The impact you create by partnering with Angel Flight West is profound. People need many things when they are very sick. We help fill a gap in the vast health care landscape for which there are few alternatives: transportation.
We’re really good at finding people who want to give their time and flying skills, and finding those sick people who need help, and connecting them. Making that connection is what we do, and when we’re successful, each $1 donated to Angel Flight West generates $3 in in-kind donations by our members and airline sponsors.
We want to do more, and help more people, so we’re looking for partners who can help us meet those goals. Please consider joining our members and airline sponsors as partners in arranging free transportation for medical treatment and other compelling needs.
If you’re ready to become a partner now by making a donation, that’s great, thank you. Donate
Otherwise, you probably have questions. We’ve provided an FAQ below. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions that are not answered here, or if you want more information about Angel Flight West.
If the pilots donate all the costs of the flight, why do you need donations?
Believe it or not, it’s hard to give away a free service. We have to reach out to find people who need medical transportation and let them know that our services are available to them. When they contact us, we screen and vet them to make sure they meet our criteria. In fact, we refer more than 75% of people who call us. Once they are qualified, our mission coordination team secures a medical release from the passenger’s physician, helps find the pilots and coordinates the flights. Providing opportunities for our pilot members and airline partners to give of themselves requires a considerable amount of effort.
Specifically how do you spend your donated funds?
Where does your funding come from?
How will my donation translate into impact?
Our mission is to improve the health and well being of the people we serve. Many people go without health care that could save their lives or improve their quality of life due to lack of transportation. Research shows that transportation is the second most significant barrier to health care after cost. Your donation allows us to efficiently connect a person in need with an individual or corporate partner who is willing to provide the actual transportation at no cost. On average, the cost of the transportation is 3 times greater than our cost to connect passenger with charitable resource and coordinate the flight. So, your donation is leveraged 3x, and results in access to medical treatment that would not have been possible otherwise. That could mean the difference between life and death, or the difference between being able to work and permanent disability, or preventing more serious illness in the future, or one of many other ways medical treatment can have an enormous impact on someone’s life. Even for those of our passengers who do not survive, our flights give them hope, and a chance, and provide support for their family and caregivers along the way.
How do I know that your passengers have a genuine need for you charitable services?
All of our passengers are screened and vetted by our mission coordination team. Passengers must provide a reference who can verify their financial need. Our criteria are quite flexible, since we realize that a serious medical condition can create a dire financial strain, even for someone who was previously financially stable. A medical condition or the need for medical treatment can result in loss of employment, require a loved one to reduce work to provide care, and medical bills can strain a family’s finances even with health insurance. Also, since our pilots have direct contact with the passengers (which the coordination staff often does not), we survey the pilots after each flight, asking them specifically how interested they would be in flying this passenger again. We’re proud to say that on a scale of one to five, the average response to this question is 4.78 (as of December, 2014).
Is Angel Flight West sustainable?
Sustainability is a key concern for any non-profit. In addition to a number of funding sources that have remained consistent over the 31-year history, Angel Flight West strives to maintain a six month cash reserve. Angel Flight has also recently invested in new funding sources with long term potential, like the Endeavor Awards, and has launched innovative next generation funding mechanisms like its $50,0000 crowdfunding campaign for Giving Tuesday, 2015.
How do you measure the impact you have on people’s lives?
Our mission is to promote the health and well being of our passengers. We don’t provide health care services, and sadly, not all of our passengers survive their treatment. By providing access to medical treatment, we give our passenger a chance, and we give them hope. For some, it does make the difference between life and death. For some, it means a better quality of life. For everyone, including a passenger’s family, their medical team, and even our pilots, each flight is a testament to our willingness to help each other in a time of need. For an example of what we mean, please read about one person’s unique experience with Angel Flight West.
Do you have a Charity Navigator rating?
We are proud to have earned a three-star rating from Charity Navigator.
How do you justify the cost of private air transportation?
Angel Flight West always strives to make the best use of the resources provided by our donors, our pilots, and our airline partners. In many cases, our passengers live in rural areas not served by commercial airlines, or cannot fly commercially due to a compromised immune system. We utilize the combination of our pilot’s aircraft, piloting skills and their desire to give back, in combination with the generosity of our airline partners, to provide free transportation in the most efficient and economical way possible.
Is charitable aviation just a tax write-off for the 1%?
Our pilots come from all walks of life. Some are certainly in the 1%, but they all share a desire to combine their love of flying with a desire to use their skills and resources to help others.
Are your passengers satisfied with your service?
We survey our passengers after their flight to make sure that they are satisfied with our service, and we follow up with them if they are not satisfied. We are proud to have received consistently high ratings. You can see some of our more recent ratings here
Are there specific projects or initiatives for which you are raising funds?
We are developing a list that we hope to release in early 2016.
Do you have a five-year plan?
Yes. We believe, based on data we’ve collected from a number of sources, that we are only serving a small fraction of the people who could benefit from our services. We estimate the figure to be a low as 5-10%. We have an ambitious plan for raising that figure, but in order to meet these ambitious goals, we need the financial support of our funding partners.
Can I meet some of your passengers?
Please visit this page
to see a few profiles of recent passengers and requesters, and their testimonials.
What are the Endeavor Awards and how is Angel Flight West affiliated?
The Endeavor Awards were launched by Angel Flight West in 2014, to celebrate the accomplishments of all charitable aviation, and proceeds support a number of charitable aviation organizations across the county. For more information about the Endeavor Awards, please visit their web site
Do you have a wish list for items to be donated?
We are developing a list that we hope to release in early 2016.
Do you have a planned giving or bequest program?
Are financials, annual reports, and 990’s available for review on this web site?
Yes. This page
provides links to all our recent tax returns and annual reports.