I recently interviewed United Way Worldwide President and CEO Angela Williams for our next edition of the Journal. Williams spent part of her rich and multifaceted career on active duty in the US Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps for more than six years, and our conversation eventually led to our shared experiences with the military. “I would also say that I have always led a life of service, and it started with my dad being pastor of Royal Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina and a chaplain in the Navy,” she shared with me. “I’d go to church, work on base, and be a great volunteer.” For her, it was a foundation for a lifetime dedicated to helping others in a variety of roles across different sectors.

Philanthropy’s values are demonstrated not only by what gets funded, but by the internal culture at each organization. ... Make the effort to include veterans’ experiences in your work.

In reflecting on the rich and successful careers Angela and my family members built after their military service, I have to think about those whose lives take different turns. If your work focuses on human rights, economic mobility, skills and technical training, aging, housing, homelessness, health care access, health and wellness, medical technology and research, mental health, well-being, or equity, veterans are a distinct demographic that need to be considered in those funding conversations. When their health and well-being are overlooked for “more urgent” issues, it impacts their lives and the lives of others.

Hiring practices matter. Make the effort to include veterans’ experiences in your work. Take a more considered look at how [veterans'] skills translate to your organization—and extend a hand to help them make that leap from military culture to the culture of the private workforce.

Read the full article about veterans and employment by Satonya Fair at PEAK Grantmaking.