Serving Post-9/11 Veterans and Military Families


February 18, 2015



On February 18, 2015 the Military Service Initiative hosted its second national Summit in support of veterans and military families at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors in order to empower communities, non-profits, businesses, and philanthropy to more effectively serve our transitioning warriors and their families. 

During the Summit, the George W. Bush Institute released new research and functional tools to enable funders to make more informed investment decisions, and for veteran and military serving non-profits to better provide services and enduring outcomes for a successful transition. The new research complements last year’s effort and builds upon the Military Service Initiative’s work with a similar objective – to empower veterans and their families to thrive during and after transition. 

The Summit included a conversation with President George W. Bush. Panel discussions focused on what a successful veteran transition looks like and how funders, non-profits, and communities play an effective role. 

About the Research

The nature of all volunteer military service during a time of extended war results in a civilian-military divide that makes transition and reintegration a significant challenge – but one that is a national responsibility.

Bridging that divide and setting the conditions for a successful transition requires a national effort by the private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors focused on collective impact at the community level. Veteran serving non-profits play a critical role by providing resources and services that can be significantly improved through organizational excellence, accountability, and sustained resourcing focused on outcomes. Funders, particularly foundations, corporations, and individual philanthropy, are key to shaping veteran transition outcomes through informed investments in these non-profits.

Our research project – “Leading Practices Among Veteran and Military Family Serving Organizations” – seeks to identify and evaluate veteran and military serving non-profit processes and best practices and address the critical role that funders play in shaping outcomes.

Two Models of Effectiveness will be presented as “toolkits” to specifically help funders make more informed investment decisions and non-profits better provide effective services. 
Download resources for veteran-serving non-profit organizations

Summit Overview 

Conversation with George W. Bush:
The Summit featured a moderated conversation with President George W. Bush and post-9/11 veterans.  The discussion included the imperative to foster a successful transition; the challenges and opportunities of individual transition; and the elements, conditions, and indicators of “success” in transition.

Panel Discussions: The private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors are part of a “Continuum of Impact” that plays a critical role in setting the essential conditions for a successful veteran transition. Those conditions include sustained resourcing and attention, individual organizational excellence, accountability for outcomes, and collective impact at the community level. Three panel discussions will reinforce these themes while highlighting our research and tool kits.
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Panel 1: “How do we deliver a successful transition?” National leaders from the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors will address the essential elements of a national “Continuum of Impact” for a successful transition and reintegration from military service to civilian life.
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Panel 2: “How do non-profit organizations and funders get there?”  Cross-sector national leaders will address the role of individual service providers, and how non-profits and funders can more effectively serve veterans together.  The discussion will include the elements of organizational effectiveness, the relevance of veteran-serving differentiators, and will highlight the role of funders and the necessity of funder/non-profit alignment. The research study and toolkits will be discussed in greater detail and help answer, “How will the toolkits help me?” 
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Panel 3: “The Community Component” Community and national leaders will highlight that successful transition occurs in our communities. Organizational excellence and funder alignment is often times most effectively delivered within the context of a comprehensive community model. This discussion will address the essential elements and conditions for effective service delivery within our communities.
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