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WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT® GRANT PROCESS

With the number of wounded service members returning home to their communities increasing every day, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is excited to have an opportunity to support other veteran-serving nonprofit organizations to ensure that every service member, veteran and their family member is recognized and their reintegration needs are supported. WWP Program Grants allow us to work with various organizations to better serve wounded service members, veterans and their family members and provide programming that meets the needs of our population in specific geographic regions of the country where existing services are limited.

Our in-depth grant evaluation process ensures WWP provides financial support to groups espousing kindred priorities and policies, and with the same commitment to our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Historically, WWP has supported organizations that seek to enhance the lives of wounded service members through programs aimed at improving mental health and wellness; exposing wounded service members to new opportunities for physical fitness and activity; connecting wounded service members with their peers and communities; and enhancing economic empowerment and independence.

Since its inception in 2012, WWP Program Grants has held two grant cycles each year. WWP Program Grants are awarded in amounts up to 250,000 and last one full year from the date of award.

WWP is now accepting Letters of Interest (LOI) for the Spring 2015 grant cycle. Please use the following link to submit an LOI: https://wwp.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_02FuDBypdME2Y8B. All LOIs must be received by Monday, January 26 at 5pm EST. WWP cannot accept mailed, faxed, or emailed LOIs.

Please note: If you submitted an LOI during the Fall 2014 grant cycle, you do not need to create a new user profile. Please use your username and password you created in the fall.

All inquiries regarding Program Grants process should be directed to grants@woundedwarriorproject.org. WWP is unable to accept calls regarding the grant application process. 

To be considered for funding, an organization MUST meet the following requirements:

  • Be able to provide evidence of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax exemption status must be current at the time of letter of interest submission in order to be eligible. 
  • Share our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
  • Offer a program that clearly addresses one of the gaps in services identified by WWP and as outlined under the Funding Priorities tab and primarily serves service members and veterans who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families.
  • Demonstrate a clear recruitment plan for service member, veteran and family members/caregivers. Please note that WWP does not send direct referrals to grant recipients.
  • Provide programs and services at NO cost to their constituents.
  • Have clearly outlined goals and objectives for the program and exhibit an evaluation plan that measures qualitative and quantitative outputs and outcomes of the proposed program.
  • Agree to submit an Interim Report half way through the grant year and a Final Report at the end of the grant year. Reporting guidelines are included here for your reference.

Before submitting a letter of interest, please read through our FAQs to determine your organization’s grant eligibility. The following opportunities are not eligible for WWP funding: 

  • State or federal programs
  • Debt reduction
  • Annual appeals and fundraising events
  • Political action groups
  • Medical or academic research
  • Think tanks
  • Any activities that include or promote alcohol
  • Endowments

 **We are unable to provide grants to individuals. If you are a service member, veteran or family member in need, please contact the WWP Resource Center to learn more about financial assistance opportunities available through Operation Homefront.**

Each year, the WWP grant cycle begins with an opportunity for interested parties to submit Letters of Interest (LOI) to WWP. An organization MUST submit an LOI to be considered for an invitation to submit a full proposal. Please note, we are currently accepting LOIs until Monday, January 26, 2015 at 5pm EST.

In order to be considered for funding, you must adhere to the following process:

 

 

Letters of Interest:

  • WWP will accept LOIs only during an open submissions period. WWP is not accepting LOIs at this time.
  • WWP will consider LOIs in the amount up to $250,000.
  • All LOIs will be reviewed and evaluated against the entire pool of submissions.
  • Upon reviewing all submitted LOIs, WWP will either decline interest or invite organizations to submit a full grant proposal. Please note that not all organizations that submit an LOI will be asked to submit a full grant proposal.  

Full Grant Proposal:

  • WWP will accept a full proposal by invitation only after we have had a chance to evaluate your LOI.
  • Instructions on how to apply will be sent with an invitation.
  • Required attachments will be due at the time of application submission.
  • WWP will not accept mailed or faxed submissions.
  • WWP will provide an acknowledgement of submissions.
  • Submissions that do not follow this format may not be considered for funding.

Additional Information

Please review Program Grants FAQ for additional information.

Please direct all inquiries to grants@woundedwarriorproject.org. WWP is unable to accept calls regarding the grant program at this time.

With our mission to honor and empower wounded warriors and our vision to have the most successful, well-adjusted generation of veterans in this nation’s history, Wounded Warrior Project has developed programs and services that reflect the needs of our Alumni population.  Likewise, we have developed the following funding priorities for Program Grants to appropriately fill gaps in services, leverage subject matter expertise of other non-profit organizations, and prioritize our decision making in the highly competitive grant process.

 

For the 2015 grant year, WWP is specifically interested in funding programs that clearly address one of the identified needs described below. Data from WWP’s Alumni Survey and Strategic Plan, as well as desired programmatic outcomes, are included to provide additional reference. Please click on each category below to review identified needs. Program Grant applications should specifically address the below identified needs.  

 

 

 

BODY

Physical health and wellness are critical components in the overall well-being of wounded service members and veterans. With the survival rate greater than 90 percent, more and more service members are returning home with injuries.

 

Wounded Warrior Project is dedicated to creating impactful and substantial programs for warriors and their families assisting in the improvement of their physical health leading to positive, active lifestyles. The ultimate goal is to not only teach a skill, but to foster the honing of that skill leading to independence.  Programs should be inclusive of the four Physical Health & Wellness pillars: Inclusive/Adaptive Sports and Recreation, Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness. Programsunder each pillar should be designed to create comprehensive experiences to optimize the physical and psychological well-being of warriors and their families.   

 

Based on the needs of service members and veterans outlined below, WWP is seeking proposals for programs that do one of the following:

 

A.Physical Wellness

51.9% of alumni rate their health as being fair or poor.

 

Background Information (2014 Annual Alumni Survey):

  • Top three injuries for those rating health asfairorpoor
    • Spinal cord injuries (69.8%)
    • MST (64.5%)
    • Nerve injuries (64.3%)
  • 43.5% of alumni do moderate-intensity physical activities or exercise 3 or more days a week; 36.4% do such physical activity less than once a week
  • Top two barriers to exercise: #1 - feeling uncomfortable exercising in social setting (39%) and #2 - concerns related to safety or re-injury (37.8%)
  • Average BMI for alumni = 29.6
    • 39.7% of alumni are overweight
    • 42.6% of alumni are obese
  • Subgroups at higher risk for weight gain after discharge include those younger in age, less educated, overweight/obese at time of discharge, active duty versus National Guard/Reserve, women, and deployers with combat experience

WWP seeks programs that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Offer service members and veterans a holistic approach to weight management and/or BMI reduction.
  • Programming should be continuous in nature and offer service members and veterans access to physical exercise in a comfortable setting.
  • Educate service members, veterans, and their caregivers on the importance of healthy nutrition.
  • Educate warriors on healthy lifestyle choices and promote better overall health (i.e. encourage reduction of alcohol, nicotine, and/or caffeine consumption)

Desired Outcomes:

  • Warriors will develop a greater sense of self-esteem and overall self-confidence.
  • Warriors will seek out other sport or recreational opportunities as a result of participating in this program.

 

MIND

Mental and emotional health is a critical component to the overall well-being of service members, veterans, and their families and caregivers. Service members and veterans living with psychological and/or cognitive wounds of war face barriers to obtaining the support they need in their readjustment to civilian life.

 

Based on the survey, 75.4 percent of WWP alumni suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 73.9 percent experience anxiety, 68.8 percent reported depression, and 44.6 percent reported that they experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during their military service. More than half (51.9 percent) of respondents rated their health as poor or fair, with 73 percent of those respondents citing “other severe mental injuries” as the main reason for that rating.

 

Based on the needs of service members, veterans, and caregivers outlined below, WWP is seeking proposals for programs that do one of the following:

 

A.Sleep Issues

Sleep is the number one issue reported by warriors in the 2014 Alumni Survey.

 

Background Information (2014 Annual Alumni Survey):

  • Among problems bothering respondents nearly every day, the most common problems for the past 3 survey years are various types of sleeping problems and feeling tired or having little energy
  • Only 18.3% of alumni answering this question said they felt rested upon waking in the morning agood bit of the time,most of the time, orall the time
  • Sleep Adequacy Scale: 0-100 with higher scores representing less of a problem sleeping
    • Mean score for alumni = 28
    • Mean score for nationally representative sample = 60.5
  • Personnel who reported combat exposures or mental health symptoms (PTSD, depression, anxiety, or panic) had increased odds of trouble sleeping

WWP seeks programs that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Provide insight into sleep issues facing service members and veterans and offer an innovative and holistic approach to increase the duration and quality of sleep.
  • The program should address other mental health symptoms as well (more than half of those who reported insomnia have one or more medical comorbidities).

Desired Outcomes:

  • Improved scores on the Sleep Adequacy Scale.
  • Increase in energy and feeling rested upon waking.

 

B.Long-term Care

About 3 out of 10 alumni need the aid and attendance of another person because of their injuries and health problems; among this group, more than one-fourth (28%) need more than 40 hours of aid per week.

 

Background Information (2014 Annual Alumni Survey):

  • 7% of alumni are permanently housebound
  • Four activities require more assistance than others—doing household chores, managing money, taking medications properly, and preparing meals
  • Most common injuries among severely wounded are spinal cord injuries and TBIs

WWP seeks programs that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Address the critical needs of our country’s most severely wounded service members and veterans who are post-acute rehabilitation, incapable of living independently and/or require constant supervision, and need a significant level of assistance and support.
  • Proposed program should encompass a holistic approach to the warrior and his/her loved ones geared toward an optimal goal of promoting independence and an improved quality of life.
  • Ideally, the program will offer long-term services ranging from specific behavioral and cognitive services, to life coaching, caregiver respite, and community reintegration.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Increase warrior’s independence and quality of life through behavioral and cognitive services and assisting warrior with reintegration.
  • Provide caregiver respite and support services to those who care for the most severely injured.

 


ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Economic stability and ability to provide for their families continues to be a main concern for many of our wounded warriors. When asked if their financial status is better off today than it was a year ago, only 19.9 percent of respondents answered “yes, it is better now than a year ago”. On the other hand, almost 40 percent reported their financial status is worse off now than a year ago. In addition, many wounded service members need assistance transitioning military skills into civilian jobs, networking, learning interviewing techniques, and basic preparation of a resume. While many employers want to hire wounded veterans, they often lack a basic understanding of military culture and obstacles facing wounded warriors, especially wounds not visible to the eye, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

 

Based on the needs of wounded service members and caregivers outlined below, WWP is seeking proposals for programs that do one of the following:

 

A.Employment Barriers

77.1% of alumni experienced difficulties in obtaining employment or changing jobs; mean number of factors contributing to their difficulties was 3.7

 

Background Information (2014 Annual Alumni Survey):

  • Difficulties include: mental health issues (31.2%), difficulty being around others (29.9%), not physically capable, not qualified—lack of education, and pursuing education (page 84)
  • More than 4 in 10 alumni (43.7%) checked four or more factors that make it difficult to obtain employment or change jobs. This is an increase from 2013 (25%) and 2012 (35%).

WWP seeks programs that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Educate employers about the unseen wounds of war, such as PTSD and TBI, and work to reduce the stigma associated with them among fellow employees and management.
  • Educate employers on potential triggers in the office and encourage employers to provide warriors with a mentor (preferably another veteran), or someone they can trust if they are feeling uneasy or need someone to confide in.
  • Provide coaching to wounded service members as it relates to job retention.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Warrior will retain job for minimum of one year.
  • Employers will be educated about unseen wounds of war, learn how to interact with warrior employees, and reduce stigma associated with mental health issues in the workplace. 
B.Financial Education & Planning

When asked if their financial status isbetter,the same, orworsethan a year ago, 22.9 percent of alumni reported their financial status isbetter, but 34.9 percent said their financial status isworse.

 

Background Information (2014 Annual Alumni Survey):

  • Only 30% of alumni have an emergency fund (separate from longer term savings and investments) that provides a safety net of income to pay for unplanned financial emergencies.
  • More than half of alumni (57.9%) are not currently participating in any longer term savings plan (i.e. 401(k), IRA, etc.)
  • Top 3 forms of debt among alumni households:
    • Car loans (73.8%)
    • Credit cards (67.8%)
    • Home loan/Mortgage (50.3%)

WWP seeks programs that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Provide financial education programs to wounded warriors ad their spouses/caregivers that will address the unique needs of this population. Knowledge of VA benefits is a plus.
  • Provide individual counseling for warriors and their spouses/caregivers on best course of action for managing and investing money.

Desired Outcomes:

  • Warriors will establish an emergency fund that should cover at least three months of household expenses.
  • Warriors will enroll in a longer term savings plan.
  • With assistance of a financial coach, warriors will establish a plan and timeline for paying off debt.

WWP awards grants in two cycles each calendar year – spring and fall. Prior grantees must skip a full grant cycle after the last award was made before re-applying for funding and will be required to submit a final report for consideration. Exceptions may be made if an organization is submitting a grant for an entirely new project and the grantee has demonstrated the success of the previously WWP-funded program to date. Prior grantees should follow general application guidelines and timeframe and will be evaluated against an entire pool of submissions for that grant cycle.

 

Grant recipients should not rely on WWP for continued funding of their programs or projects. It is strongly recommended that other sources of support also be secured. Under no circumstances is WWP obligated to continue funding the program of any grantee.

When does WWP accept applications for grants? Please see Grant Application Process and Deadlines on the Grants page for the most up-to-date information. Though we make the majority of grant-making decisions during the grant cycles, we reserve the right to review some requests on a rolling basis. 

 

Does WWP offer grants to individuals? No. WWP does not offer grants to individuals. All grant applicants must submit evidence of tax exemption under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax exemption status must be current at the time of letter of interest submission in order to be eligible.

 

**If you are a wounded service member or family member in need, please contact the WWP Resource Center to learn more about financial assistance opportunities available through Operation Homefront.

 

What types of activities will WWP fund? This grant cycle, WWP is looking to fund programs that explicitly address of the needs as described under Funding Principles and Priorities for 2014. Please reference that tab for additional information and instructions.

 

How much funding is available? WWP will consider requests up to $250,000. Funding amount is determined by the amount requested, number of wounded service members, veterans, or family members served, and the nature of the program being funded. Funding is generally limited to a one-year program cycle. 

 

Will you consider grant requests that use the funds for operating costs, organizational overhead, or other capital? WWP will consider grant requests that propose using funds to support operations, such as employee salary or equipment purchases, so long as there is a clear translation of how the money will support wounded service members, veterans, and their family members.

 

Does WWP require grant recipients to have a history of working with wounded veterans? No. While demonstrated success in working with wounded service members and veterans is certainly helpful, we are interested in partnering with organizations that have unique programs and the potential to expand those services to wounded service members and veterans. Organizational capacity to carry out outreach and high-quality programming is of the utmost importance to WWP when evaluating a grant application. Your proposal should clearly outline the recruitment strategy and list any current collaborative efforts with other veteran serving entities in your community.  

 

What if my organization doesn’t have audited financial statements? In lieu of submitting Attachment G in the WWP Grant Application, organizations who do not have audited financial statements should submit a statement explaining why they do not have audited statements. WWP will consider each circumstance individually in the course of financial vetting. 

 

What if my organization is not able to use all of the funding granted or if the grant objectives or activities change over the course of the year? In the event the grantee ceases to operate or becomes insolvent, all unused Wounded Warrior Project grant money shall be immediately returned. Furthermore, if the original purpose, project and/or program of the grantee changes, the grantee must notify Wounded Warrior Project in writing for permission to redirect funds. If permission is not given, grantee shall return any and all grant money to Wounded Warrior Project. 

 

What are the reporting requirements for organizations? An interim report is due mid-way through the grant cycle. A final report detailing the expenditure and outcomes of the grant must be submitted to Wounded Warrior Project one year after the award is received by the applicant. Reporting guidelines are included here for your reference.

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