Spirit of America Annual Report 2019

Page 1


1 | Spirit of America

CITIZENS SERVING THE NATION Spirit of America directly contributes to the safety and success of American servicemembers and diplomats on the front lines. We are a nonprofit citizen service organization founded in response to the attacks of 9/11. Our mission is to support the safety and success of Americans serving abroad and the local people and partners they seek to help. We are officially approved by Congress and the Department of Defense to work alongside deployed US troops and provide assistance to meet the local needs they identify. We fill the gaps between what’s needed on the front lines and what government can do. And, with private-sector resources, speed, and flexibility, we deliver exactly the assistance that is needed. Supporting Spirit of America helps those who serve our nation abroad return home safely and proud of their success. Our work saves lives and limbs. We help our troops and diplomats build trust and goodwill, prevent conflict, and strengthen America’s security. In the world’s toughest places, people experience the best of who Americans are and what we stand for.

No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, of State, or US personnel is intended or implied. 2Department | Spirit of America


Dear Friends and Supporters, America was founded on citizen service: ordinary Americans doing their part. As it has always been, citizens must participate to secure the blessings of liberty. Spirit of America is citizens serving the nation, committed to America’s freedoms and ideals, working together, and doing our part to support the country and those who serve it. In partnership with our troops and diplomats, we end suffering and prevent conflict, and we build hope and peace. In the world’s toughest places, people experience the best of who Americans are and what we stand for. This is patriotism without politics. Thanks to your support, our impact continues to grow. In 2019, Spirit of America implemented 238 projects. Each project was designed and implemented in direct response to needs identified by US military and Department of State personnel serving abroad. Each project supported the initiative of the local people and partners who are key to the stability of their communities, and ultimately, to the success of US missions abroad. I founded Spirit of America in response to the attacks of 9/11. Since then the threats and challenges to America’s security and freedoms have grown. Terrorism and extremism are still problems. Russia is attacking the stability of America’s friends and partners and undermining our relationships with our allies. China is striving to establish an authoritarian world order with a dark and regressive view of human liberty and dignity. And, there is the coronavirus pandemic that threatens people here at home and around the world. To prevail so that future generations may live and prosper in a free society, we must work together and harness all of America’s strengths. The agility, responsiveness, and capabilities of the private sector must be added to the reach and resources of our government and military. Spirit of America is the only organization that meets this need. Thank you for helping us build goodwill, save lives, and support the brave men and women who serve America abroad so they can return home safe and proud of their success.

Jim Hake Chief Executive Officer

Annual Report 2019 | 1


DIRECT IMPACT ON MISSION SUCCESS Spirit of America represents a fundamentally better way for the United States to strengthen national security and defend America’s interests and ideals. Each Spirit of America project meets the military’s need for private assistance to do what government can’t and make deployed US troops safer and more successful. We fill the needs US personnel identify: the mission-critical gaps in government resourcing that can only be met through the speed, flexibility, and entrepreneurial approaches of the private sector.

“ Our military is absolutely critical but it can’t do it alone. To prevail, America needs all elements of national power, including our citizens. That’s why I feel so strongly about Spirit of America’s contribution and its unique model of citizen service.” — GENERAL JAMES L. JONES, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, RETIRED

Our unprecedented partnership with the US military — recognized by Congress as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act — allows our all-veteran field operations team to work side-by-side with deployed US Special Operations Forces, conventional US military personnel, and Department of State personnel to support high-priority, security-related US missions abroad.

We support US missions in active conflict zones and in undergoverned spaces plagued by extremist threats. In 2019, our primary areas of focus were: Helping US troops and their local partners strengthen security by countering Islamic extremism in the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia, and Africa › Increasing America’s security and influence in the face of growing challenges from China and Russia in Asia and Eastern Europe › Disrupting the transnational networks threatening the United States in Central and South America ›

2 | Spirit of America








supporting US partners and saving lives and limbs



broadcasting messages directly to people affected by violent extremist organizations


DISPLACED PEOPLE FED IN SYRIA providing rapid humanitarian assistance to those fleeing ISIS

Annual Report 2019 | 3







Belize Colombia El Salvador Guatemala Guyana Honduras Nicaragua Panama Peru St. Lucia Suriname Trinidad and Tobago 4 | Spirit of America


Bosnia and Herzegovina Estonia Georgia Greece Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Romania Serbia Slovakia


Afghanistan Bahrain Egypt Iraq Jordan Lebanon Syria Tajikistan Uzbekistan Yemen


Bangladesh Bhutan Burma Indonesia Malaysia Mongolia Palau Philippines Thailand Vietnam


Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Djibouti Ethiopia Gabon Kenya

Mali Mauritania Mozambique Niger Nigeria Senegal Somalia South Sudan Tanzania Tunisia Annual Report 2019 | 5


SAVING LIVES AND LIMBS IN IRAQ WITH A K-9 SQUAD The Kurdistan Region of Iraq is plagued by landmines and explosive remnants of war from over 40 years of conflict dating back to the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. Starting in 2014, as ISIS rapidly seized large swaths of Iraq, they saturated urban centers and the front lines with improvised explosive devices in an attempt to disrupt coalition forces. This brutal tactic led to mass civilian casualties, disrupted the economy, and undermined local governance. With the fall of the ISIS caliphate, Iraqi Kurdistan finally has the peace and security necessary to begin — US SPECIAL OPERATIONS TEAM SERGEANT clearing landmines and explosive remnants of war from over 240 square miles. The Ministry of Peshmerga established a K-9 unit in 2017 with 18 trained bomb detection dogs, but they lacked the resources to fully employ this critical capability.

“ When everything else fails, Spirit of America always comes to the rescue.”

To help root out the remnants of ISIS and clear war-ravaged northern Iraq of mines and unexploded bombs, Spirit of America partnered with US Army soldiers to outfit the Kurdish Peshmerga’s K-9 bomb disposal squad with lifesaving protective equipment and metal detectors, and life-sustaining food and medicine.

6 | Spirit of America

Joshua Brandon, regional program manager for the Middle East and Central Asia and a US Army veteran, spoke about working with US Army soldiers to support the Peshmerga’s K-9 bomb disposal squad on CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar. Annual Report 2019 | 7

PREVENTING GANG RECRUITMENT THROUGH JOBS IN GUATEMALA Working alongside US Marines in Guatemala, Spirit of America supported vocational training to help prevent the recruitment of vulnerable youth by gangs and narcotraffickers throughout Central America. New equipment for an automotive mechanic course provided legitimate job opportunities for these youth.


8 | Spirit of America

On September 30, 2019, a US military base in Somalia was attacked by al Shabaab, whose militants attacked with a car bomb and attempted to breach and storm the US base. The attack was successfully repelled due to the actions of US Special Operations forces, along with Somali and Ugandan partner forces. These partner forces often serve as the first line of defense against attacks but lack many essential supplies. To sustain critical security and stability missions 24 hours after the terrorist attack, Spirit of America supplied lifesaving trauma kits and medical supplies to preserve the lives and limbs of local partners working alongside US forces.

REDUCING EXTREMIST INFLUENCE WITH CLEAN WATER IN THE PHILIPPINES A vulnerable community previously displaced by ISIS in the southern Philippines had to walk two miles roundtrip through rugged, steep terrain to collect a basic need: water. Worse still, with every trip to get water, the civilians risked encountering ISIS fighters, putting them in the direct vicinity of dangerous extremists. To help restore basic services and build trust with this rural village, Spirit of America worked with US Special Operations Forces and their Filipino partners to purchase a water pump to provide clean, potable water to locals.

Annual Report 2019 | 9

SAVING LIVES AND STOPPING ISIS FIGHTERS IN SYRIA When US Special Forces in Syria needed emergency food and water for 1,650 families escaping the last areas controlled by ISIS, Spirit of America delivered food assistance in just 96 hours. By improving conditions for these displaced families, US troops and their local partners could focus on the critical task of identifying and capturing ISIS fighters who were — MICHÈLE FLOURNOY, also trying to escape, FORMER UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY further saving lives.

“ Spirit of America is a whole of nation approach to service that strengthens our national security.”

10 | Spirit of America

IMPROVING EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IN GEORGIA To strengthen America’s partnership with Georgia and counter malign Russian influence, Spirit of America provided walnut tree saplings to a school alongside the Administrative Boundary Line, which borders a Russian-occupied region of Georgia. The saplings provide agricultural training for students and an economic resource for the underfunded school. The trees are also a beautiful, persistent reminder to the community of American friendship.

Annual Report 2019 | 11


Board of Directors Chairman of the Board Bob Oster Former CFO, Oracle Corp. Independent Board Member Since 2017 Michael Bigham CEO, Paratek Pharmaceuticals Independent Board Member Since 2014

Natalie Cryer Vice President, The Cambria Group Independent Board Member Since 2019

Fred Khosravi Chairman and CEO, Imperative Care Inc. Independent Board Member Since 2017

Jim Hake CEO, Spirit of America Board Member Since 2004

John Phelan Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner, MSD Capital, L.P. Independent Board Member Since 2018

Board of Advisors Amb. Rick Barton Department of State, Retired John Bellinger Partner, Arnold & Porter Amb. Barbara Bodine Department of State, Retired Colonel Stu Bradin US Army, Retired CEO, Global SOF Foundation

Hon. Joseph Felter Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia

Hon. James Locher III Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations

Edwin Feulner Founder, Heritage Foundation

Clare Lockhart Co-Founder and Director, Institute for State Effectiveness

Michèle Flournoy Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

General Phil Breedlove US Air Force, Retired

Richard Fontaine President, Center for a New American Security

Ellyn L. Brown Corporate and Securities Attorney

Lt. General Ben Hodges US Army, Retired

Hon. William Burns Former Deputy Secretary of State Dr. James Jay Carafano Vice President, The Heritage Foundation Lt. General Charles Cleveland US Army, Retired Amb. Ryan Crocker Department of State, Retired Commander Rorke Denver US Navy Founder, Ever Onward General Joseph F. Dunford Jr. US Marine Corps, Retired

12 | Spirit of America

Hon. Jeh Johnson Former US Secretary of Homeland Security General James Jones US Marine Corps, Retired Dr. Kimberly Kagan President, Institute for the Study of War General Jack Keane US Army, Retired Dr. David Kilcullen CEO, Cordillera Applications Lt. General Dan “Fig” Leaf US Air Force, Retired Managing Director, Phase Minus 1 Major General Jim Linder US Army, Retired

Rear Admiral Brian Losey US Navy, Retired Lt. Colonel Scott Mann US Army, Retired Hon. James N. Mattis Former US Secretary of Defense US Marine Corps, Retired Colonel David Maxwell US Army, Retired General Stanley McChrystal US Army, Retired CEO, McChrystal Group

Lt. General Lawrence Nicholson US Marine Corps, Retired Admiral Eric Olson US Navy, Retired General Jay Paxton US Marine Corps, Retired Linda Robinson Senior International Policy Analyst, Rand Corporation General Curtis Scaparrotti US Army, Retired Dr. Nadia Schadlow Former Deputy National Security Advisor Dr. Kori Schake Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Lt. General H. R. McMaster US Army, Retired

Hon. George P. Shultz Former US Secretary of State Marine veteran

Nicco Mele Director, Shorestein Center Harvard University

Tom Schurr Media Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Investor

Dr. John Nagl Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

General Gordon Sullivan US Army, Retired

Amb. Ronald E. Neumann President, American Academy of Diplomacy

Admiral Kurt Tidd US Navy, Retired Wayne Zinn President, One Matters


Spirit of America is a privately funded 501c3 nonprofit organization. We are supported entirely by private contributions from citizens, foundations, and businesses. We do not receive, and would not accept, government funding. For 2019, total net assets were $9,585,533. Total liabilities and net assets were $9,694,646.

2019 Revenue n Contributions n Donated Goods & Services n Investment Income

$7,330,411 97% $198,077 3% $47,924 1%

Total $7,576,412

2019 Expenses n Program Services n Fundraising n Management & General

$3,648,678 72%* $830,096 16% $607,462 12%

Total $5,086,236 * The program services ratio is lower than Spirit of America’s historical program services percentage due to a one-time Board of Directors-funded marketing expenditure.

Historical Average Expenses* n Program Services n Fundraising n Management & General

79% 9% 12%

* Averages reflect Spirit of America’s independently audited financial statements since 2008.

Annual Report 2019 | 3

“ In situations that require speed and audacity, Spirit of America has proven over and over again that it can and will help our forces answer an emerging need in order to help prevent a crisis. Spirit of America’s agility and ingenuity fit perfectly with the mission requirements and mindset of Special Operations Forces.” — ADMIRAL ERIC OLSON, US NAVY, RETIRED

3033 Wilson Blvd., Suite 700 Arlington, VA 22201 +1.571.970.1370 spiritofamerica.org SpiritAmerica No endorsement of Spirit of America by the US Department of Defense, Department of State, or US personnel is intended or implied.

Tax ID 20-1687786 | CFC #52009

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.