Almost three years ago Congress decided to take away annual funding for The Veterans Corporation. This of course limited its ability to function as a quasi-government organization, however, it opened the possibility that as a private entity it might be able to fulfill its original promise.. Since then, ironically, more grants were awarded than over its entire history as a federally chartered corporation.
That’s the good news. And there’s more good news–the old corporation has been reconstituted as new private nonprofit. Even more good news–no one needs to go lobby Congress anymore, so they can get funds to go lobby Congress next year, so they can get funds to go lobby Congress the year after that…
In all fairness, and with due respect to its detractors, the old Veteran Corporation wasn’t totally ineffective. It actually had a few significant accomplishments. For instance, in 2007 it acted as an original grantor for the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at Syracuse University. That program has now been replicated in seven major university systems and is one of the new darling Veteran small business programs adopted by the SBA and by the Obama Administration. The Veterans Corporation was also an early supporter of American Corporate Partners, now the premier Veteran mentoring program in the country with over 1500 mentees. And even after losing its federal funding, the old Veterans Corporation became a major private grantor for Vetsprevail, which has helped over 2000 Veterans deal with their PTSD issues. How does one put a number on those efforts?
Well, it’s still out with old and in with the new. All the old Presidential appointees have resigned. Now Veteranscorp.org can begin anew to march toward the fulfillment of the original mission: help some Veteran entrepreneurs! The jury is still out for the new Veteranscorp.org, but results could easily turn out favorably if it keeps the needs of its customers, Veteran entrepreneurs, in the forefront. Veteranscorp.org can’t claim it’s a federally chartered corporation anymore, but who knows…that might be a terrific advantage.