Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Help choose military charities receiving donations from "The Military Guide" sales
Old 10-08-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Help choose military charities receiving donations from "The Military Guide" sales

The book is a non-profit project. All royalties (after income taxes) will be donated to military charities.

A number of issues led to this decision.

First there's the question of credibility. Very little of it is shared among the "journalists" paid by the financial media to write retirement articles. Sure, they seem to be writers and they might even be researchers, but if they're slaving away on deadline for a paycheck then what the heck do they know about retirement-- let alone early retirement?!? At best they're biographers documenting the success of others without actually being able to emulate their examples. At worst they're perpetuating bad planning and poor execution.

Other ER authors have been hit with this too. "If you're really financially independent, then why do I have to buy your book? Shouldn't you be giving it away?!? Or, hmmm, does your ER plan have a few leaks in it that you're plugging with royalties?" As you writers already know, the irony is that there are very few ER'd authors-- the bestselling ones enjoy writing too much to stop, and their royalty dollars just help them keep score.

A second problem is the conflict of interests. One ER author got serious pushback from an editor who disagreed with his conclusions, and she felt his book wasn't "ready" for publication until the offending material had been "revised to appeal to a larger audience". Other retirement authors are associated with companies selling financial products or website analysis. If they recommend that retirees buy an annuity, is it because annuities make sense or is it because they're sponsored by an annuity-selling company?

Everything you read in "The Military Guide" has been tested by me or by another ER. They didn't get paid to tell me about it, and I'm not getting paid to share our knowledge. Our methods seem to be working for us (so far so good!) and they're backed by financial & historical research (for whatever that's worth). We'll let you know if there are any changes or potholes.

A third problem is the "all-volunteer force". How was I going to collect material for the book? How would I find people willing to review and proofread it? How could I appeal to a huge viral audience? I didn't think they'd be eager to enrich me with their efforts, and I wasn't going to pay them for their contributions. Yet over 50 volunteer veterans and families told me what worked for them-- and what didn't. A few of them wrote substantial drafts of a couple chapters. Several of them spent hours helping me slice the first draft to ribbons before I discarded it and started over. (Thanks, guys!) One reviewer even traveled all the way to Hawaii to share his comments during lunch next to the beach. They're proud of their accomplishments and they're paying it forward.

Last but not least, it's a great marketing gimmick. The vast majority of military publishers want to help veterans improve their military careers or find lucrative civilian ones. (Believe me, if there was a book on military ER I would have found it by now.) Donating the royalties lets a publisher proclaim their philanthropic support, too. Initially I was afraid that a publisher would pay next to nothing if they knew that I was "just going to give their money away", but Impact Publications offered a very generous contract. We're worth it.

Oh, yeah, one more reason-- the donations will be helping a lot of people who've already made tremendous sacrifices for our freedom. That's another way to pay it forward.

So... what charities should we consider?
__________________

__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-08-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
About the Fisher House Foundation Program
__________________

__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
How about the USO?
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 04:37 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Leonidas's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Where the stars at night are big and bright
Posts: 2,847
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
How about the USO?
I would vote no on the USO, an organization that I contributed to for years, but recently stopped due to excessive compensation to the former president (almost $800,000/yr).

After trying out a number of military charities over the years, the only one I've stuck with is the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Semper Fi Fund » Home (don't worry Nords, they give money to swabs also). It's highly rated by Charity Navigator as one of the most efficient military related charities Charity Navigator Rating - Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 94% of the money goes to the program, and perhaps most importantly they don't pester their donors with frequent "pleas" and unwanted correspondence.
__________________
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
Leonidas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
I would vote no on the USO, an organization that I contributed to for years, but recently stopped due to excessive compensation to the former president (almost $800,000/yr).

After trying out a number of military charities over the years, the only one I've stuck with is the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund Semper Fi Fund » Home (don't worry Nords, they give money to swabs also). It's highly rated by Charity Navigator as one of the most efficient military related charities Charity Navigator Rating - Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, 94% of the money goes to the program, and perhaps most importantly they don't pester their donors with frequent "pleas" and unwanted correspondence.
Good grief....$800,000....I would vote NO in this case, too. Is there some program for special needs children of service members?
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
CCdaCE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 887
I guess the first one that came to mind was the Military Families one that you "need" to join to get access to Penfed.

It also made the "good list". On somebodys blog, in '08, anyway. (For whatever it's worth.)

-CC
__________________
"There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more, but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops. Kinda like you're startin' from the top..." "Society" - Eddie Vedder
CCdaCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Htown Harry's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,516
Yikes, what a minefield. From Charity Navigator:

Quote:
...veterans' charities overall spend a vastly greater percentage of their budgets on fundraising, leaving less money available to help ex-GIs struggling with health care, housing or financial problems.

Of the 22 veterans charities evaluated by Charity Navigator more than 1/3 have fundraising expenses over 20%, with 3 charities spending more than 50% on fundraising and 2 charities spending more than 95% of your donations on fundraising!
The two of the five they rate highest have been suggested, Fisher House and Military Families.

Of the two, I think I would vote for Military Families, because you have written often (and eloquently) on the importance of family support and devotion. (Assuming that their programs deliver on the objectives in their program description. I haven't checked closely.)
__________________
Htown Harry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Indialantic FL
Posts: 1,197
What about giving proportionally to each of the services Emergency Relief or equivalent charities?
__________________
JimnJana
"The four most dangerous words in investing are 'This time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton
jimnjana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 06:13 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimnjana View Post
What about giving proportionally to each of the services Emergency Relief or equivalent charities?
Thinking about Nord's request, I was doing some research on military charities. I was very surprised to find the following from the American Institute for Philanthropy regarding the various services' emergency relief funds:

Quote:
In our hunt for highly rated veteran or military charities we ran across three emergency relief groups that are holding massive asset reserves. They are the official armed forces charities for the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, which provide financial, educational and other assistance to current and past members of the armed services and their families. These three charities have combined fund balances of $638 million yet spent only $59 million, according to their most recently available financial reports. Army Emergency Relief (AER) tops AIP's list of large asset reserve charities in relation to expenses with 17.6 years of available asset reserves and a fund balance of $307 million as of 2005. Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) has 10.1 years of available asset reserves and as of 2005 holds fund balances of $172 million. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NCRS) has fund balances of $158 million as of 2005. Its years of available assets is lower at 4.8, barely low enough to keep them from earning an automatic F grade for charities having over 5 years worth of available reserves.
Veterans Deserve Better from Charities

The AIP lists the following as the top rated veteran/military charities:

Armed Services YMCA of the USA A
Fisher House Foundation A+
Homes For Our Troops A
Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund A+
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund A
National Military Family Association A+
Operation Homefront – N.O. B+
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
How about the USO?
I second this nomination. ;D Ooops, just read Leonidas' post. That is OUTRAGEOUS.

How about the DAV Transportation Network. I used to drive for them when I first FIREd.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 12:20 AM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Thinking about Nord's request, I was doing some research on military charities. I was very surprised to find the following from the American Institute for Philanthropy regarding the various services' emergency relief funds:
I don't know about anyone else's experiences with Navy Relief, but we used to cynically joke about sending our financially-challenged sailors over there and requiring them to request an emergency loan. The process would be painful enough to turn them into Dave Ramsey acolytes...

It got so bad that when I was at a shore training command that I used to keep an official-looking envelope in my safe with $500 cash in crisp new $20 bills. If the chain of command stuck up for their miscreant's temporary cash-flow problems then they'd bring him (it was never a "her" experiencing these financial issues) to my office where I'd solemnly count out the loan amount to the chief petty officer or E-6 in front of the supplicant, then sternly admonish them (with a hidden wink to their supervisor) that the loan had to be returned to the command fund within two weeks or I'd regrettably have to turn the case over to the XO. Worked like a charm for over four years-- somehow they'd always find enough money in their next paycheck to repay the loan, I never had a late payment, and I never had a repeat customer.

Nearly all of the chiefs understood where the money was really coming from, and they totally supported the no-paperwork aspect of what I was trying to accomplish for everyone's benefit. However one sociologically tone-deaf individual was with some shipmates from another department and heard them complaining about their particular financial-management problems, so he piped up "Oh, don't you guys have one of those $500 command funds like our department?" That got back to the command master chief and the XO in about 15 minutes...

I'm hearing good things about the groups who are trying to help injured veterans and their families. We've had good experiences with the USO, but the non-profit my spouse works with has given her quite an education in fundraising, and I've been assured that the USO is not suffering. I agree with Leo that it's not worth subsidizing that kind of salary.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 09:13 AM   #12
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
I've put up a blog post with more resources for choosing the military charities for the book royalties.

It lists another 10 charities which earned the recommendation of MilSOAP.org, a non-profit run by a retired Army veteran who reviews military support charities. Post your nominations here or to the blog, and the contributors will vote which charities are worthy of the royalties!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
I also think the National Military Families Association would be a good choice. Well respected organization with over 90% of donations funding programs. I looked them up on Guidestar and Charity Navigator, and they look like a fine organization.

Because of their connection to Pentagon FCU, I got to thinking about how credit unions provide specialized financial services to their military members. Have you considered contacting military based credit unions about your book? Credit unions may want to purchase copies, particularly since the profits are going to a military charity, to provide to their members or to be used by their employees who provide financial guidance. We often think of Navy FCU and Pentagon FCU, but there are many other credit unions serving military personnel. Many belong to the Defense Credit Union Council http://www.dcuc.org/ an organization comprised of 235 military credit unions serving over 14 million members. There are two other major organizations serving credit unions, including those with a military based field of membership:

National Association of Federal Credit Unions http://www.nafcunet.org/
Credit Union National Association http://www.cuna.org/

Just a thought.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 11:54 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,597
Nothing against any of those choices.
I'm a member of DAV (Disabled American Veterans), and DW still w*rks at their national headquarters. AFAIK, they do a lot of wonderful work, and do it very efficiently.

My father had some government-paid travel in North Africa and Italy in 1944, and while he never wanted to talk about his adventures, he commented on the two most visible organizations he encountered over there -- the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

He had nothing good to say about the RC, and nothing BUT good to say about the SA.

I remembered his remarks later while I was in Vietnam and encountered the same two organizations. Remarkably, nothing had changed, since my reaction was exactly the same as his.

Neither of us ever saw the USO, so can't say anything about them.

I'm also a fan of the PFCU Foundation, who do a lot of good that area.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 12:27 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,914
I suspect that many served by the SA are veterans and their families with issues stemming from their service. Of all general community social service organizations they rank highest on my list.
__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 12:54 PM   #16
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purron View Post
Because of their connection to Pentagon FCU, I got to thinking about how credit unions provide specialized financial services to their military members. Have you considered contacting military based credit unions about your book?
Just a thought.
Thanks, good idea, I'll work on that with the publisher.

I need all the marketing tips I can get!
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 01:17 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Thanks, good idea, I'll work on that with the publisher.

I need all the marketing tips I can get!
You might also consider placing ads in the two major publications serving the credit union industry:

Credit Union News - Credit Union Times Magazine

Credit Union Journal
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Another idea to gain the interest of credit unions, plus their organizations (DCUC, NAFCU, CUNA) and industry publications (CU Times & CU Journal).

A concept near and dear to my heart: discounts. Credit unions could offer their members a discount. The credit union organizations and publications could offer credit unions that belong or subscribe a discount.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 06:07 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
Salvation Army? Hey, its an Army, right? And they do a lot of good.
__________________

__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nominate the book cover for "The Military Guide" Nords Other topics 50 01-14-2011 10:51 AM
Military School "CARE" Package Ideas Needed TooFrugal Other topics 17 12-21-2010 09:38 PM
For you military & family members: Is USAA "verifying your data" too? Nords Other topics 21 11-24-2009 10:16 PM
Financial appendices to "The Military Guide to FIRE" Nords Young Dreamers 1 07-21-2009 03:00 PM
"The Military Guide" update Nords Other topics 4 08-06-2007 04:14 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:13 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.