCharity Navigator2009
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2010
2-star ratingCharity Navigator2011
Best In AmericaIndependent Charities of America2007
3-star ratingCharity Navigator2012
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2013
3-star ratingCharity Navigator2014
3-star ratingCharity Navigator2015
Silver Seal of TransparencyGuidestar2016
ICA Seal of ExcellenceAmerica's Best Charities2016
Accredited CharityBBB Wise Giving Alliance2016
3-star ratingCharity Navigator2016
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation has highly capable Board members and staff. Our 9-member Board has a variety of stated functions and responsibilities such as: to help establish and carry out various fundraising strategies and to create an overall annual fundraising plan; to establish goals and fundraising target amounts; to identify, cultivate and enlist community leaders; to oversee Foundation employee activities and ensure that these individuals are meeting organizational expectations; etc.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Keith Harman
Company Affiliation Commander-in-Chief, VFW
Term Sept 2017 to Aug 2018
Email foundation@vfw.org
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Debra L. Anderson VFW Quartermaster General
Mr. Michael F. DeRosa Burger King Franchise Owner
Mr. Brian Duffy VFW Adjutant General
Mr. Keith Harman Board President
Mr. Gordon B. Logan CEO SportClips, Inc.
Ms. Jan Passmore Volunteer
Mr. Anthony J. Principi Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2001-2005 (retired)
Admiral Patrick Walsh US Navy (retired)
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 Board members have never declared ethnic preference.
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 0%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Audit
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Education
Executive
Finance
Human Resources / Personnel & Finance & Marketing & Nominating & By-laws
Investment
Legislative
Membership
Program / Program Planning
Scholarship
Youth
CEO Comments The Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation has highly capable Board members and staff. Our 9-member Board has a variety of stated functions and responsibilities including: to help establish and carry out various fundraising strategies and to create an overall annual fundraising plan; to establish goals and fundraising target amounts; to identify, cultivate and enlist community leaders; to oversee Foundation employee activities and ensure that these individuals are meeting organizational expectations; etc. The VFW Foundation staff of six full-time employees is highly competent and capable. In 2018, I fully anticipate that the VFW Foundation will continue to support innovative and urgently needed services for veterans and military families. Our primary objective is to expand our outreach so that we can aid as many troops, military families and veterans as possible. With the kind generosity of individual, corporate, and private foundation donors, we will go far in ensuring that no veteran or military family member is neglected in their time of need.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Sept 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Aug 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $3,991,500
Projected Expenses $5,305,712
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 8/31/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,350,153$2,693,295$2,665,454
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal----$0
State----$0
Local----$0
Unspecified$0$0$0
Individual Contributions----$0
$112,092$210,078$229,987
$0$0$6,700
Investment Income, Net of Losses$485,058$495,770$723,471
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$58,621
Other$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,612,081$1,579,731$2,063,090
Administration Expense$355,680$330,660$340,939
Fundraising Expense$216,019$220,249$211,847
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.931.601.41
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%74%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue9%8%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$11,343,241$11,426,445$10,594,177
Current Assets$695,396$635,160$609,956
Long-Term Liabilities$112,761$100,444$0
Current Liabilities$561,321$616,417$768,441
Total Net Assets$10,669,159$10,709,584$9,825,736
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.241.030.79
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%1%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $111,000Anonymous $443,145 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $105,697Anonymous $115,428 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnonymous $96,228Anonymous $95,350 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments The VFW Unmet Needs grant program experienced a significant increase in demand during the 2016-17 fiscal year, from $1.1 million budgeted to $2.2 expended. The demand is expected to continue at this level in FY2018. The VFW Foundation Board approved the $1.3 million deficit budget for FY2018, with the knowledge that the deficit will be filled by using appropriate restricted funds from the previous year. The VFW Foundation has approve the hiring new staff with expertise in corporate and foundation relations, as a step toward a long term solution to the budget deficit. We are thankful for the resources available that allow us to serve the emergency financial needs of America's military service members, veterans, and their families.
Organization Name Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation
Address 406 W. 34th Street
Suite 920
Kansas City, MO 641112778
Primary Phone (816) 968-1128
Contact Email foundation@vfw.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard M. Potter
Board Chair Mr. Keith Harman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Commander-in-Chief, VFW
Year of Incorporation 1996