The U.S. Air Force Academy is a unique institution -- one of lasting value to the Air Force and to the nation. Although it is a government owned and operated institution of higher learning, the Academy depends on private funding to support military, academic, athletic, and character development areas of excellence along with a few institutional advancement and support programs.
Fortunately, as the Academy has matured, it has attracted more philanthropic activity. Graduates, national and community leaders, retired servicemembers and friends who believe in the Academy and its objectives have been generous, and several private nonprofit organizations exist to provide financial support to the institution.
Increased private funding is essential to help the Air Force Academy enhance the cadet experience through "margin of excellence" funding. To provide continuity and support to these organizations and friends giving private support, the Development and Strategic Engagement was established and chartered with "creating and maintaining an environment where friendship or a gift to the Academy is a desirable, positive, and on-going experience." As such, the office is responsible for coordinating efforts among organizations, ensuring standardized recognition of friends and donors and proper stewardship of those gifts and gift properties received.