The Latest SitRep

By Shaun Rieley



I wanted to share some internal news. As of August 1, I will be leading The Philanthropy Roundtable’s Civic Education Program, in addition to the Veterans Program. 

Of course, there is a great connection between civics education and veterans. As I argue in a piece recently published in RealClearPolitics, there is a strong history of veterans and veterans organizations engaging in effective civic education programs, from The American Legion’s Boys State program to the VFW’s Voice of Democracy speech contest. An effort, supported by philanthropy, to reestablish this relationship through innovative programming and partnerships could make a positive impact both on veterans—by providing them with a renewed sense of purpose—as well as on what has been called the “crisis of civic education” in America.

Here’s your latest Situation Report on veterans philanthropy:

  • A new study by the Bob Woodruff Foundation looks at how communities can collaborate to support veterans:
  • The Providence Clemente Veterans’ Initiative in Rhode Island—a new program supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, University of Rhode Island College of Arts and Sciences, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, and Trinity Repertory Company—offers veterans free humanities courses, encouraging them to explore their experiences through conversations around great books and offering an opportunity to earn six transferrable college credits at no cost:
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many foundations are continuing their efforts in supporting relief efforts, including the New York State Health Foundation, which recently announced an additional $3 million which will be used, in part, to help combat social isolation and mental health issues among veterans:
  • John W. Nicholson Jr., president of the PenFed Foundation, argues that veteran-owned businesses are well positioned to help lead the economy out of the current crisis:


Finally, we thought these items were worth noting.

A recent documentary takes a close look at The American Legion’s Boys State program, which brings together high school-aged boys to learn about civics and statesmanship through the creation of a mock government:

The veteran unemployment rate continues to fall, but remains nearly twice what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic, even as numerous nonprofits and funders continue to work on the problem:

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to see our nation’s veterans continue to be strong contributors to our economy and society once they return from service. Your work is making this possible.