For Honor and Country
As the debate continues over the crises in Iraq and Afghanistan, politicians and the media often reference the many sacrifices of the active military forces. These passionate troops have left behind families, friends and jobs to serve their country. Who are these servicemen and women, and what philanthropic causes do they care about?
Tom Kilgannon, president of the Freedom Alliance, a nonprofit group committed to honoring and encouraging military service, states that the most important way to reach out to active military personnel is to show that you appreciate their service.
“What I find is they appreciate knowing their service is recognized, especially the service of their family members,” he says.
And today those military personnel have many faces.
“We used to say that the ‘fathers’ may not be coming home,” Kilgannon continues. “Today there are cases where kids are losing their mothers in combat. Over 143 single parents have lost their lives in Iraq. When you’re speaking to the military today, you have to recognize that fact.”
To get to know today’s military personnel, FundRaising Success spoke with Charlie Carey, director of the San Diego County Combined Federal Campaign, which has a large Navy and Marine Corps population. The CFC is the world’s largest workplace charity campaign, with more than 300 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally, to help raise millions of dollars to support nonprofit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.
FundRaising Success: What should organizations keep in mind when trying to court active armed forces personnel as potential donors?
Charlie Carey: The military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq affect the men and women in both operational and support commands, and their families who support them. When soliciting them, it’s important to recognize how world events have affected their lives, and that it’s not business as usual.