Our Milestones

One evening in 2014, a conversation about impact investments in the lives of veterans launched the idea that would become the Bob Woodruff Foundation local partner network. Today, our national ecosystem of local partner collaboratives works together in innovative and exciting ways as a new American movement to honor the social contract our nation has made with those who serve. This timeline tracks our journey.

Bob Woodruff Foundation, with support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, launches the Local Partner Self-Assessment Tool, a groundbreaking data tool designed by leading data scientists to measure American communities’ collaborative capacities.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation is awarded a major grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to support BWF’s “Next Chapter” initiative. This philanthropic gift will power a new data-driven approach to improving veteran well-being by expanding the ability of veteran-serving organizations across America to collaborate with one another.

Third scholarship cohort goes to Chicago 

BWF sponsors 20 representatives from our local partner communities across the country to gather in Chicago for the 2019 Collective Impact Convening.

Local Partners meet with elected officials in DC 

Representatives from 20 local partners receive scholarships to attend NLC’s Congressional Cities Conference. In live work sessions with mayors and other elected officials, they identify opportunities to collaborate across sectors for impact in the lives of veterans in local communities.

BWF signs 90th local partner 

In early 2019, BWF gains its 90th community, the Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council of Tulsa, OK. BWF network of Local Partner collaboratives now spans 38 states.

PsychArmor School launches 

PsychArmor Institute launches a new portfolio of courses developed in partnership with BWF. The “School for Communities Serving Veterans” offers short-form lessons in collaborative leadership.

Second scholarship cohort 

We host 16 collaborative leaders from around the country at the 2018 “Champions for Change: Leading a Backbone Organization for Collective Impact” convening in Los Angeles. 

BWF publishes second round of ecosystem data

With surveys completed by 54 local collaboratives serving more than 6.6M veterans, we analyze and publish a new round of ecosystem data.

75 Local Partners 

Veterans Health Coalition CVEB of Milwaukee, WI joins as our 75th local partner collaborative.

Nancy Berglass joins as President

With decades of experience working at the intersection of veteran wellness, philanthropy, and social change, Nancy sets a new vision for the future of our organization that emphasizes shared learning, stakeholder engagement and thought leadership.

First scholarship cohort

We send 14 leaders of veteran collaboratives from across the nation, to attend the Collective Impact Forum's annual convening in Austin, TX.

NVI reaches 50 Local Partners

Our 50th local partner collaborative signs on, representing communities serving 5.5M veterans across 26 states.

First ecosystem data publication

We publish our first data report, based on survey responses that local partners submit when they onboard with BWF. The ecosystem data quantifies previously unknown information about veteran collaboratives, the communities they serve, and their needs.

BWF wins major grant

BWF wins a multi-year grant from the Schultz Family Foundation to build capacity during the first critical stage of growth and to develop shared learning programming for our local communities.

First Local Partner

Combined Arms Houston joins us as our first local partner collaborative. As the backbone of a network serving 300,000 veterans, Combined Arms is an excellent example for developing collaboratives that will join the network in the coming months.

A new director

Mary Carstensen, COL, USA (Ret.) joins BWF as the inaugural Executive Director to support the launch of an intermediary dedicated to the improvement of outcomes for veterans.

BWF signs MOU with VA

BWF and the VA enter into partnership when they sign an MOU to collaborate on what BWF called its Single Front Door initiative, which later evolved into the BWF local partner network.

Engaging more stakeholders

A series of working groups, comprised of cross sector leaders, convenes to study the veteran landscape, the need for deeper collaboration at the community level, and the potential for support.

The first convening

BWF convenes a stakeholder meeting to vet the idea for a national intermediary as Anne Marie Dougherty, Lee Woodruff and Duncan Niederauer envisioned it. A week later, BWF takes the concept to representatives from the Schultz Family Foundation and Accenture for their input and thought leadership.

The birth of an idea

BWF leaders Lee Woodruff and Anne Marie Dougherty meet with Duncan Niederauer at his office at the NYSE; their conversation sparked the idea that would become the BWF local partner network.