Solving the Root Causes Impacting Veterans

The Veterans Impact Fund

Advancing support and services for our nation’s heroes through innovative research and solutions focused on improving the lives of veterans and their families while addressing health, safety, and policy through a unique philanthropic funding platform.

In order to address the critical issues facing our veterans and their families across America, Benefunder has established a fund that includes a comprehensive array of researchers working on therapies and promoting training and policy, aimed at fulfilling the daily and long-term needs of our military heroes.

The Veterans Impact Fund will focus on improving the lives of veterans and their families through on-going basic and applied research developed by innovators at top research institutions across the nation, including Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, The University of Texas at Austin, and University of California, San Diego. This leading-edge research includes new treatments for PTSD, improved prosthetics, wearable technologies, preventative tools, simulation technologies, education development, and policy. Opportunities to fund these causes will help catalyze research efforts from the beginning stages to commercialization. Additionally, it will give donors the opportunity to help advance public-private partnerships, community engagement, and promising innovations that will benefit our military veterans.

The fund is designed to unite resources from several stakeholders in the philanthropic community, including all types of foundations, family offices, and private donors. Benefunder primarily focuses on offering hosted Donor Advised Funds with wealth management firms, where it will promote the Veterans Impact Fund as a type of ‘mutual fund’ opportunity for clients interested in veteran issues.

Distinct in its design this mutual fund has the advantage of creating a central cause that can pool various resources, while having a greater impact for our veterans. Through Benefunder, donors develop relationships with researchers in the fund and receive exclusive information and updates that give donors the power to make impactful decisions and potentially even create deal flow.


Nearly 20% of soldiers returning from war today experience PTSD, suicidal thoughts, depression and homelessness. Our researchers are looking at the root causes of behavioral health and delivering treatments and tools to conquer our veteran’s invisible wounds.


Today efforts in 3D printing, heat transfer healing, and wearable technologies are a few of the solutions that are bringing hope and promise to our wounded heroes who suffer from lost limbs, burns, brain trauma, and more.​


Focused on improving the lives and health of the military, many researchers are working on preventative tools that will assist soldiers in the field, through robotics and simulation technologies that aim to create safer conditions.  

  • Ant-sized Robots with Big Applications
    Sarah Bergbreiter, University of Maryland College Park
    Ant-sized robots can crawl through cracks of debris to sense and report presence of buried individuals

  • Coordinating Robots for Environmental Sensing and Fun
    Thomas Bewley, University of California, San Diego
    Developing novel unmanned systems for various operations in urban warfare, homeland/border security to prevent injury

  • Seeing the Deepest Corners of the Earth
    Ryan Kastner, University of California, San Diego
    Developing the next generation technology for remote sensing and autonomous vehicles

  • Devices at the Nanoscale
    Joseph Wang, University of California, San Diego
    Wearable sensors for 'on-the-spot' forensic and military applications associated with field identification of explosives or gunshot residues

  • Painless, Wearable Sensors
    Center for Wearable Sensors, University of California, San Diego
    Wearable sensors provide insight into the overall health status of the wearer

  • Driving Innovation Forward
    Qualcomm Institute, University of California, San Diego
    Advanced technology for preventing soldier injury



The nation’s top researchers are providing scholarship opportunities for veterans, as well as developing software tools for training purposes.

  • Free Software for Computer Animation, Virtual Reality, Film and Games
    Jernej Barbic, University of Southern California
    Improving the quality of virtual reality, which can be used to relieve PTSD and other conditions faced by Veterans

  • Building a Contemporary Legacy
    Thomas Barfield, Boston University
    Providing insight into resolving contemporary international issues with expertise in Afghanistan

  • Focusing out of Distraction into Attention
    Randall Engle, Georgia Institute of Technology
    Understanding the nature of individual differences in executive attention capability and environmental events that reduce this capability

  • Serving Those Who Served Our Country
    Mark Graham, Vets4Warriors, Rutgers University
    Cultural peer support helps service members and veterans to connect with life and overcome hardships stemming from PTSD, isolation, loneliness, and depression

  • Carnegie Mellon Creates Opportunities for Military Veterans
    Ravi Starzl, Carnegie Mellon University
    Creating opportunities for Veteran in the master's program to secure employment in well-paid, high-demand jobs

  • Making Choices as an Adolescent: How to Minimize Risk Taking
    Laurence Steinberg, Temple University
    Providing insight into the ways in which combat teams function in battle by studying how young adults make decisions in risky situations