Arts, Culture, and Humanities

VETERANS HERITAGE PROJECT

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • www.veteransheritage.org

Mission Statement

Founded in 2004 and incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit in 2009, Veterans Heritage Project's mission is to Connect Students with Veterans in order to Honor Veterans, Preserve America's Heritage and Develop Future Leaders. Our vision is to become a national model for immersive, affective learning.

Main Programs

  1. After School Oral History Publishing Program
  2. Scholarships
  3. Veteran Lecure Series

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Service Areas

Self-reported

Arizona

VHP currently operates chapters in 20 Arizona schools ( 57% in LMI communities, including five Title I schools). School chapters are located in the cities of Cave Creek, Chino Valley, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Maricopa, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Show Low, and Tucson. One additional chapters is in Illinois.

ruling year

2010

Executive Director since 2016

Self-reported

Mrs. Michelle DiMuro CFRE

Programs Director since 2009

Self-reported

Mrs. Barbara Hatch

Keywords

Self-reported

veteran, youth, student, civics, history, service, writing, 21st Century skills

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EIN

26-4572636

 Number

2737572111

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Humanities Organizations (A70)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

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?

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

After School Oral History Publishing Program

Our after school program connects middle school, high school and college students, ages 13-22, with veterans from every branch of the service, in an after-school club format. VHP works with Teacher Advisors to ensure the curriculum is tied to an English, social studies or history Common Core curriculum. Each chapter elects student leaders who set timelines and accountability expectations. Contributing chapters are partnered with a regional lead schools in the publishing of regional editions our annual hardbound book, Since You Asked.

In the fall semester the students conduct & videotape the veteran interviews, write essays documenting the veterans' story, conduct related historical research, complete edits, and obtain the veterans' copy approval. In the spring semester student chapters utilize design layout software and cloud project management technology to assemble the final essays and collaborate in the publication of the complete volume of Since You Asked. The videotaped interviews and the books become a contribution to the permanent archives of U.S. military history at the Library of Congress. Each collaborating group of chapters also organizes a book reception/veteran signing and community presentation featuring a distinguished military keynote speaker. More than 2,000 individuals comprised of current and formerly interviewed veterans, participating students and teachers, family members, VHP supporters and volunteers, local dignitaries, and the general public attend these events.

Through this process students become immersed in one-on-one personal accounts of heroism and service, while learning life-long skills. The project-based learning integrates history, civics, geography, finance, and written & verbal communication skills. They learn how to research a subject, conduct an interview, write, use technology, and manage a project to completion within a timeline and under budget. The students develop patriotism, civic-mindedness, and respect for service, as they become informed, responsible citizens and future leaders.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Military/Veterans

None

Budget

$166,474

Program 2

Scholarships

VHP awards college scholarships via essay contests and also partners with the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society who offers three additional scholarships for VHP students.

VHP Personal Scholarships - asks students to describe personal impacts from veterans' oral history and the VHP program. Students reflect upon their personal journeys and lesson of character.

Above and Beyond Scholarship - this scholarship recognizes a student who has expended extra work and time in helping veterans, serving their chapter or serving as a VHP Ambassador

Caitlin Campbell Travel Scholarship - In memory of a VHP Alumna, this award provides a travel opportunity to a deserving student eager to experience another culture, particularly one associated with military history.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$10,000

Program 3

Veteran Lecure Series

Veterans continue to share first person historical accounts and lessons of personal responsibility through in-school oral history lectures so that additional students can benefit from the enriched educational experience and be motivated to enroll in VHP’s after-school program. Some of our key presenters this past year have included a Vietnam/Korean War veteran who at one time was in charge of 28,000 counter intelligence operatives worldwide; a WWII Marine Scout/Sniper who shares his harrowing stories of reconnaissance operations behind enemy lines; a Vietnam dog handler; and a female Black Hawk pilot whose special ops unit’s success in Afghanistan made history.

This year our goal is to begin capturing lecture presentation on video in order to 1) preserve the lecture and makes it available for years to come and to locations where a veteran is unable to travel, 2) create teacher resources to supplement history curriculums, and 3) establish the beginning of compilation histories by conflict with historical context and curriculum materials.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Military/Veterans

Budget

$8,000

Service Areas

Self-reported

Arizona

VHP currently operates chapters in 20 Arizona schools ( 57% in LMI communities, including five Title I schools). School chapters are located in the cities of Cave Creek, Chino Valley, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Maricopa, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Prescott, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Show Low, and Tucson. One additional chapters is in Illinois.

Social Media

Funding Needs

As a young non-profit currently transitioning out of our grassroots beginning, our strategic plan calls for the establishment of organizational best practices to effectively fulfill our mission at a state and national level. Funding is needed to help us meet the demand for VHP in our community and reach our goals: 1. Build organizational infrastructure and resources to meet growing demand for program delivery 2. Expand presence in Arizona, establishing sustainability of VHP programs 3. Develop systems to support regional and national growth The key areas required for funding include: Staffing: We currently have 1.5 FTE and need to grow to 6 FTE, including full-time program staff, technology staff and fundraising staff. Technology: We need to build a technology infrastructure that will support statewide and regional growth, and streamline services for our chapters. Facilities: We need to move from working out of our homes to centralized facility that allows for efficient operations and a strong community presence. Marketing: We need to build brand awareness and communication tools to share our mission and impact.

Videos

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Financials

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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
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Operations

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

VETERANS HERITAGE PROJECT

Leadership

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Executive Director

Mrs. Michelle DiMuro CFRE

Programs Director

Mrs. Barbara Hatch

BIO

Michelle DiMuro, CFRE joined VHP January 2016 as our first Executive Director. Michelle has 17 years of non-profit management and fundraising experience, and has successfully operated her private consulting firm, Westfield Consulting, for the past seven years. Michelle brings to VHP an extensive background of philanthropic, entrepreneurial and resourceful expertise, having worked with large non-profits and grassroots agencies, including Desert Voices Oral Learning Center, Goodwill of Central Arizona, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Friends of Public Radio Arizona, Cancer Support Community Arizona, and Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.

Michelle has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and holds the title of certified fund raising executive (CFRE) through the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Michelle has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Arizona Chapter since 1999, having served as the chapter president in 2006, a mentor to young professionals through the chapter's nationally recognized Professional Mentoring Program from 2008 to 2011, and as the professional mentoring program chair for the past three years.

Prior to entering the non-profit arena in 1999, Michelle spent several years as a public relations and event planning specialist for manufacturing and software technology firms. Michelle is an Army brat.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"Through Veteran's Heritage Project's (VHP), middle & high school students, in an after-school club format supervised by a Teacher Advisor, interview veterans, research history, and write & publish the veteran's experiences in an annual volume of our hardbound book, Since You Asked, for preservation in the military archives at the Library of Congress. Oftentimes veterans describe the process as "cathartic" and "healing". Students also participate in civic events, organize a book launch/veteran signing and community event with keynote speaker, and earn a chance for a scholarship.

Our program exceeds Common Core Standards, is certificated by the AZ Department of Education as a Character Education Program, and builds students' 21st Century skills: critical thinking, public speaking, listening, collaboration, and the ability to gather and process information. The project-based learning integrates history, civics, geography, finance, and written & verbal communication skills. The students develop patriotism, civic-mindedness, and respect for service, as they become informed, responsible citizens and future leaders.

Research shows civic learning builds a positive school climate, which in turn has a positive impact on academic achievement, personal character and keeping students in school.Civic engagement has been found to predict high school graduation and college success. (Levinson, Meira. 2011. Benefits of Civic Education.) The research findings hold true for our students, with 100% graduating from high school (national average is 66%) and 90% continue on to college or military service (80% is national average).

There is strong demand for VHP with calls from interested schools coming in weekly. Please consider supporting VHPs efforts to enhance our services so that we may foster sustainable relationships and growth."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Laura Byers

Veterans Heritage Project

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

No

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?

No

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?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity