By Laken Stutzman, Director of Finance
2015. What a remarkable year of growth for Team Red, White, and Blue. We are pleased to be releasing our audited 2015 financials to you today. This is the strongest financial picture Team RWB has recognized since inception. Through generous donations and countless hours from volunteers, we spent 2015 scaling our programs to be more efficient and more effective for the continued expected growth in the coming years.
The successes of 2015 can be seen through numerous outputs.
– Welcomed seven new employees to the full-time roster, increasing our total employee count to 17.
– Added 35,730 new members to the team at a rate of ~98 a day. By the end of 2015 our member count stood less than 5,000 shy of 100,000 members.
– Added a 7th region to our regional operating model.
– Finished the year with 172 chapters, communities and organizing areas.
– Unrestricted revenue and support increased by 43% over 2014.
– Implemented a new camp model that combined national camps with regional camps.
– Professionalized events such as the Old Glory Relay from its inaugural year in 2014 to further raise awareness for Veterans and connect our chapters by running the flag across the nation.
– Secured funding to build out two additional Firebases in 2016.
– Made several additions to the Board of Directors to gain new insights and perspectives.
– Grew our net assets by $500,000 over 2014.
– Focused on the evolution of the Leadership Development Program through the rollout of the Eagle Leadership Academy.
– Worked relentlessly to ensure we were fiscally responsible with all donors’ money. $0.88 of every dollar we took in went directly to support our programs.
While we are incredibly proud of these accomplishments, we know these successes are secondary to the importance of enriching the lives of America’s veterans. Just last week, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families released its first paper in a series focused on the critical topics of program evaluation, performance measurement, and evidence-based practices among VSOs. Team RWB was the first organization to be highlighted in this series. The results of the paper are far more profound than the numerous outputs mentioned above.
The paper explores the direct outcomes from the programs that we provide to our members. Veterans who joined Team RWB reported increases in sense of purpose and belonging, lasting and meaningful relationships, and significant improvements in their overall health.
I ask that you take a moment to read the research report. The dedication and commitment from our volunteers, members, donors, partners, and supporters have allowed us to continue to grow and scale our programs to reach more veterans and civilians every day. For this we thank you. While we are proud of the growth that came from 2015, we know our work is not done. 2016 holds much promise for Team Red, White, and Blue.