The Aero Club established a tax exempt (501)(c)(3) foundation -- the Aero Club Foundation of Washington – in 1995. Members of the Aero Club's Board of Governors and its officers serve as the members of the Board of Directors and officers, respectively, of the Aero Club Foundation of Washington.
The Foundation was established to assume and expand the Aero Club’s efforts to support aviation education programs at public schools in the District of Columbia. It was expected that a tax-exempt foundation would encourage corporations, individuals, and associations to make tax-exempt contributions to the Club's efforts on behalf of aviation education.
The kick-off event for the Foundation was a "Celebration of Aviation" held at Washington D.C.’s National Airport in September 1998. The event, held at the Signature Flight Support facility, was widely attended and included a static display of modern and classic aircraft. Its success enabled the Foundation to sponsor three separate aviation education initiatives in 1999.
Since then, the Foundation has been active in sponsoring a number of initiatives that support and foster aviation education in five District of Columbia public schools: TransSTEM Academy at Cardozo High, McKinley Technical High, Stuart-Hobson Middle, Washington Math Science and Technology Public Charter, and Deal Middle.
Here is a list of selected initiatives the Foundation has supported:
- Summer aviation career camp in conjunction with the US Naval Sea Cadets Corps
- Learning the art of aircraft restoration at the National Air & Space Museum’s Garber Facility
- Summer jobs program at Air & Space
- Annual ‘Kick-off’ at Air & Space, with inspirational aviation leaders
- Field trips to a number of sites around the Washington Capital Area – including Washington Airports Authority at National Airport, Discovery of Flight Foundation in Warrenton, VA, Federal Aviation Administration Route Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, VA, 459th Reserve Air Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Airport, Signature Flight Support at Dulles, Women Fly it Forward in Frederick, MD, flying with Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles in Winchester, VA, and trips on JetBlue Airlines to John F. Kennedy Airport, NY
- Brown Bag lunches at TransSTEM Academy
- Attendance at monthly Aero Club lunches and annual Wright Memorial Dinner
Fundraising is crucial to the success of the Foundation. The focus in this area has been individual members of the Aero Club and Washington-based aerospace trade associations that are allied with the Aero Club. The Foundation solicits contributions to its endowment fund as well as to its annual fund.
These organizations have made contributions to the Aero Club Foundation so far in 2012: