Grinston to Focus on Increased Fundraising as Head of AER

January 5, 2024

Former Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston started this week as CEO of Army Emergency Relief, or AER, essentially the service’s nonprofit arm that support soldiers in times of need, as Military.com reported. Grinston was the Army’s top enlisted leader from 2019 until he retired last summer.

AER gives out $55 million each year in no-interest loans and grants, as well as about $13 million in scholarships. Its funding comes from donations, which have lagged in recent years, according to Military.com analysis.

“That’s my No. 1 concern,” Grinston told Military.com. “Every dollar we bring in is more dollars I can give to soldiers and families.”

AER will continue to depend on small-dollar donations such as asking for $1 from shoppers on base, but Grinston wants to find more large donations. During the pandemic, USAA (the official sponsor of ADC’s Great American Defense Communities program) gave a $5.7 million donation, and Lockheed Martin gave $1 million.

“My goal is to make AER the No. 1 nonprofit of choice to donate to,” Grinston said.

Army photo by Sandra Wilson

January 5, 2024

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