Frequently Asked Questions
What is Spirit of America’s mission?
Spirit of America’s mission is to support the safety and success of Americans serving abroad and the local people and partners they seek to help.
What is Spirit of America's vision?
Spirit of America’s vision is that whenever our country sends its men and women to serve abroad, the American people will be by their side as partners in their missions and will help them demonstrate through action who Americans are and what we stand for. All America’s strengths and capabilities, our goodwill, and generosity, our can-do spirit and power of inspiration: this is what we bring to bear exactly at the point of need when it is needed. Our belief is that together, we are America at its best.
How is Spirit of America different from other organizations?
Only Spirit of America offers a direct way to impact the success of US troops and diplomats engaged on the front lines for Americans who want to strengthen our security and standing in the world. Spirit of America is recognized by Congress in law for “supporting the missions of deployed United States personnel around the world.” No other organization has achieved this distinction.
Spirit of America has a unique partnership with the US military. No other private nonprofit can work alongside US troops in the world’s toughest places. We go where other organizations can’t and we only do what no one else will do.
Spirit of America is “not neutral.” What does that mean?
Spirit of America promotes patriotism without politics. We are expressly not neutral, meaning that we take the side of deployed American troops and diplomats. Our job is to support them with all the resources our nation has to offer, to make them safer and more successful, to improve global security and stability, and to advance our nation’s interests and ideals. We are not a political or partisan organization. We take no stance on policy or politics. Rather, we believe that once America sends personnel overseas, our nation should support them in every way it can.
Why can't the government solve these problems?
We fill critical gaps that cannot be planned for or addressed before they appear in the heat of conflict. Government cannot anticipate everything that might happen in a conflict zone. Spirit of America steps in to provide help that increases our troops’ security by building local relationships.
Why does Spirit of America refer to itself as a “citizen service” organization?
America was founded on citizen service: ordinary Americans doing their part. Each effort we make together to build trust, make a child happy, a village secure, or a region stable brings our troops closer to peace and closer to home. We help private action create public good: security and stability that contributes to a safer, peaceful world.
Where does Spirit of America get its funding?
Following the attacks of 9/11, Spirit of America’s founder was inspired by a simple idea: private citizens can support the missions of our troops by doing the things government can’t. Spirit of America is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supported solely by private donations from Americans in all 50 states, including foundations, citizens, and corporations. We do not receive, and we would not accept, government funding.
What percentage of Spirit of America donations actually reach the frontlines?
How much of your donation reaches our troops and diplomats is up to you. If you designate your donation to fund a specific project, 100% of your money will be delivered to the troops with no overhead or operating costs deducted. We offer refunds of leftover project funding unless you would like to contribute it to our General Fund.
We provide donors two options to target their donations and can customize your contribution plan, as well.
General Fund: Your donations provide Spirit of America the greatest flexibility by supporting our overall presence around the world. When a crisis erupts, the General Fund is the first source for urgent requests from our troops and diplomats. It also covers the daily operating costs of the organization and fundraising.
Individual Projects Funds: These funds are targeted to the specific crisis or program you choose to support. Our 100% promise directs all your contributions to the target project without deductions of fees or expenses for general organizational operations; those expenses are supported by the General Fund. Donations that exceed the requirements of an individual project will be offered as a refund to donors.
Spirit of America is proud to be rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator, demonstrating our commitment to both accountability and transparency, and reflecting our strong financial health. We have also received a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency.
During the history of Spirit of America’s operations, 80% of all donations were deployed to the troops and diplomats in the field. The remaining 20% of donations have paid our operating costs, including salaries for our all-veteran field team and the cost of fundraising.
How does Spirit of America select the projects it supports?
We rely on the informed judgment of our troops, officers, and diplomats in the field, who reach out when they encounter challenges that cannot be addressed quickly through traditional channels.
Spirit of America projects create trusted relationships between troops, diplomats, and the local communities in which they work. We build security and save American and local lives.
What is a typical example of a Spirit of America project?
When US personnel see any need that our government can’t meet, we bring private-sector speed and flexibility to solve the problem, sometimes in surprising ways: from ceremonial swords used to seal peace agreements with tribal leaders, to winter boots and landmine detectors for our military partners and civilians, to dirt bikes for veterinarians and even a gift of musical instruments to a village stripped of its music by Islamic extremists.
Where does Spirit of America's field team operate?
Spirit of America’s all-veteran field team operates in more than 80 countries across the globe, on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. We deploy regional field managers to coordinate with deployed forces on each continent where US troops and diplomats are engaged on the front lines. This ongoing presence allows Spirit of America to respond rapidly when crises erupt as well as to make long-term investments in stability through economic, educational, healthcare, and public service projects.
Is Spirit of America a government or military contractor?
No. Spirit of America is a completely private 501(c)(3) organization that receives no funding from the government.
Have you been rated by Charity Navigator?
Yes. Spirit of America is proud to receive a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. The rating demonstrates our strong financial health and commitment to both accountability and transparency. We also were awarded a Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency and met the stringent requirements to be included in the Combined Federal Campaign.