(Click on any question to see the answer)
What makes Semper Fi & America’s Fund exceptional?
- We wrap our arms around Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard service members, veterans, and military families. We offer lifetime support for our catastrophically injured and critically ill service members, veterans, and military families.
- Emergency assistance is provided within 24-48 hours.
- The majority of The Fund’s staff and volunteers are also military spouses, and former, retired, or wounded veterans. Many of our staff started as volunteers and most work virtually.
- 92 cents of every dollar spent goes to program expenses.
- The Fund has a low overhead: 7% since inception.
- We provide one-on-one connections with case managers, visiting nurses, and fellow veterans paired with all-encompassing support.
- We are consistently awarded the highest ratings from the three leading nonprofit watchdog groups — A+ from CharityWatch (one of only three veteran nonprofits to receive this rating), 4-Star from Charity Navigator, and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid/GuideStar.
- Founders and senior leadership started The Fund when their military spouses were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003.
- Our President/CEO/Founder was an ICU nurse, working in military and civilian hospitals, for 20 years before starting The Fund.
What is Semper Fi & America’s Fund primary mission?
Semper Fi & America’s Fund is dedicated to providing assistance to our combat wounded, critically ill and injured service members, military family members, and veterans, from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Our case managers, visiting nurses, and entire team support those we serve by helping navigate complex medical and emotional recovery — today, tomorrow, together!
For details of our unique programs, explore the “What We Do” area of our website.
Who does Semper Fi & America’s Fund assist?
When the Semper Fi Fund was founded in 2004, The Fund’s assistance was initially focused on post 9/11 active duty Marines and Sailors who were wounded, critically ill, or catastrophically injured and their immediate family members. In 2012, the America’s Fund was started as a program of the Semper Fi Fund specifically to offer assistance to members of the Army, Air Force, Space Force, National Guard, Coast Guard and their Reserve components who had catastrophic injuries or life-threatening illness. In 2018, we started a pilot program to help the catastrophically injured from Vietnam, which today is now the LCpl Parsons Welcome Home Fund for Vietnam Veterans. Lastly, our focus on families – spouses and children in particular – is a key element of our unique programs and support. In 2020, our Skip’s Kids Program expanded support for children of service members who have been wounded, critically, ill, or injured. For details of our unique programs, explore the “What We Do” area of our website.
How do you find service members to assist?
Since 2004, we have developed strong relationships with all the major military hospitals, VA hospitals and clinics, and military units from all branches of the US Armed Forces. Since most of our staff are spouses of Service Members and former, retired, or wounded Veterans, we stay closely aligned to the military unit(s) when an injury or illness occurs. We also get referrals from other service members and other military related nonprofits. Each case is screened for eligibility and verified by a professional source.
How does the service member receive help once requested?
The Fund operates our programs and services using a “needs-based” approach. Our staff and volunteers work one-on-one with our service members, providing frequent revisits and ongoing support as long as legitimate needs are identified. The Fund assigns case managers who communicate one-on-one with their assigned service member or family member. Since The Fund has been operating for 19 years, our case managers have become adept at anticipating needs of their individual cases. Due to the constant communication and follow up, the case manager is able to assess the service member and family needs and can introduce programs to further assist in their journey to recovery and transition into their communities. We process, on average, over 150 grant requests each day. We typically deliver assistance to emergency cases within 24-48 hours of receipt of the request and for non-urgent cases within a week.
How many service members have you assisted since inception?
From our founding in 2004 through October 2023, Semper Fi & America’s Fund has provided $300 million in assistance to 30,000 service members, veterans, and their families.
How did the Fund get started?
In 2004, a determined group of military spouses saw firsthand the challenges faced by wounded Marines and Sailors returning from Iraq. They quickly took action to ensure these service members and their families were never alone or forgotten. In 2012, The Fund expanded their support to include all service branches. Today, 19 years later, Semper Fi & America’s Fund continues to embrace our combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured active duty and Veteran communities.
Where do you see Semper Fi & America’s Fund in 5 years . . . 10 years?
Severe injuries to body and mind require a long time to recover from, and to some service members, “recovery” is not a destination, it is a continuous journey. Service members with catastrophic injuries, PTSD, and traumatic brain injuries resulting from combat and training incidents will require both financial assistance and recovery support throughout their lives. Our goal is to make sure these service members and their families are never alone or forgotten over the next 5 years, 10 years, or for the decades beyond. The Fund’s vision is to ensure no service member will be forgotten on their road to recovery. Every critically wounded, ill, and injured U.S. service member will experience the love and appreciation of the American people. Our warriors and their families will achieve the highest possible quality of life and independence. Our work remains critical whether in peacetime or war.
Do you work with other non-profits and professionals to maximize impact and avoid duplication of services?
We maintain an expansive network of medical practitioners, volunteer staff, military, and corporate liaisons. To increase support to the Veteran and family, The Fund partners with other nonprofits such as TAPS, Fisher House, Warrior Canine Connection, Siller Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, Quality of Life Foundation, National Association to Protect Children, and UCLA’s Operation Mend. We also have hundreds of volunteers located across the country and overseas. Our staff and volunteers ensure we have the reach we need to stay well connected to our military units, medical facilities, and VA clinics.
What are your nonprofit ratings from charity watchdog groups?
Semper Fi & America’s Fund is among an elite few Veteran nonprofits to have received the highest ratings from the major charity watchdog groups.
- CharityWatch awarded The Fund with their highest A+ rating, one of only three veteran nonprofits earning this recognition.
- Charity Navigator awarded The Fund their highest 4-Star rating for ten consecutive years, a milestone achieved by only 2% of charities.
- Candid awarded The Fund its Candid/Guidestar PLATINUM Seal of Transparency.
Where can a prospective donor find The Fund’s financial information?
The Fund has always placed an emphasis on transparency and oversight regarding our finances. We provide information upon request, or anyone can visit our website financial page where three years of financial information is easily accessible.
Where do the majority of your donations come from?
Our donors include a wide range of sources. Individuals, foundations, corporations, military and veteran organizations, and many others all come together to support our mission.
Does Semper Fi & America’s Fund sell, rent or share donor information?
No. The Fund has never – and will never – sell, rent, or share donor information.
Does Semper Fi & America’s Fund have a Board of Directors that oversees the organization?
Yes. The Fund currently has a 14-person Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for the overall governance and direction of The Fund, which is operationally implemented by the executive team and staff of The Fund. The Board consists of former military leaders from the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, retired corporate and educational leaders, and military spouses who have experienced firsthand the challenges faced by our service members and their families.
Are Board members compensated?
No board member is compensated for their service on the Board of Directors. One of the 14 board members is also a full-time employee of The Fund and does receive compensation solely in her capacity as an employee, but not as a member of the board.
What is the history of The Fund’s name?
“Semper Fidelis” (Semper Fi, for short) is Latin for “Always Faithful,” and we pledge to always be faithful to those we serve – from their bedside, through their recovery, and beyond. Initially established at Camp Pendleton for Marines and Sailors, and after many successful years of building a model for support to military veterans and their families, a desire emerged to expand efforts beyond Marines and Sailors. In 2012, The Fund announced the creation of America’s Fund to direct urgently needed resources and financial support to combat wounded, critically ill, and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. In 2020, the Fund was officially renamed to “Semper Fi & America’s Fund” with the rationale to respect our origin while paving a path to our expanding future to provide these unique programs to service members, Veterans, and their families in all military services.