Thanks USA

Appreciation through Education

aka ThanksUSA   |   McLean, VA   |  www.ThanksUSA.org

Mission

ThanksUSA is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides need-based scholarships and pathways to employment for children and spouses of our military, with special emphasis given to those who lost a loved one in service to America. ThanksUSA’s scholarship program provides life-changing opportunities for the spouses and children of our troops who require financial assistance towards higher education, while increasing the chances for success in their personal and professional lives.

Ruling year info

2006

Chairman

Mr. Robert Okun

Main address

1390 Chain Bridge Road, #260

McLean, VA 22101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3973151

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our American military families make great sacrifices in the shadow of a military career. With modest pay, they share the same dreams that we all have—to provide their families with a better life through educational and career opportunities. For many military families this dream has become more daunting with the ever-increasing cost of education and high rate of military spouse unemployment. Unlike their civilian counterparts, most military families must rely on one income, leaving them limited ability to achieve their financial goals. At ThanksUSA, we believe that working to alleviate these challenges is not only an ethical responsibility, but a matter of preserving national security.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Scholarship Program

ThanksUSA's Scholarship Program provides need-based college, technical and vocational school scholarships for children and spouses of our military. Since 2006, ThanksUSA has awarded 4,700 scholarships valued at more than $15 million to recipients from all 50 states and representing every branch of the military.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Since its inception, ThanksUSA has been able to meet only a fraction of the demand, awarding need-based scholarships to just 10 to 15 percent of our applicant pool each year. ThanksUSA's primary goal is to increase the number of scholarships awarded each year to further expand the national breadth of the ThanksUSA scholarship program.

ThanksUSA’s scholarship program accepts applicants each spring and awards scholarships every fall.
ThanksUSA is one of the only needs-based scholarship programs for both military spouses and child
dependents. We understand that the greatest way to “thank” service members is to care for their families
and we honor that wish by keeping military spouses and children at the heart of what we do.

With approximately 2,000 scholarship applications received each year, we continue to be amazed by our growing community. To meet the evolving needs of our scholars and their families, we expanded our Pathways for Patriots program to help bridge the gap between education and employment. In collaboration with our corporate partners, we act as a catalyst for career development opportunities that reveal military family members’ unique skillsets while alleviating their common challenges.

Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and fueled by on-going need, ThanksUSA expanded our Pathways
for Patriots program providing an array of professional development services. Pathways for Patriots is providing
quality, accessible learning opportunities for all military connected individuals regardless of their location or current academic status.

With the unemployment rate for military spouses at nearly seven times the rate of similar civilian peers, the
repercussions for their family members is extensive. Working to alleviate the underlying challenges that stem
from a military career is not only an ethical responsibility, but a matter of preserving national security.

Pathways for Patriots tackles these challenges by offering a venue for open discussion to identify current issues,
providing practical solutions from both peers and experts in their field, and encouraging personal and professional growth through regular touchpoints. Military family members and Veterans have actively participated in Around the Table talks covering topics including mental health and resiliency during the pandemic, caregiver connections, and advocating for family members with special needs. Pathfinder mentors have led sessions on leadership, entrepreneurship, business etiquette, real estate trends, and more.

ThanksUSA also continues to partner with other organizations to spread the word about its military family scholarship program, and holds fundraising events throughout the year to raise money and spread awareness about ThanksUSA's mission.

Supporters of ThanksUSA can be confident that their funds will be used effectively. Our fiscal responsibility, financial transparency, strong governance, and average expense ratio of only 10 percent serve as an excellent measurement of integrity, financial health, and operational stability. Since 2006, ThanksUSA has awarded 5,000 scholarships valued at more than $16 million.

ThanksUSA has an exceptional and diverse Board of Directors and Advisory Council, represented by our military's most senior service members and spouses. Through its Congressional Advisory Board, ThanksUSA also has the support of more than 75 Members of Congress. See www.ThanksUSA.org/governance for more information.

ThanksUSA has established a broad audience of military spouses and children who are benefiting from the financial assistance of an educational scholarship. We have scholars around the country who are representatives of our mission and who will continue to positively impact their own communities. We have expanded our Pathways for Patriots program to provide all military family members with opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Building strong relationships with our scholars is an important aspect of continuing to grow these programs. We are proud to host ThanksUSA scholars at all of our fundraising events and have found great success in connecting our scholars and sponsors. Our surveys and one-on-one meetings with scholars and participants provide crucial feedback about the transformational power of these services as well as our program’s relevance and sustainability.

In a recent survey of scholarship recipients, 70 percent of the responding recipients said that the scholarship made a “significant difference” in their ability to attend college and 18 percent said that the scholarship had been an influential factor in their spouse or parent’s decision to re-enlist. When asked about their future plans, 59 percent planned to attend graduate school, 28 percent would seek immediate employment, and 7 percent intended to join the military.

ThanksUSA is constantly evaluating the reach and impact of our program. In 2019, we adjusted our application to reflect the specific needs of military families and how they impact academic performance. With the desire to fully understand the challenges and strengths that result from a life of military service, as well as to award those most deserving of financial support, ThanksUSA asked applicants to share their stories of adversity and accomplishment. As with all things in ThanksUSA, our team personally reviews these essays, and the content is considered in the scholarship awards. By adding this to our application, we hope to honor the everyday sacrifices of military families as well as to help break the cycle of shame so often associated with asking for help in the military culture.

ThanksUSA scholars reflect the diversity of the United States military with recipients representing a spectrum of races, cultures, genders, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. We are committed to a fair and equitable application review process and celebrate the individuality of our recipients through a blog and profiles shared with our supporters.



Financials

Thanks USA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Thanks USA

Board of directors
as of 12/07/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Honorable Robert Okun

Robert Okun

The O Team

Carolyn Ferek

Franklin Sherman Elementary School

Patricia St. George

KPMG

Stephen Baskin

Mayer Brown

Rhett Butler

Intelligent Decisions

George Casey

USA (Ret.)

Jack Catton

Boeing

John Coffey

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Andrew Don

National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation

Ann Dunwoody

USA (Ret.)

Alex Ehrlich

Morgan Stanley

Frank Fahrenkopf

American Gaming Association (AGA)

Timothy Gillis

KPMG

Normand Lezy

USAF (Ret.)

Laura Odell

KPMG

Deanna Okun

Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg

Rachel Okun

Russ Owen

Computer Sciences Corp (CSC)

Hawthorne Proctor

Proctor & Boone LLC

Win Sheridan

Apex Systems, Inc.

Peter Thoren

Access Industries

Jon "Lanier" Ward

USA (Ret.)

Kelsi Okun

Elizabeth Frazee

TwinLogic Strategies

Felicia Dellanini

Red Cloud Food Services

Bonnie Amos

Lily Becker

Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe

Lawrance Duncan

Lockheed Martin

Jessica Marventano

iHeartMedia

Terence McKnight

USN (Ret)

Deborah Mullen

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/8/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data