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Gary Sinise Foundation

Serving Honor and Need

Nashville, TN   |  www.garysinisefoundation.org

Mission

At the Gary Sinise Foundation, we serve our nation’s defenders, to include our most severely wounded heroes, veterans of every conflict, first responders who run into danger within our communities, active duty service members, their families, and the families of our fallen heroes. We do this by supporting them in often their darkest times of need. Our unique programs are designed to help, entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities across the nation.

Ruling year info

2010

Executive Director

Donna Palmer

Main address

P.O. Box 40726

Nashville, TN 37204 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

80-0587086

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

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

The experiences of war leave an indelible impact on our servicemen and women. As they return to civilian life, the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges they face are often difficult. As citizens, supporting the heroes who defend our nation is a responsibility we can all share. We are all beneficiaries of the freedom and security they fight to protect.

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?

R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment)

The simple tasks of everyday life -- climbing stairs, reaching a high shelf, getting in and out of the bathroom -- are easy to take for granted. Because these tasks are done without a second thought, it’s impossible to imagine an inability to perform them. But that’s often the reality for our severely wounded heroes, where basic tasks are impossible obstacles and the enduring ambition of rehabilitation is to achieve a semblance of normalcy.

Under its R.I.S.E. program, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building specially adapted smart homes mortgage free for our nation’s most severely wounded veterans and first responders. We are constructing these one-of-a-kind homes all across the country, each for a wounded hero, their caregivers, and families.

Atop the emotional and physical stresses are the financial burdens. Most military families lack the means to update their homes and equipment to fit their individual needs. Through R.I.S.E. the Gary Sinise Foundation also provides adapted vehicles, mobility devices, and home modifications to injured, wounded, ill and/or aging heroes from all military conflicts.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Honor. Gratitude. Rock and Roll. That's the mission of every Lt. Dan Band concert. There's something for everyone as the twelve-member group covers hits from Stevie Wonder to Kelly Clarkson, Adele to the Zac Brown Band and everything in between. Whether boosting morale on military bases at home and abroad, raising awareness at benefit concerts across the country, or headlining our own Invincible Spirit Festivals, the band entertains, educates, inspires and builds communities with its explosive live show everywhere it goes.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Life can change in an instant, especially for our nation's defenders and their families. That's why the Gary Sinise Foundation Relief & Resiliency Outreach program was established to provide complete support to those recovering from trauma and loss during times of urgent need. We're also helping heal their emotional wounds by hosting exciting events and activities for those enduring similar struggles. By building a community of strong friendships and forming joyful, lasting memories, they can find new hopes for the future together.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

The heroic spirit displayed by our wounded servicemen and women throughout the rigors of rehabilitation is an inspiration. To show our gratitude for their sacrifices, we designed our Invincible Spirit Festivals to celebrate not only the courage of our wounded heroes, but of their families and caregivers as well. Each day-long festival brings a live Lt. Dan Band concert, a fair-like atmosphere for children, and a delicious meal prepared by Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine to one of our nation's military medical hospitals.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Nothing offers an opportunity to bond and give thanks quite like breaking bread together. That's why we're showing gratitude to our nation's defenders by serving them hearty, classic American meals during their layovers at the Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

As a co-founder of the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, Gary helped establish their Veteran's Night program, a tradition that continues nearly thirty years later. In order to combine his long-standing love of the arts with his quest to serve our nation’s defenders, Gary has brought Veteran’s Night to Gary Sinise Foundation by creating our Arts & Entertainment Outreach program.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Our Ambassadors Council represents the Gary Sinise Foundation's mission and purpose through speaking engagements, public appearances, and leadership opportunities around the world. Each member is individually selected by our founder for their exceptional character and patriotism. As spokespersons on behalf of the Gary Sinise Foundation, they proudly share our accomplishments, aspirations as well as their own stories of service to inspire and educate new supporters and form personal connections.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Together with The National WWII Museum, we're sending WWII veterans to New Orleans for a tour of their incredible exhibits. We're also documenting the oral histories of America's Greatest Generation and sharing them with the world.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Emergency responders

Snowball Express is committed to meeting each family of the fallen where they are in their grief. We hope to inspire them to believe anything is possible. By providing guilt-free fun and beneficial resources in a stress-free environment, we’re creating a community to learn, grow, and make lasting memories with new friends.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Serving Heroes

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We're showing gratitude to our defenders by serving them hearty, classic American meals at military bases and transportation hubs, police departments, and firehouses all across the country.

Number of houses built

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders, Veterans, People with physical disabilities, Military personnel

Related Program

R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We’re constructing specially adapted smart homes for our nation’s most severely wounded heroes. The mortgage-free homes ease the daily challenges they and their families face.

Number of Gold Star Family Members Served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Families, Military personnel, Veterans

Related Program

Snowball Express

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Gary Sinise Foundation Snowball Express is serving the children of our fallen military heroes and their surviving parent/guardian through healing activities and celebratory events hosted year-round.

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.

The Gary Sinise Foundation was established under the philanthropic direction of a forty-year advocate for our nation's defenders, actor Gary Sinise. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, Gary’s mission to honor America’s heroes became a tireless crusade of service and gratitude. He created the Foundation with the underlying cornerstone inspired by President Calvin Coolidge’s famous quote, “A nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”

Today, it has never been clearer that we must address the ever-changing needs of our heroes. The Foundation’s long-term goals are to expand its programs and serve more heroes each year as well as grow its outreach. In December 2017, the Foundation introduced its newest program, Snowball Express, which honors the children and Gold Star families of our fallen military heroes.

The Gary Sinise Foundation serves as a conduit between those who serve and those who benefit from their sacrifices. It stands as a trusted resource for the American people to honor our active duty military, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones. Its various programs are designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen, and build communities. In order to expand its programs and outreach, the Gary Sinise Foundation is committed to fiscal responsibility, efficiency, and low overhead in all it does. This allows more of each donation to directly support our nation’s heroes.

Whether building specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans, providing essential equipment to first responders, lifting spirits at military medical hospitals, or supporting their families in times of need, the Gary Sinise Foundation serves America’s heroes and their loved ones every day.

Since 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation has built a wide array of mission-driven programs across the nation to meet the needs of our defenders and their families. It is supported by more than 100,000 donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. Its corporate supporters include American Airlines, Sunbelt Rentals, Owens Corning, and many more. Its non-profit supporters include The Marcus Foundation, Inc., The Home Depot Foundation, DAV Charitable Service Trust, Semper Fi & America's Fund, and others. In 2019, 87.82% of funds raised by the Gary Sinise Foundation directly supported its programs and the active duty, first responders, and veterans that it serves.

The Gary Sinise Foundation’s capabilities are shown through its four key initiatives: R.I.S.E. (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment), Relief & Resiliency, Community Outreach & Education, First Responders Outreach, and the programs that follow under each focus.

Since 2011, the Gary Sinise Foundation’s programs have grown vastly with no signs of slowing down. The programs fall under four main initiatives: R.I.S.E., Relief & Resiliency, Community Outreach & Education, and First Responders Outreach. All initiatives address our defenders’ complex and ever-changing needs before, during, and after the battle.

Whether building specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded heroes through R.I.S.E., providing funds for essential equipment for first responders, bringing WWII veterans to the museum built in their honor through Soaring Valor, or supporting Gold Star families in times of need through Relief & Resiliency, the Foundation serves America’s heroes and their loved ones every day.

The Gary Sinise Foundation knows there is always more to be done. As Gary Sinise reminds us, “While we can never do enough to show gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”

Financials

Gary Sinise Foundation
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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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Gary Sinise Foundation

Board of directors
as of 12/29/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise Foundation

Moira Sinise

No Affiliation

James Shubert

Shubert Design Furniture

Pastor Velasco

Pure Safety Group

John D. Heubusch

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation

Vincent K. Brooks

No Affiliation

Barbara Titus

Sheoga Hardwood Flooring

Gregory D. Gadson

No Affiliation

Bob Pence

No Affiliation

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