WHAT IS THE AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY?
Incorporated in 1942, Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) continues to meet the unique needs of Airmen and Guardians. AFAS works to support and enhance the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force missions by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, and community programs to Air Force and Space Force families. In 2021, AFAS provided over $13.5 million in assistance to more than 19,000 Air Force and Space Force families.
IS THE AIR FORCE AID SOCIETY AN OFFICIAL USAF OR USSF ORGANIZATION?
WHERE DOES THE AFAS GET ITS FUNDING?
The AFAS has always relied on individual donations to fund its activities. Air Force and Space Force members have generously contributed to the Society throughout its 80-year history. Early donations funded emergency assistance programs and allowed the Society to put some money aside in an investment fund for contingencies and future program growth. That investment fund now earns income which is used to supplement annual contributions so that all emergency assistance needs can be met, education programs can be strengthened, and community enhancement initiatives can thrive.
WHY ISN’T AFAS PART OF THE CFC?
DO DONATIONS COVER ALL AFAS ASSISTANCE DISBURSEMENTS EACH YEAR?
HOW MUCH OF DONATED DOLLARS IS SPENT ON AFAS PROGRAMS?
Every dollar donated to the Society supports our emergency assistance, education grant, and community enhancement programs. In 2021, AFAS provided nearly $13.5 million in total support to Air Force and Space Force families. For every dollar donated in 2021, the Society dedicated three dollars in assistance to Airmen and Guardians. In order to close this spending gap, the Society relies on the repayment of interest-free loans and the income earned on the Society’s investment portfolio. This allows the Society to satisfy 100% of emergency assistance requirements in addition to funding the education grant and community enhancement programs. The return generated by the Society’s investment portfolio also funds the staffing and other operating costs necessary to run the organization’s national headquarters office in Arlington, Virginia.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU KEEP IN RESERVE?
The Air Force Aid Society has worked hard over the years to maintain a reserve fund that adequately supports the level of program services it provides. These funds are subject to the careful oversight of the AFAS Board of Trustees and the AFAS Headquarters managerial staff with professional oversight provided by a third party investment advisor hired to help manage the portfolio. Income generated by investing the Society’s reserve funds is critical to maintaining the current level of program spending. To bridge the spending gap between the annual cost of the Society’s programs and operations, which averages approximately $15 million per year, and the $6 million in donations it receives each year, the Society must pull approximately $9 million from its investment reserves to break even. The Society’s reserve fund also provides the flexibility to adapt to change and the ability to assist with significant unforeseen emergencies such as natural disasters or government shutdowns. To support military families affected by Hurricane Michael in Florida, the Society was able to provide $6.5 million of support in 2018 using regular reserve spending and by pulling additional funds from the reserve portfolio. As a result, at the end of 2018 the Society’s investment portfolio and operating cash holdings dropped to just short of $182.5 million.
HOW MANY AIR FORCE AND SPACE FORCE PEOPLE DID THE SOCIETY HELP LAST YEAR?
Over 19,000 assists were provided to Air Force and Space Force families, totaling $13.5 million in total assistance last year.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AFAS ASSISTANCE?
- Active duty Air Force and Space Force members
- Active duty Air Force and Space Force dependents
- Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members and their dependents
- Retired Air Force or Space Force members and their dependents
- Dependent spouses and dependent-aged children of deceased Air Force or Space Force personnel (who died on active duty or in retired status)
HOW DO AIRMEN AND GUARDIANS APPLY FOR AFAS ASSISTANCE?
WHAT IF AN AIR FORCE OR SPACE FORCE MEMBER NEEDS HELP BUT ISN'T NEAR AN AIR FORCE OR SPACE FORCE BASE?
WHAT KIND OF ASSISTANCE DOES THE AFAS NORMALLY PROVIDE?
DOES THE SOCIETY HAVE ANY OTHER PROGRAMS?
IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THE AFAS HAS ACTIVE PROGRAMS AND AMBITIOUS GOALS. BUT WHO DO YOU REALLY HELP?
The numbers speak for themselves! In 2021, 94% of emergency assistance dollars was provided to the Active Force (including eligible Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard). Another 6% supported Air Force and Space Force retired and widowed persons.