We are long time supporters of the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. The reason we continue providing grants is the Team "stands head and shoulders" above other non-profits in maximizing and managing the impact of our donations. They utilize each dollar as if it is their personnel money (which says a lot).
We have seen the Museum truly blossom not only as a truly awesome home of historical aircraft but as a educational organization with its deep commitment to providing true context and depth in its exhibitions as well as in its STEM programs for kids and as a truly effective site preserver/restorer of grounds and facilities of major national historic importance.
The failure to post a current 990 sounds the alarm. But the 2012 Annual Report tells it all.
As a donor to many aviation museums, cause and a couple top –rated university flight programs I was introduced to this institution (PAMPH) by two highly professional fundraising experts who burst onto the scene with a keen knowledge and understanding of aviation and military history. The trust and relationship that grew due to these two fine fellows who were running the museum’s national campaign effort resulted in, over time, several significant gifts to what I thought was fast becoming a world-class aviation museum.
Sadly, however, an inept and insecure management team led to the harsh and sudden removal of these two professionals who single-handedly built an unparalleled successful nationwide major donor network that accounted for the museum’s steady growth and era of respectability within elite aviation circles.
The last year these two gents were on the job accounted for year-end revenues topping $10 million with a $4 million year-end surplus. Just one year later without these pros revenues were down to $5.7 million with a year-end balance $13 thousand in the hole – someone needs to be fired or removed from the Board of Directors!
This drastic “nose-dive” in funding the museum has experienced in 2012 (as indicated in the 2012 Annual Report) clearly reflects the loss of these fundraising pros and highlights the folly of poor leadership that has exhibited a total lack of any sound non-profit business experience.
What could have been a museum that had the attention and continued funding support of such defense industry giants as Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, General Atomics, GE Aviation and others is now lost.
Perhaps the most glaring laps of business judgment can be seen in the handling of the museum’s direct mail campaign. The new direction the museum is headed in can only be compared to the mismanagement of the Federal Government. Direct mail revenue, $1.4 million in 2011 dropped (off a cliff mind you) in 2012 to a dismal $157 thousand. Again, the removal of experienced non-profit pros highlights inept management decision-making – if I were a Board member I would demand someone be fired immediately!
Compounding the management woes was the decision to keep one of the “lower-valued” employees to carry on the national campaign effort. This resulted in a colossal miscalculation. This poor stooge when asked to explain the difference between a P-38 and a Lightning had no clue that they were actually the same aircraft. Over four years of relationship building and donor cultivation was erased overnight and the continuing effort by this buffoon only further removes any desire to donate in the future.
The lack of any significant future funding prospects from defense industry giants, the loss of high dollar aviation supporters such as myself, the total destruction of a successful direct mail operation, and the loss of respectability within the aviation community has dropped this museum from almost achieving world-class status to a “want-to-be hopeful” destine to remain in obscurity – do yourself a favor, enjoy Waikiki beach and stay away!
Review from Guidestar
It appears guidestar has the incorrect name, it should be the Pacific Aviation Museum. The website they have linked here is also incorrect, www.pacificaviationmuseum.org. The tax returns shown by guidestar are those of the Pacific Aviation Museum.