TAPS Receives New Recognition as a Top Charity for Volunteer Engagement and Donor Transparency

TAPS Recently Received Points of Light Service Enterprise Certification and Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Seal of Transparency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 22, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was recently certified by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, as a Service Enterprise. Additionally, it was awarded the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.

By achieving Service Enterprise certification, TAPS joins the top 11 percent of nonprofits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance. Certification recognizes those organizations that have the exceptional capability and management expertise to strategically use volunteers to help meet their mission.

“TAPS is proud to receive Service Enterprise certification as recognition of our commitment to excellence in volunteer engagement,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder and 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. “Volunteerism is at the very heart of TAPS, and each year, thousands of TAPS volunteers honor America’s fallen military heroes by helping us to support their surviving families and loved ones.”

TAPS volunteers support programs across the organization through serving as support staff, mentors, photographers, greeters, graphic designers, grief counselors and more. Collectively, they spend nearly 70,000 hours each year supporting the thousands of surviving military families that make up TAPS.

“Commitment to effective volunteer engagement, as recognized by the Service Enterprise certification, allows TAPS to be more adaptable, sustainable and capable of scaling its work,” said Sharon Paz, TAPS Manager, Volunteer Resources. “We owe it to our donors, partners and supporters to engage all the volunteers who share in our mission in ways that best utilize their time and talents.”

TAPS also recently received the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar. To reach the Platinum level, TAPS added extensive information to its Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar: basic organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. In doing so, TAPS has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to providing donors and funders with meaningful data to evaluate the organization.

In addition to earning GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency, TAPS has previously received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a seal as one of America’s Best Charities from Independent Charities of America, recognition as a Veterans Advantage Site of Distinction, and an A rating from Charity Watch.

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The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to more than 85,000 survivors of fallen military in the form of peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).  


The Service Enterprise Initiative is a national change management program, led by Points of Light, that helps organizations better meet their missions through the power of volunteers. Through a comprehensive assessment, training, coaching and certification model, nonprofits are equipped to engage and manage volunteers more effectively to meet community needs. Research shows that nonprofits that operate as Service Enterprises are equally as effective as their peers but at almost half the median budget, and are significantly more adaptable, sustainable and capable of going to scale.

The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. GuideStar encourages every nonprofit to claim and update its profile at no cost to the organization. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the more than 8 million people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations each year. Updating also allows nonprofits to share information with the more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications that are powered by GuideStar data. To reach a given participation level, organizations need to complete all required fields for that participation level. The GuideStar participation levels, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants' profiles in the GuideStar database.