So I am a naturally inquisitive type (at least, on occasion), and I admit to being somewhat intrigued by the surprise being expressed by the folks at Honored American Veterans Afield over how much money we have managed to raise in such a small amount of time. So I went digging.
The short story is that in 2011 (the last year the National Center for Charitable Statistics has posted), HAVA brought in $175,272 of various donations; if one looks at Form 990 (*.pdf warning), one discovers that a small fraction of that went to "printing, publications, postage, and shipping" (undoubtedly for raising awareness of the organization) but the overwhelming amount – nearly $130,000 – went to "PROVIDED 245 DISABLED VETS WITH SHOOTING COMPETITIONS" (with some of that going to website maintenance as well; hard to say how much). The remainder got saved away as a net asset at the end of the year.
Now, does anyone care to take a guess at what is missing from that short financial report? Not a single one of HAVA’s "Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees" took any money, whatsoever, for their work – up to 20 hours a week – for that organization. Not a dime. In other words, their only real "overhead", as such, is the website, whatever publicity publications they decide to put it, and… well, that is about it.
Which means more of the money you donate to HAVA goes straight to their program of "aid[ing] disabled soldiers as they transition to their lives back in the United States."
But, now, think about the impact we have already had on the organization. With $755 raised in just three days, we have already donated half of one percent of HAVA’s total 2011 revenue. In three days. With nearly six weeks remaining in the fundraiser. I hesitate to count my chickens before they hatch, but I dare say we might manage to make a significant bump in HAVA’s yearly revenue, which will only allow them to help more veterans.
If we can match last year’s $2300 raised for Soldiers’ Angels – and I sincerely hope we do – that’s nearly a percent-and-a-half bump for HAVA, which may not sound like a lot to you sitting at home, but I assure you they are treating it like it is. What say we give them the opportunity to see what they can do with a larger stack of cash?
And speaking of donations, this is predominantly a firearm-related weblog, but we occasionally venture off onto other topics, so on a whim, I pinged the folks at Eagles Nest Outfitters to see if they might be interested in supporting the fundraiser. For those unfamiliar with the name, this Asheville, NC-based company makes some of the best hammocks (another *.pdf warning) you are likely to find, and have branched out into such things as slackwires and totes. Now, personally, I do not really understand hammock camping (in fact, my idea of overnight camping involves four walls, a floor, a roof, and wheels), but I do understand these hammocks are stupidly light and amazingly capable, and thus great for hiking… or slinging off your back deck.
The bad news is that I did not score a hammock for the giveaway – they are not cheap, and something tells me my site is not quite their target demographic – but I was able to snag four of their can koozies and a whole pile of ENO stickers. One koozie has been added to each of the "Apocalypse" prize packages – because, really, when it comes to the end of the world, the last thing you want is a warm beer – and the other two will be added as I get the packages balanced out; I am just going to toss a sticker in every package I send out, so that is easy.
Today I would like to thank Yankee Born, Tam, Old NFO, and Midwest Chick for linking to the fundraiser and spreading the good word. If I managed to miss you – and I am starting to lose track of who I linked to and who I have not – feel free to let me know.
(Obligatory Piss Off to the FTC: I purchased an ENO hammock with my very own money, and, as such, can say whatever I bloody well please about them. They are supporting this fundraiser because they are awesome folks, which is more than can be said about you.)