How does US Team
funding compare with our international competitors?
Unlike many European teams the United
States Soaring Teams receives no government assistance and must rely
on donations and private funding to participate in the world gliding
championships. This hand-to-mouth existence has allowed the US
Soaring Team to participate on only the thinnest of margins in years
past. The advent of new FAI sanctioned teams has stretched the
funding of our teams to the breaking point.
How much money
does the Roberson Trust need to fix the US Team Funding Problem?
Any amount helps! The 2000-01 US
Soaring Teams will field five teams, in six classes, with 15 pilots,
17 crew members and 15 gliders. The typical total team cost on a per
pilot basis for sending a U.S. pilot & crew to a World Championships, depending
on the location, is between $8,000 and $15,000. This amount covers
team airfare, entry fees, glider rental or shipping, accommodations,
contest fees, tows and other team expenses. So the US Teams need
between $120,000 and $225,000 for the 2000-01 season. About 25% of
these funds will come from the SSA Sweepstakes. This means that the
Robertson and Woods Funds, along with cash donations, fund raisers and
merchandise sales will be called on to supply a large part of
the remainder or between $60,000 and $112,000. Obviously the Trust is
not currently funded to a level that can support this effort. Robertson
What is the SSA
the Robertson Trust develop?
The Robertson Trust is one of
several trusts and endowments administered by the SSA Foundation. In 1997,
the Soaring Society of America (SSA) established the SSA Foundation as a
unique entity with its own operating by-laws and officers specifically
to solicit, manage and distribute endowment type funds held by the SSA.
The thinking behind the SSA Foundation was that an independent foundation
managed by trustees as gatekeepers would be the best way to
solicit and manage the various endowments held by the Soaring Society.
The clear corporate identity of the foundation structure provides
long-term security and stability to contributors while bringing the
internal discipline necessary to preserve and manage long term
endowments. This means that the income from your contribution to the
Robertson Trust will be sending US Team pilots to World Soaring
Championships for generations to come.
The SSA Foundation has six Trustees, including, Doug Jacobs, Bill Sproull,
Sterling Starr, Jim Short, Dick Hall and John Seaborn. Trustees hold annual
meetings at the SSA convention. More
Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund was established in 1988 to memorialize the late
Robbie Robertson who
was tragically killed in a sailplane accident shortly after winning the 1986
15-Meter National Championships. The Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund, often
referred to as the Robertson Trust, was established by Robbie's father, Donald
Robertson and the Soaring Society of
America to provide a strictly dedicated corpus of funding the income from which
would be used to help fund the United States Soaring Teams
participation in sanctioned World Soaring Championships. More
Why is funding the
Robertson Trust happening
Seeing the critical need of US
Soaring Teams for long term funding strategy a group of concerned US
pilots have taken on the task of helping to build the Robertson
Trust. John Seaborn was appointed by the SSA Executive Committee to
become the Robertson Trust Campaign Manager for 2002.
Why are the United States World Teams
The World Gliding Championships are
the highest expression of competitive soaring. The possibility of
world team membership encourages pilots of all levels and from
around the globe to strive to be their best. This effort can only
energize the overall soaring movement. Beyond the individual and the
sport comes the nation. The United States and our nations ideals are held
high when we field successful, fully funded teams, at World
Will my donation to the
Robertson Trust amount to anything?
The point of the Robertson Trust is to create and preserve a permanent fund that
will sponsor US Soaring teams for generations to come. Any
contribution amount is welcome. Every effort is
made to keep administrative costs to an absolute minimum. More
Does adequate funding
equal world team success?
hundreds of variables which effect the outcome of a World Gliding
Championships. If you believe that funded, well managed US
Soaring Teams are in a better position to win a World Gliding
Championships than an under funded "limp-along" teams - please
US Soaring teams have
much lately, why participate in the trust?
Reliable team funding encourages
competitive participation by both pilots and team management. The
Robertson Trust insures that not only today's best US pilots have a
chance to compete at the world level but future talented pilots as
If team members are
well off should they be paying their own way?
No. The team is open to all
participants who, through talent, drive, hard work and no small amount
of sacrifice earn the right to represent the United States at the
World Gliding Championships. True, some team members have been
financially successful, but selection to a US team is performance based
only. Past team members have included teachers, architects, welders
and many other professions. With the addition of the Club, World and Junior class, the world
championship dream is available to a wide spectrum of US soaring
pilots. There is little more discouraging than winning a place on a
U.S. Team only to be faced with a $10,000 bill for participating. Our
best pilots will loose interest if championship participation means a
huge personal bill. Meaningful team funding helps keep this dream alive.
Can I donate equipment to the trust?
You bet! The Robertson Trust accepts equipment at fair market value. Proceeds from the
sale of the equipment will in turn be donated to the trust in the
name of the original donor. Contact the Trust Manager for more
Can I donate stock and other
securities to the United States Soaring Team Trust?
YES! There are tangible tax
advantages to donating stock and securities to the Trust. Contact the
Trust Manager for more information.
What is the tax status of the trust?
Donations to the Robertson Trust
are fully tax deductible under the 503.1B rules. See your tax
Who manages the trust?
In 1997, the Soaring Society of America established the Soaring Society
of America Foundation as a unique entity with its own operating by-laws
and officers, specifically to facilitate the raising of endowment type
funds through planned giving and other contribution mechanisms, for the
various SSA Trust funds. The Foundation assumed the management of the
SSA Trust Funds with the intent of mounting a strong fund-raising effort
for the Foundation. More
Are there fees
associated with managing the Robertson Trust?
All SSA trustees and managers are
volunteers. The funds are managed in accordance with the trust's charter by
an approved professional money management firm who may charge a small
Can the trustís design or purpose
ever be changed?
NO! The charter of the Robertson
Trust is established to prevent any change in purpose or design. When you
donate to the Robertson Trust you can be assured
your funds will be working for the team permanently.
Will my donation to the trust be
Yes, if that is your wish.
Just check the box on the contribution form and your name will appear
on this web site. More
How much has already been given to
Starting with the initial $140,000
donation of Donald Robertson in 1988. More
Can my estate donate to the trust?
Absolutely! A simple line in your
will allows you to donate to the Robertson Trust from your Estate. If you wish to
donate out of your estate the Trust Manager can assist you in setting
I contribute? How much to
These are among the first questions we
tend to ask
when a contribution letter ends up on our desks. In the case of the
Robertson Trust the first decision, to contribute, might be an easy one as the perpetual nature
of the trust is a way to give a little back to the competitive
international aspect of
our sport. See the handy
to contribute is a different question. There have been $10,000
contributions pledged to the Roberson and there have been contributions
for $100. Donald Robertson put up $140,000.
A long-term strategy may be the way to
look at it.
two years United States soaring teams travel to compete internationally.
Only a mix of direct contributions and perpetual trust income will make
this possible. Participating in the SSA sweepstakes, buying a raffle
ticket at contest or sending a check are all examples of direct
contributions so critical to fielding our soaring teams.
Perpetual trust income has become
increasingly important to fielding our teams internationally. So
a long term plan might incorporate comfortable direct contribution every two years
and larger perpetual, trust based, contributions with less frequency.
How much to contribute is determined by each of our individual
What are the ways I can participate?
The Robertson Trust
accepts cash donations, securities, estate gifts and specific
equipment all on a tax deductible basis.
Can a business donate to the Trust?
Donations can be done in the name of
a business and receive the same tax deduction as personal donations.
Soaring Society of
America, US Team Robertson Trust
P.O. Box 2100, Hobbs, NM 88241-2100
Contact John Seaborn
2002 Campaign Manager -