Public, Society Benefit

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

  • Columbia Falls, ME
  • http://wreathsacrossamerica.org

Mission Statement

Wreaths Across America proudly works to ensure that we, as a Nation, Remember those who gave their lives while serving our country, Honor those who serve, and Teach our children the value of freedom.

Main Programs

  1. Nationwide Remembrance Ceremonies
  2. Red Hat Brigade
  3. Local Fundraising
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We have over 700 participating locations nation wide. Please visit our website for additional information

ruling year

2007

Executive Director

Self-reported

Karen Worcester

Keywords

Self-reported

Veterans, Soldiers, Military, Donation, Non-profit, America, Wreaths

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EIN

20-8362270

 Number

4366347831

Physical Address

4 Point Street

Columbia Falls, ME 04623 0429

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

When you place a wreath on a loved one's grave during the holiday it shows you remember them, and gives you a chance to recall who they were and what they meant to your life.
When you place a wreath on the grave of someone who died defending our country, it can also affect you with feelings of profound appreciation for the significance of their sacrifice.
When you drive by a veteran's cemetery completely covered with wreaths, it means many people took the time to remember and appreciate them. It means no one is forgotten. It's a dramatic display of honor. It's a conversation starter, a teachable moment.
That's what Wreaths Across America is all about.
We work with grassroots organizations all over the country who want to help us Remember, Honor and Teach by organizing and participating in wreath laying ceremonies at over 750 locations, including Arlington National Cemetery.
Wreaths Across America's founders began donating wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery over 20 years ago. This effort has grown over the years from an initial donation of 5000 wreaths to 90,000 donated and sponsored wreaths in 2011. 2011 was the first year we had permission from the federal government to lay wreaths at all 250,000 graves at Arlington.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Nationwide Remembrance Ceremonies

Wreaths Across America coordinates grassroots efforts to organize, sponsor, and participate in simultaneous ceremonies all over the United States and beyond.  Many ceremonies include placing wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes, including our largest effort, Arlington National Cemetery.

Category

Public, Society Benefit

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$3,522,000.00

Program 2

Red Hat Brigade

Wreaths Across America continually looks for ways to start conversations between youth and adults that will prevent future generations from taking our freedoms, so hard won throughout our nation's history, for granted.  Inspired by the children who flock to Arlington National Cemetery each year to participate in the wreath placements, we began by providing up to 5000 hats annually to distinguish their service.  We have also developed curriculum, and web based tools to help young people gather and share stories from veterans and soldiers they know.  We work with many school and youth groups who raise funds so they can sponsor wreaths.  Many coordinate this effort with history lessons and other interests, post videos, and learn a deeper lesson though their community service.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$11,300.00

Program 3

Local Fundraising

Wreaths Across America believes in supporting the capacity of local organizations who do good work in their communities, including boy scouts, military organizations, church groups and others.  Our local fundraising program helps groups earn money based on the numbers of wreaths they are able to sponsor.

Category

General Code

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$790,000.00

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. Number of wreaths placed at veteran's gravestones

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Nationwide Remembrance Ceremonies
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Each year in December wreaths are placed on veteran's gravestones. This is done to remember and honor our fallen heroes. Our goal is to cover as many gravestones as possible as it grows every year.

2. Number of new cemetery locations each year

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Nationwide Remembrance Ceremonies
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
2015: 1108 total locations - of that 219 were new / 2014: 1000 total locations - of that 160 were new / 2013: 914 total locations - of that 168 were new.

3. Number of new fundraising groups each year

Target Population
General/Unspecified

Connected to a Program?
Local Fundraising
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
We have so many different locations that sometimes several fundraising groups participate. This greatly benefits the cemetery in that it fills more of the need to cover each veteran's stone.

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

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

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Continue to spread the mission of Wreaths Across America through community outreach, gatherings and wreath ceremonies in order to remember the sacrifices of veterans and their families.

    Establish a trust of remembrance wreath sponsorship to ensure continued coverage of Arlington National Cemetery.

    Mature the "Remembrance Tree Program". A living memorial that remembers veterans through placing dog tags on the balsam trees that produce the wreaths. Share stores and pictures of the loved ones being remembered.

    Expand the Wreaths Across America museum and grow the number of annual visitors. All memorabilia is donated to the museum. Expand wings to include era's of war and conflicts to make sure that all veterans are remembered and their stores are accurate and being expressed.

    Share and distribute stories of remembrance and sacrifice through social media~Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Progressing wreath placement will help further one or more of our goals.
    Using the capabilities of our staff and volunteers will also further us in our goals.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Having capable staff along with thousands of volunteers we will be able to utilize them to help establish our goals.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Continuing growth wreath placement.
    Continued participation.
    Continued education for children and the like.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Consistent 30% growth since the establishment of Wreaths Across America in 2007.
    In 2007, Wreaths Across America placed 17,000 wreaths.
    In 2014, 716,000.
    We continue to grow in our education and participation programs.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We have over 700 participating locations nation wide. Please visit our website for additional information

Social Media

Funding Needs

We seek individual and corporate sponsorships of the wreaths that are placed on the graves of fallen heroes at veterans' and other cemeteries all over the United States and beyond. Wreaths can be sponsored directly on our web site, and targeted to specific locations. We also accept donations which are not designated for a location, allowing us to provide wreaths as needed, and ultimately place a wreath on every grave at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition, we seek funding to help us refine and grow our "Red Hat Brigade" and other youth programming.

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Wreaths Across America
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

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

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Karen Worcester

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"In this era of instant information, people of all ages are exposed to war and unrest around the world through media of all kinds. But until someone can relate to their significance on a personal level, the ability to appreciate the freedoms enjoyed in this country, and what it takes to preserve them, will be lost. Many organizations assist and honor veterans. We are the only organization that remembers those who have passed, as a way to reach out to all."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Wayne Hanson

Maine State Society

Term: Jan 2012 - Jan 2013

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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 & 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?