News and analysis
November 24, 2014

GoDaddy Founder Doubles Up His Year-End Donation for Veterans’ Care

Courtesy of The Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation

Bob and Renee Parsons

For the second year in a row, GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons is doubling up his year-end matching-gift push to raise money for wounded veterans through the Semper Fi Fund.

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation pledged $5-million as a matching gift this year after Mr. Parsons offered matching grants of $1-million in 2012 and $2.5-million in 2013, with support from GoDaddy Cares.

The $10-million goal this year, including matching donations, represents nearly half the total annual revenue for Semper Fi, which helps wounded veterans and their families.

"We call it our giving season to help support our programs throughout the year," said Karen Guenther, president of the Semper Fi Fund. "This will allow us to bring on more staff and allow us to do more programming."

The matching-gift campaigns create excitement among donors and staff and boost the success of Semper Fi’s year-end campaigns.

"They love that their dollars are doubled and they can have double impact," Ms. Guenther said. "It’s been a fun and exciting call to action."

Mr. Parsons’s giving is driven by his own experience as a Vietnam veteran and the severe needs of those returning from action in the wars following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

"What we find is, for an 18- or 19-year-old, with the type of weapons being used in the Middle East, they’re coming back as multiple amputees or with severe burns or both," Mr. Parsons said. "It is something very difficult for a young man or young woman to get their heads around."

"If we can get their family to them very quickly, the likelihood we’re able to re-acclimate them into society goes way up."

Since its founding in 2004, the Semper Fi Fund has distributed more than $98-million in grants to cover travel expenses for families to join their wounded veterans in rehabilitation centers and provide adaptive housing, adaptive transportation, specialized equipment, education and career counseling, and rehabilitative sports programs.

Ms. Guenther said the matching program, which started on Veteran’s Day and runs through the holiday giving season, will provide funds to launch a caregiver program that offers counseling and support to the loved ones assisting wounded veterans.

"It’s something we wanted to do, but haven’t had the money," Ms. Guenther said. "Now we will."