SPECIAL OPERATIONS WARRIOR FOUNDATION

aka Special Operations Warrior Foundation   |   Tampa, FL   |  www.specialops.org

Mission

Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical, or trade school; and offers family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.

Ruling year info

1995

President and CEO

Clay Hutmacher

Main address

P.O. Box 89367

Tampa, FL 33689 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1183585

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

When a child loses a parent, the entire families' priorities are changed. The surviving spouse must now raise the child or children without a partner and with less income. Education and specifically post-secondary education loses some of its importance. Special Operations Warrior Foundation restores the expectation and the means to a college education for children who lose a parent in special operations, by providing academic resources throughout the child's life and removing the financial burden of college tuition. When a special operator is severely injured, their family must get to their loved one's bedside as soon as possible. In order to travel to the hospital quickly, many expenses arise. These expenses, including travel, child/pet care, etc. are unexpected and often the family does not have immediate access to the necessary funds. We provide immediate financial assistance to these families to cover initial expenses.

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?

College Scholarship Program

We ensure full financial assistance for post-secondary scholarships for every child who loses a parent serving in Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps special operations. We make sure each child has the resources to attend the best college for which he or she qualifies.
SOWF provides for, or identifies funding for, the full cost of public college education, including tuition, fees, room & board, books, tutoring, computer, printers and supplies.

Scholarships offered are grants, not loans, and can be used in private universities, state or community colleges, and vocational-technical training and career institutions.

The Foundation has a Family Services Team that provides academic counseling.

Population(s) Served
Students

Special Operations Warrior Foundation has a Family Services team dedicated to serving the families of fallen and wounded special operations personnel.

We provide on-going support and counseling services to all families of fallen special operators. Our counselors work with each family to ensure every child has the best possible opportunity to do well in school and graduate from college.

We provide funding for professional tutors to our students throughout the nation. This service is available for any of our students, from kindergarten through college. Additionally, the SOWF offers students access to a powerful learning tool online to assist with SAT/ACT test preparation.

What makes the SOWF different from other scholarship organizations is our pro-active team of counselors who reach out to every one of our scholarship recipients (and future scholarship recipients), stay in touch via emails, phone calls, birthday cards, and invitations to special events.

Population(s) Served
Students

SOWF provides immediate financial assistance to special operations personnel who are severely wounded as a result of being deployed.

Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor, or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, SOWF immediately sends a $5,000 grant to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so the family and loved ones can travel to be at their bedside.

These funds are often used to reduce the burden of unexpected expenses such as airfare, pet care, child care, rental cars, etc.

The Foundation also provides wounded SOF warriors with an iPad so they can communicate with their friends and loved ones.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel

Where we work

Awards

Four Star Rating 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 2019

Charity Navigator

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Percentage of high school graduates enrolled in higher learning, university, or technical/vocational training

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

Young adults, Adolescents

Related Program

College Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Percentage of severely wounded SOF receiving financial assistance within 48 hours

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

Work status and occupations

Related Program

Support for Wounded Special Operations Personnel

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions

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

Young adults, Adolescents

Related Program

College Scholarship Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

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

Adolescents, Young adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students receiving personal instruction and feedback about their performance

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

Young adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of entrance scholarships and awards and exit scholarships

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

Young adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of graduates enrolled in higher learning, university, or technical/vocational training

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

Young adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students who receive scholarship funds and/or tuition assistance

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

Young adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides every surviving child of special operations personnel who lose their lives, to complete a college degree. Our goal is for 100% of the high school graduates in our program to enroll in a post-secondary institution, and complete their degree. We continually aim to beat the national averages for high school graduates enrolling in post- secondary educations and continually beat the national graduation rates from post -secondary educational institutions.

Another goal is to ensure the families of severely wounded special operations service members receive immediate financial assistance while their loved one is recovering in a hospital. Our goal is to provide the financial assistance within 48 hours of notification.

SOWF contacts every family of fallen special operations personnel within 60 days of the fatality. We continue contact throughout the educational process, through counseling, mentoring, and providing study materials, to encourage the children to pursue a post-secondary education. SOWF provides funding for in home tutoring from kindergarten through college graduation, ACT and SAT preparatory courses, college application fees, college visits, college preparatory conferences, internships, and after college career transition.
SOWF continually briefs and stays in contact with special operations leadership, when an incident occurs, they are able to make sure we are aware and in contact with the family.

In order, to ensure that all severely wounded special operators receive funding within 48 hrs of arriving to the hospital, we are immediately notified of a qualifying incident and overnight a check to the injured person's bedside.

SOWF completes a third party actuarial evaluation every four years to identify the fifty-year financial need to support all the programs.
SOF forces are deployed to over 80 countries worldwide at any given time. The 70,000 people assigned to special operations are risking their lives to accomplish our national objectives. Lives will continue to be lost and SOWF must plan for an estimated 70 children to be added to our programs each year. We are continuously updating fundraising strategies and rely solely on private donations for funding needed to support every one of these children.

Our goal is to have a fully funded perpetual endowment to ensure funding for all programs for fifty years and beyond. The amount required is over $185 million. We currently have reached 60% of that goal.
Since 1980, SOWF has consistently shown an ability to contact every family of a fallen special operator and every severely wounded special operator and we will continue to do this moving forward.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation is proud of the 305 children we have seen graduate from post-secondary colleges and vocational schools. Our contact with the children from the time their parent dies until after they have completed their education is what makes the Foundation unique.

With 90% of our high school graduates entering college and over 90% graduating college we are confident our programs are working and we will continue to strive for 100%.

In addition to the scholarships we have provided immediate financial assistance of $2.8 million dollars to over 1,000 severely wounded special operations service members. In the past five years 100% of the financial assistance to the wounded has been delivered within 48 hours.

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?

    Children of United States Special Operations Command personnel who die in the line of duty, and children of Medal of Honor recipients are eligible for all of the foundations education programs. Families of severely wounded, ill, or injured United States Special Operations Command personnel receive immediate financial aid, up to $5000. Severely wounded, ill, and injured personnel are eligible for additional financial aid if hospitalization and/or recovery is prolonged.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Social Media feedback,

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To better inform more people of our mission, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The foundation has designated one of its counselors to work specifically with children who have learning disabilities. This counselor is trained, licensed, and certified. The board has approved CEO authority to approve education assistance for special needs. The CEO has formed and informal advisory group of experts and parents of children with learning disabilities to collaborate on best practices. The foundation lowered the eligibility for preschool funding from three years old to two years old, based on feedback from parents who want to send their children to preschool at that age. The foundation also increased its annual pre-school allotment from $5000 to $8000 per child. Based on feedback from students and families, the foundation increased its travel & miscellaneous expense allowance.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Compassion is one of our core values. Listening to feedback from those whom we serve, and implementing changes based on their input has strengthened their trust and confidence in the foundation. During the pandemic we worked hard with each family to overcome challenges and obstacles in their education journeys.

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

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

Financials

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

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SPECIAL OPERATIONS WARRIOR FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 7/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Raymond A. Thomas III

General, USA (Ret)

Thomas Arthur

Secretary

Barron Collier II

no affiliation

George Ferkes

no affiliation

Dr. Michele Malvesti, PhD

no affiliation

Thomas Quinn

no affiliation

Craig Brotchie

no affiliation

Richard Forsyth

no affiliation

Georgeann McRaven

no affiliation

Kevin Miller

no affiliation

Clay Hutmacher

SOWF President and CEO

David Redmond

Treasurer

Mark A. Clark

no affiliation

Kevin Sofield

no affiliation

Jim Craig

no affiliation

Raymond Thomas III

Chairman

Michael Durant

no affiliation

Cole Hauser

no affiliation

Gardner Howe

no affiliation

Aaron Kozmetsky

no affiliation

James Linder

no affiliation

Dr. Carla Long

no affiliation

Pat McCauley

no affiliation

Henry Perot III

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
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/29/2021,

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/29/2021

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

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.