Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation

No One Does More For Veterans

aka VFW Foundation   |   Kansas City, MO   |


The VFW Foundation is the official 501(c)(3) of the VFW. We exist to provide financial resources to the vital assistance programs of the VFW. Through our strategic relationships with supporters, the VFW Foundation fills in governmental assistance gaps for troops abroad, military families back in the U.S. and America’s often-forgotten veterans. These programs are provided at no cost to the recipients and require no Veterans of Foreign Wars affiliation.

Ruling year info



Mr. Richard M. Potter

Main address

406 W. 34th Street Suite 920

Kansas City, MO 64111 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Family Services (P40)

Raising & Fund Distribution (Tun)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The VFW Foundation exists solely to meet the emotional, physical and financial needs of America's service personnel, veterans and their families. Within this outreach area, we seek to address a variety of issues relevant to our demographic base through comprehensive, effective and successful programs and services. Veterans often have a unique set of life challenges which range from emotional (post-traumatic stress, assimilation back into society, re-establishing/re-evaluating relationships with family/friends, survivor’s guilt, depression, inclinations towards substance abuse/addiction, etc.) to physical (injury, especially combat injuries such as traumatic brain injury, limb loss, etc.) to financial issues (unemployment, need for re-training, finding a new career path, inability to work due to injury, etc.). Unfortunately, the transition from the military to civilian culture can be a difficult experience for service personnel and their families.

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?

Unmet Needs

Unmet Needs provides non-repayable grants (not loans) to active duty or discharged service members and their immediate families to assist with basic needs such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, vehicle repair, food, etc. Payments are made directly to the creditor. Since the program's inception in 2004, Unmet Needs has distributed more than $11.6 million in assistance to nearly 9,000 qualified military families, with nearly half of those funds going towards basic housing needs.

Population(s) Served

The VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. More than $7 million has been awarded to 1,606 student veterans since 2014.

Scholarship Details:
Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants.
Awarded scholarships are limited to one per family per semester.
Applications for the fall semester will be accepted January 1 through April 30.
Applications for the spring semester will be accepted August 1 through November 15.
Fall semester scholarships will be awarded in August, and spring semester scholarships will be awarded in January.
Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying or they will become null and void.
Scholarships are restricted for tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to accredited schools.

Population(s) Served

The VFW Foundation also seeks financial support for the VFW's National Veterans Service program. Funding is utilized to ensure veterans receive the VA entitlements which they have earned through personal sacrifice to our nation. Through our comprehensive network of over 1,900 VFW-accredited veteran service officers, we provide this representation free-of-charge to all veterans regardless of VFW affiliation. VFW Service Officer accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Each accredited Service Officer has demonstrated the ability to satisfactorily represent benefit claims as attested by the Director of VFW National Veterans Service and approved by the VA. We are extremely proud of the fact that the VFW has helped veterans recoup an astounding $7.7 billion from the VA!

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

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.

Expand our donor base so that we can meet the increasing demand for VFW programs and services to veterans, troops and military families.Increase awareness of and support for health and wellness issues that impact veterans and military families, including Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and veteran suicide prevention.Increase our intervention toward service personnel, veterans and their families so as to meet their financial, emotional and physical needs.

The VFW Foundation derives its long-term goals from our basic clear mission which is to assist in any way possible our nation's veterans, service personnel and their families. Our Board of Directors have identified various functional areas that require organizational improvement. Since we operate in a competitive sector with many other charities that address similar needs, we are committed to increasing our brand awareness. Thus, we believe it is imperative to have consistent messaging. Over the last year, we have taken steps to solidify our brand and outreach. We strive to tell our story so that others will know the positive impact we are having on those we serve. We have also concentrated on donor management so that we can properly communicate with and cultivate donors as well as understand their concerns, desires and giving focus. Additionally, we have entered into several strategic partnerships with corporations and other nonprofits so as to extend our service capabilities and address issues that require a larger collaborative effort. For example, we are working closely with Feeding America, their network of affiliates, the VA and corporations such as Humana to address the issue of food insecurity especially among military families.

The VFW Foundation exists in close partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Through their network of 6,295 Posts in almost every U.S. community and 1.6 million members and auxiliary members, we can generate incredible interest for our programs and mobilize volunteer outreach. We also work closely with the Department of Defense, the VA, social service agencies, etc., so that our target population is aware of our services.

The VFW Foundation is working toward improvement in two areas, namely, our branding and strategic partnerships. We have made great strides accomplishing this in 2017-2018. We are in the process of implementing a new logo and communicated our mission/goals better internally and externally. We have also made key relationships with new corporate and non-profit partners which will increase our visibility and ability to provide assistance to our target population. With that said, we want to increase our financial reserves which have remained in the $5-$6 million range for the past several years. By growing our funding base we can ramp up our outreach and effectively meet the needs of additional military families.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    U.S. service personnel, veterans and military families

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,


Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/14/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Hal Roesch

Commander-in-Chief, VFW

Term: 2020 - 2021

Ann Panteleakos


Michael DeRosa

Burger King Franchise Owner

Gordon Logan

CEO SportClips, Inc.

Debra Anderson

VFW Quartermaster General

William Schmitz

Commander-in-Chief, VFW

Kevin Jones

Adjutant General , VFW

Anthony Principi

Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2001-2005 (retired)

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.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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 10/13/2021,

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/13/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.