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Robertson Trust

Robertson Trust Keeps United States Soaring Teams Flying

Robbie RobertsonSince 1950 United States soaring teams have a proud tradition as representatives of our nation and our soaring community at World Gliding Championships.

Competitive soaring, the prospect of team membership and international competition builds participation in the sport, provides motivation to achieve at a higher level and pushes the boundaries of pilot skill and technology.

The Robertson Trust provides a stable funding source for United States soaring teams and is critical to their participation in World Gliding Championships. 

The Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund

The Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund, often referred to as the Robertson Trust, was established in 1988 by Donald Robertson and the Soaring Society of America to memorialize his son and top pilot, Robert "Robbie" Robertson who was tragically killed in a sailplane accident shortly after winning the 1986 U.S. 15-Meter National Championships.

The trust charter provides a dedicated source of funding to United States Soaring Teams participating in World Gliding Championships.

Through careful administration by the SSA Foundation Trustees and private contributions the Robertson Trust corpus has increased in size from the original $140,000 while providing critical support to United States Soaring Teams since its founding in 1988.

Why the Robertson Trust?

While many international competitors receive funding from their governments, our soaring teams are funded by two types of personal contributions - direct and perpetual.

Direct Contributions are available for use by the teams at their full value at time contributed while Perpetual Contributions to the Robertson Trust become part of the SSA Foundation to be managed and invested by the Foundation Trustees. The income from the invested funds provides perpetual support for generations of future U.S. Soaring Teams.

The Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund has an established track record of growth and service to the U.S. Soaring Teams since it was established in 1988. The trust's charter limits the use of the income from the Trust to funding U.S. Soaring Teams participation in FAI sanctioned World Soaring Championships. The Foundation Trustees have provided excellent long term guidance and are dedicated to seeing that the charter is honored. 

 Charter - Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund

The Robertson Trust Charter as agreed between Robbie's father, Donald Robertson, and the Soaring Society of America is really very simple. The following is the full and complete text of the Charter of the Robert Robertson Memorial Team Fund. 


Founding Robertson Trust Document...

The undersigned on behalf of Donald Robertson, hereby creates a trust under the provisions of Art XI of the bylaws of the Soaring Society of America as now exist or may hereafter be amended.

1. The trust shall be known as the ROBERT ROBERTSON MEMORIAL TEAM FUND.

2. The initial principal sum is $140,000.00

3. The purpose of this contribution is to provide income under the administration of the SSA Trustees for the use of the U.S. World Soaring Team in world competition in honor and memory of Robert L. Robertson. 


4. The principal may not be invaded. Only the income may be used for the purposes of the trust and for permitted administrative expenses and reinvestment.

5. The power of investment shall include the powers provided under the SSA bylaws and may include lending of funds on short term on adequate security to provide needed interim financing for team member participation in the then next World Soaring Championships.

6. In the event of permanent cessation of World Soaring Championships, the trustees shall dispose of the trust assets for the benefit of soaring and in furtherance of the charter purposes of the SSA. In no event shall the trust assets be distributed among the members of the SSA, the Trustees, or to the donor.

Granted this day of 1988



Administration Of The Robertson Trust 

With the establishment of the Robertson Trust in 1988, by Robbie's father, Donald Robertson, the initial $140,000 contribution was invested by the Trustees of the Soaring Society of America. The Trustees determined, in consultation with Team Managers and SSA staff, how much money to allocate every two years to help offset the cost of fielding US Soaring Teams. The general guideline was to preserve the corpus of the Trust Fund, and allocate the "earnings" to Team funding requirements as per the endowment's charter.

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 management of endowment and trust type funds. The Robertson Trust, as part of the SSA Foundation, provides contributors with an independent foundation managed by trustees providing for long-term security and stability while bringing the internal discipline necessary to preserve and manage long term endowments. This means that contributions to the Robertson Trust will be working to field US World Soaring Teams for generations to come. 

The Trustees have established the general guideline of making available from the applicable Trust funds about 5% per year for operations, intending that this would preserve the corpus of the funds, and hopefully provide some of the income and capital gain flowing back into the funds for further growth. This would be applicable to the Robertson Fund as one of the Trust Funds. The Wood Trust Fund has also been established for US Soaring Teams use, and the above is applicable to it, as well.

In 2006 the U.S. Team Committee and the SSA Trustees have established a memo of understanding with regard to the amount and timing of payments to the team from the Robertson Trust. This memo simply restates long held practices and cleans up how funds are transferred to the team.



Performance of the Robertson Trust and US Team Endowments may be viewed within the Soaring Society of American Foundation Aggregate Statement of Funds Under Management as of 06/30/2017, page 2 of 5.

Soaring Society of America, US Team Robertson Trust
 P.O. Box 2100, Hobbs, NM 88241-2100


Posted: 1/25/2018

US Team 

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