9 Best Charities for Veterans (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities for Veterans (Complete 2024 List)

By
Diana Stancu

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There are over 16 million veterans living in the US, or around 6% of the civilian population. However, unfortunately, two-thirds are unaware of the benefits they have earned under their military service. What’s more, 30% of them have service-related disabilities, and 22 veterans commit suicide daily, with one occurring roughly every 80 minutes. 85% of ex-soldiers say that the American public has little awareness of the challenges they face. Yet, fortunately, charities nationwide are fighting to serve the holistic well-being and dignity of the country’s military heroes. So we had to ask: What are the best charities for veterans?

The best charities for veterans are Semper Fi & America’s Fund, Disabled American Veterans, and Operation Homefront. Other charities, like Homes For Our Troops and K9s For Warriors, fight to improve veterans’ physical and emotional reintegration into society.

Whether you want to support the building of free homes for veterans, enhance their mental health after military trauma, or connect veterans with educational and employment opportunities, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for veterans are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Veterans Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their transparency ratings, achievements, and the number of ways they serve veterans.

They operate primarily in North America, rebuilding the lives of ex-servicemen after finishing their military duties.

Many of the charities below support veterans’ medical recovery after service-related injuries, illnesses, and amputations. They also have rehabilitation programs for mental and emotional wellness to tackle stress disorders caused by military trauma. 

In addition, some charities build custom-made homes to accommodate disabled veterans. While other charities help veterans advance their education, fight homelessness, or find suitable job opportunities to better reintegrate into society. 

Yet, through different means, all the charities below share the same goal of improving the holistic wellness of war heroes.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Veterans in 2024

Below are our favorite charities for veterans (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Semper Fi & America’s Fund: Today. Tomorrow. Together. 

Logo for Semper Fi & America’s Fund
I Am the Reason There Is Still a Need

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Their transparency & ratings:

Semper Fi & America’s Fund has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is critical. Our duty is clear. We want to help our service members, veterans, and military families achieve their highest possible quality of life and independence.”

Semper Fi & America’s Fund

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What they do:

Semper Fi & America’s Fund supports veterans immediately after returning from combat, through the initial hospitalization and nursing needs. They also offer transportation assistance and help to rebuild ex-soldiers homes or give them specialized equipment if they were critically injured or lost a limb. Furthermore, they offer education and career assistance through their Veteran to Veteran Support program and Apprenticeship Program to help ex-servicemen reintegrate back into society. In addition, they advance holistic healing for veterans to grow past their post-traumatic stress issues and rebalance their brain networks through Arts & Music activities

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Semper Fi & America’s Fund has invested over $312 million in health and financial assistance for 30,000 veterans through 348,000 grants. For example, in 2023, they invested $21 million to support 11,000 ex-warriors and their families with immediate and direct material support after returning from combat. In the same year, they granted $3.2 million to help 1,800 veterans reconnect with their careers and education to regain a livelihood post-war. In addition, they helped 2,700 ex-servicemen with $5.3 million worth of programs to improve their mental health after military trauma.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Semper Fi & America’s Fund through their website. You can also get involved by starting a fundraising event, volunteering, or buying their merchandise

2

Disabled American Veterans: Keeping Our Promise to America’s Veterans

Logo for Disabled American Veterans
DAV Helps Keep the Promises Made to Veterans

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Disabled American Veterans has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

“We want to ensure that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them while fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill.”

Disabled American Veterans

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What they do:

Disabled American Veterans provides transition services through benefits counseling and psychological assistance to ex-soldiers who re-enter civilian life. They also support critically injured or ill veterans with transportation services to and from medical facilities, after consultations or surgeries. Furthermore, they help veterans and their spouses to find employment and access specialized job fairs for ex-servicemen. They also run educational programs to aid veterans in creating impactful businesses. In addition, they assist ex-warriors struggling with homelessness through housing and services to become self-sufficient members of society. Also, they provide support for veterans who encounter natural disasters

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Disabled American Veterans has funded over $19.5 million for ex-soldiers experiencing natural disasters to help rebuild their lives. In addition, they have connected nearly 300,000 veterans with over 173,000 employment offers and business initiatives. Moreover, in 2021, they offered legal support to 1.1 million veterans to claim their military, survivorship benefits and transition to civilian life – in this way, they helped them collectively earn $25 billion in benefits. In the same year, they gave 164,000 free medical rides to veterans in need, spanning 8 million miles and 2 million hours in total

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Disabled American Veterans through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or hiring veterans in your business. In addition, you can join their advocacy efforts and campaigns

3

Operation Homefront: Giving Stability and Security to Veterans

Logo for Operation Homefront
Operation Homefront – United We Stand: Meet America’s Military Families

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Operation Homefront has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive, not simply struggle to get by, in the communities – OUR communities – they have worked so hard to protect.” 

Operation Homefront

⚒️

What they do:

Operation Homefront helps returning soldiers overcome short-term difficulties. For instance, their financial assistance program serves veterans with a wound, illness, or injury by aiding emergency payments, including mortgage payments, utilities, bills, and groceries. In addition, they provide transitional housing in the form of Apartments or Villages, which are rent and utilities-free homes for veteran families to achieve stability and post-military success. They also offer Transitional Homes for veterans to improve credit scores and accumulate savings in order to own their home. Furthermore, their Permanent Homes project has a financial counseling period after which veterans can own their new home mortgage-free.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Operation Homefront has given over $41 million to 56,000 veterans in relief payments through their Critical Financial Assistance program. In addition, they have provided over $103 million in home equity to 720 veteran families through their Permanent Homes project. Also, their Transitional Homes program has helped 33 military families to save $800,000 in mortgage costs. Out of all the recipients, 16 families completed their financial preparation and started being the official owners of the house. Furthermore, they provided over 6,700 months of transitional rent-free housing in Apartments and Villages, saving 2,500 veterans more than $7.6 million in rent and utility costs

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Operation Homefront through their website. You can also donate to their Urgent Needs program or volunteer. In addition, you can support their United We Stand campaign to secure the future of military families. 

4

Homes For Our Troops: Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives.

Logo for Homes for Our Troops
Homes For Our Troops - 2022 60 Second PSA Video

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Homes For Our Troops has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“These homes restore some of the freedom and independence our Veterans sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on their family and recovery.”

Homes For Our Troops

⚒️

What they do:

Homes For Our Troops builds custom-designed homes for post-9/11 veterans who have sustained severe injuries, including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, or severe traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, they provide a pro-bono financial planner for three years to assist them in household budgeting. They also offer homeownership education and warranty coverage to ensure that veterans have long-term success as homeowners. In addition, they connect ex-soldiers with organizations that can improve their mental wellness and career prospects to reintegrate into society. Also, they support ex-soldiers to promote awareness of veteran suicide, homelessness, and PTSD.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Homes For Our Troops has built 374 custom-designed homes through 82 community-funded projects. In addition, all their homes measure 2,800 square feet and reach veterans from 47 US states. Also, over 90% of veteran recipients reduced their household stress and regained much of their independence after moving into their new homes. Moreover, 72% of the ex-servicemen obtained an education degree while their employment rate increased by 123%. Furthermore, in 2023, the charity created 23 new homes and purchased 24 parcels of land for further construction. In the same year, they invested $34 million across their projects for new housing, educational opportunities, and mental health. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Homes For Our Troops through their website. You can also support them by fundraising or donating your car. In addition, you can attend a build event near you to welcome a veteran to the community.

5

K9s For Warriors: Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD

Logo for K9s for Warriors
My Dad is my Superhero - Keira, Daughter of David & Doc | K9s For Warriors

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

K9s For Warriors has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We fight to serve our Veterans as honorably as they served their country, and impacting the lives of Veterans will always be our greatest reward.”

K9s For Warriors

⚒️

What they do:

K9s For Warriors fights to restore and support veterans who have post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, or military sexual trauma. For this, they follow a scientifically proven process of bonding with a trained Service Dog while serving them during and after the program, at no cost to the veteran. Moreover, they take dogs from rescue shelters or direct donations to save them from abandonment or possible euthanasia, and provide extensive training in order to make them exemplary Service Dogs. Furthermore, they advance research on service-connected trauma for veterans to develop innovative methods of psychological healing. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, K9s For Warriors has rescued over 1,500 dogs from shelters and trained them to become Service Dogs in 4 locations nationwide, where they also taught the veterans how to bond with their new friends. In addition, 92% of the veterans who received a dog reduced their medication for mental health. Furthermore, 82% of the participant veterans reported reduced suicide ideation after bonding with their Service Dog. Moreover, the charity has fought to fund government grants to provide Service Dogs to veterans diagnosed with service-connected trauma. Also, in 2022, they spent over $9.5 million across their programs for veteran support and dog training. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to K9s For Warriors through their website. You can also help by sponsoring one of their dogs or donating a puppy. In addition, you can start a fundraiser or volunteer

6

Gary Sinise Foundation: While We Can Never Do Enough for Our Veterans, We Can Always Do a Little More

Logo for The Gary Sinise Foundation
Gary Sinise Foundation Official Promo 2022

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Gary Sinise Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security.”

Gary Sinise Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Gary Sinise Foundation helps returning soldiers restore their independence by building mortgage-free, specially adapted homes for the severely wounded. They also work to improve veterans’ mental health by empowering treatment methods and providing support to those who have experienced trauma, illness, injury, or loss during their military duty. In addition, they connect veterans with civilians across educational programs to inspire a sense of patriotism and resilience over challenges. Furthermore, they celebrate the lives of veterans, including those from World War II, with events such as the Invincible Spirit Festivals and the Soaring Valor

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Gary Sinise Foundation has supported veterans with over 1 million meals in times of financial issues. Moreover, they have gathered over 85,600 military attendees at their Invincible Spirit Festivals and reunited 1,327 World War II veterans at the Soaring Valor events. In addition, they have completed 90 specially adapted smart homes and 73 specially adapted vehicles to improve the quality of life for injured ex-soldiers. They also provided 76 mobility devices and modified 127 homes to accommodate disabled veterans. Furthermore, in 2021, they invested over $30 million across all their supporting programs and ran 1,600 Resiliency Workshops to enhance veterans’ mental health.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Gary Sinise Foundation through their website. You can also get involved by applying for a job, fundraising, or purchasing their merchandise

7

Vietnam Veterans of America: Helping Veterans, Communities, and Those Serving in Harm’s Way

Logo for Vietnam Veterans of America
VVA: Who We Are

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, Vietnam Veterans of America has spent 69% of their total income on charitable activities and 31% on organizational costs. 

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another. We know what returning veterans face. We will be here for as long as it takes to make sure that those who serve our country receive the care and respect they have earned.”

Vietnam Veterans of America

⚒️

What they do:

Vietnam Veterans of America advances legal actions for ex-soldiers to claim and receive their military service benefits and rights, such as specialized healthcare. They also advocate with the federal government to advance policies that unite more veterans with their earned benefits. Furthermore, they help veterans treat PTSD through diagnoses, research, and rehabilitation programs while advancing outreach and advocacy against Agent Orange-related problems. They also help homeless veterans to become independent and unite Vietnam soldiers with educational school programs to share personal combat experiences. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

To date, Vietnam Veterans of America has grown their network to 88,000 members, with over 650 chapters in all 50 US states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Philippines. They have also published self-help guides on issues such as Agent Orange and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder to help veterans tackle their health struggles. Furthermore, in 2021, they achieved legal inclusion of bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinsonism in the official list of health effects from Agent Orange, so that affected veterans can claim their governmental health benefits. Also, in the same year, they funded over $4.5 million across their supportive programs for Vietnam warriors.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Vietnam Veterans of America through their website. In addition, you can help them by donating personal clothes or your vehicle, as well as buying their online magazine

8

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund: Fighting the Health War After the War Is Over

Logo for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Service Members Speak on Being Treated for the Invisible Wounds of War

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Our mission is to help the military heroes who have sacrificed so much in service to our nation.”

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund

⚒️

What they do:

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund supports veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress by building specially-designed treatment facilities, called Intrepid Spirit Centers, on military bases nationwide. These centers act as gymnasiums for the brain providing service members with advanced care to address the complex symptoms of their issues. They also serve veterans suffering amputations, limb trauma, and severe burns with rehabilitation equipment and specialists to help them return to a normal life. In addition, their Center of Excellence unites physicians and therapists to research the complex issues of TBI and PTS. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund has raised over $200 million in programs and financial support for severely wounded ex-military personnel. Furthermore, they opened 9 Intrepid Spirit Centers across 9 states, with each center being 25,000 square feet and costing about $13 million to build and equip with necessary machinery and rehabilitation experts. Moreover, in 2023, they began building the 10th center to address TBI and PTS in ex-soldiers while investing nearly $4.5 million across their supporting programs for US ex-servicemen. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through their website. You can also support them by fundraising or following their blog

9

Maine Veterans’ Home: Caring for Those Who Served Us

Logo for Maine veterans' home
Honoring Maine's Veterans Every Single Day at Maine Veterans' Homes 1

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Maine Veterans’ Home has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Veterans have been trained to overcome obstacles and never give up without a fight. We are committed to providing the exceptional care, compassion and support that they and their families have earned.”

Maine Veterans’ Home

⚒️

What they do:

Maine Veterans’ Home helps ex-soldiers with extensive recovery and treatments after surgeries, injuries, and accidents by providing advanced nursing care and rehabilitation experts. Furthermore, they offer long-term nursing for veterans who require 24/7 care because of afflictions that make living independently impossible. They also serve veterans with limited mobility through their Assisted Living Residential Care where they enjoy recreational activities and natural landscapes. Moreover, they support veterans with last-stage dementia and other memory issues who require assistance with everyday tasks through specialized activities to stimulate the mind. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, Maine Veterans’ Home has expanded their network to include 6 housing locations to serve all types of struggles ex-warriors face. In total, these locations can host nearly 650 veterans and their families for long-term or short-term stays. Furthermore, their largest building, in Augusta, measures 180,000 square feet and provides 138 private rooms and 12 households to offer comfortable living for ex-servicemen. Moreover, in 2023, they invested $93.5 million across all their supporting programs for ex-soldiers. In the same year, they nursed and rehabilitated 860 veterans and family members

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Maine Veterans’ Home through their website. You can also fundraise or donate to specific practical needs the veterans face whilst in the Homes. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for veterans. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to veterans—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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