Posted: May 28, 2017
As many of you will recall, our Foundation’s fiscal year runs from June 1 through May 31. This annual report is respectfully submitted to the membership in accordance with our Foundation bylaws.
May 2017 State of the Foundation
This past year we humbly believe was a good one. The Foundation built on its recently received bequest, investing it appropriately to achieve a return to date of approximately 10%. This is well above our projections due to a surge in stock prices. We hope that this endowment will grow to the point that its annual return might be used as needed to cover operating expenses. At any rate, the financial security of the Foundation has been established for many years to come.
Contrary to our previous experience, the Foundation split up its awards presentation process into multiple events. The Doolittle Award was presented in our usual fall timeframe, with the 100th Air Refueling Wing as the recipient. Vice Chief of Staff General
Stephen “Seve” Wilson made the presentation, and a goodly number of 100th veterans were in attendance.
In November, the Foundation traveled to the Air Force Academy for the presentation of our Spaatz Award to former Secretary of the Air Force Donald Rice. This was our first “outside the beltway” event in a good many years. The setting was spectacular, and the dinner and festivities were enjoyed by all. This success insures there will no doubt be more events of this type “on the road” in our future.
In January at the Ft Myer Officer Club we presented our Holley Award to Dr. Mark Clodfelter of the National War College staff, a man who has spent his life writing the history of the United States Air Force. We were graced by the Chief of Staff David Goldfein acting as our presenting official. The Foundation presented him a picture of P-38 “White 33” on behalf of the National Museum of World War II Aviation. The artwork will hang in the Chief’s office through his tenure and beyond.
The success of these events has emboldened our Board to sustain this diversity going forward. We intend to increase our visibility via these, and at other award presentation venues.
The other major initiative this year was to improve our dated website. After a search for capable companies to conduct this, we chose Appnet to complete the process. As this is being written, this process is complete save the full upgrade of our digital archive of Air Power History issues. We hope that will be completed shortly.
If this portion of the report seems like a repeat of earlier years, this is due to our conditions remaining largely unchanged. While our newly established investment portfolio provides us the ability to survive far in the foreseeable future, it is not yet in position to defray significant portions of our operating expenses. We have done much in the past several years to reduce costs and undertake initiatives to increase revenues. Further, the concurrent defense industry belt tightening in the current economic environment could not have come at a worse time for our sponsorship efforts. We currently run at a loss, which we have been covering by the income generated from our investment revenues and reducing the size of the principal.
Here is where we stand with only one month to go in our fiscal year:
FY 2016 Financial Report thru 4/302017
Dues $31,379 Salaries/Taxes $85,403
Corp Support $10,000 Air Power History $24,194
Ind Donations/Other $50,309 Overhead $12,987
Total $129,353 $148,558
Annual Budget $174,000
% Annual Budget 80.1%
Air Power History $24,194
% Annual Budget 85.4%
This might look better than it really is, as we had a $34,000 donation this year that we do not expect to have next year. Obviously, we do not want to continue drawing from our investments to cover expenses. Hence, we must continue to enhance our appeal to potential members and sponsors; and increase services for our membership. The bottom line: we need to develop programs to increase membership, stimulate contributions from sponsors, and keep our Air Force relationship relevant for today’s airmen, as well as help inspire those of the future.
Looking to the Future
Those of you who are familiar with our organization probably know that we have struggled to survive—almost since our inception. This is no longer the case. Our long-term existence is no longer in doubt—and we will remain an integral part of the air power landscape. However, our newly established solvency merely gives us the "runway" to grow into the organization as envisioned by my predecessors as leaders of this organization, which included Spaatz, Vandenberg, Foulois, and LeMay.
Our message is that AFHF will remain a strong, independent voice within our air power community, filling a special role of promoting the legacy of airmen, and educating future generations to aspire to follow in the monumental footsteps of those who “soared before.” Your Board of Directors is committed that our Foundation will remain a viable, dynamic organization worthy of your investment and support.
End of Tour
As I conclude my eight-year tour as your president and chairman, I am pleased with the progress we have made. Among them:
· Secured resources to insure a long future
· Upgraded our awards program to include the Doolittle Award, which ties us much closer to the active force
· Strengthened recognition of the Foundation by the continued excellence of Air Power History and our quality awards program, an expansion of social network communication, and an upgraded website
· Improved our stewardship via changes to bylaws, developing a board members handbook, and greater financial oversight
We realize that many worthy causes continually beseech each of us for support. We would hope that in light of our now-bright future, that we might find a place somewhere on your personal priority list of further support, giving, or bequeathing. With the next level of support, we intend to prove even more worthy of increased appeal by expanding our services, outreach, and value to our air power community.
As always, let me thank you for the part each of you has played in the history and legacy of air power across the decades, and for your generous contributions to the Foundation. Without your support we could not survive. We are deeply grateful—and this annual report is respectfully submitted for your review and feedback as you deem appropriate. Respectfully submitted.
Major General, USAF, Retired
President and Chairman of the Board