The Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF)

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About Us

Executive Director's Remarks - Winter 2018

The Tailhook Educational Foundation is a charitable nonprofit California corporation created in February 1992. The Foundation's charter is "to educate the nation's public with regard to the history and present day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country's national security." The main activities of the Foundation are:

  • To support the Tailhook Association
  • To provide scholarships to qualified applicants
  • To distribute The Hook magazine to schools throughout the nation at no cost to the schools
  • To support the Tailhook Association membership, sponsors and Naval Aviation leadership

TEF Scholarships:

  • The TEF minimum scholarship is $2,500 per grant per year. Funding a TEF scholarship is achieved in 2 ways:

    • Perennial scholarships: Donations equaling $50,000 to any single named scholarship will generate an annual $2,500 grant perpetually.
    • Pass-through scholarships: Donations equaling $2,500 or more to any single scholarship to fund a specific grant for that year.
  • TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually ranging from $2,500 to $15,000 per year.. A number of our annual scholarships are awarded to students pursuing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.

Scholarship Eligibility:

To be eligible for consideration for a Tailhook Educational Foundation scholarship, an individual must be a high school graduate and the natural, step, or adopted son, daughter or grandchild of a current or former (U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Coast Guard) Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Naval Aircrewman. Also eligible are individuals or children/grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier in ship's company or an embarked staff. Eligible applicants must be accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college. 

Ways to Donate to TEF:

1. Write TEF a Check and Mail it to:

Tailhook Educational Foundation
9696 Businesspark Avenue
San Diego CA 92131-1643
TEF Tax ID Number: 33-048778

2. Use a credit card for their donation: This is accomplished online by using the TEF Credit Card donation link or, by calling our TEF offices at (858) 689-9226 with credit card data.

3. Planned giving bequests to TEF: There are many ways to use TEF’s Planned Giving Program. Donors can set aside bequests by naming a dollar amount or estate percentage intended for the TEF in your trust or will, or you can donate specific property/ stocks/ bonds/ IRA holdings also via your trust or will. Our TEF staff and financial planner are happy to discuss the myriad of options available for you include TEF in your estate planning. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our planned giving program.

Two Planned Giving examples are listed below:

Highly Appreciated Securities (HAS):

  • 1. Instruct your brokerage firm to transfer the desired position (i.e. 100 shares XYZ Company) to the “Tailhook Educational Foundation DTC 0443 Account 06H-278183.”
  • 2. Notify the Tailhook Educational Foundation via phone or email of your intended gift.
  • 3. Expect the transfer to be completed within two business days of providing your broker the required notification. TEF will provide pertinent valuation information regarding your charitable contribution once the transfer is complete.

Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD); a Tax-Saving Way to Help the TEF:

  • A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a direct transfer of funds from your IRA custodian, payable to a qualified charity such as our Foundation. QCDs can be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year, as long as certain rules are met. In addition to the benefits of giving to charity, a QCD excludes the amount donated from taxable income, which is unlike regular withdrawals from an IRA. Keeping your taxable income lower may reduce the impact to certain tax credits and deductions, including Social Security and Medicare.


While many IRAs are eligible for QCDs—Traditional, Rollover, Inherited, SEP (inactive plans only), and SIMPLE (inactive plans only) —there are requirements:

  • You must be 70½ or older to be eligible to make a QCD;
  • QCDs are limited to the amount that would otherwise be taxed as ordinary income. This excludes non-deductible contributions;
  • The maximum annual amount that can qualify for a QCD is $100,000. This applies to the sum of QCDs made to one or more charities in a calendar year. (If, however, you file taxes jointly, your spouse can also make a QCD from his or her own IRA within the same tax year for up to $100,000.);
  • For a QCD to count towards your current year’s RMD, the funds must come out of your IRA by your RMD deadline, generally December 31.

Donations: I want to DONATE NOW.

All donations to the Tailhook Educational Foundation are fully tax deductible as charitable contributions.

The Foundation scholarship program has awarded over 100 scholarships annually over the past few years. These grants assist the children, grandchildren of former and current aviators and carrier based crewmembers, as well as former enlisted personnel studying in the many fields of undergraduate higher education.

DONATIONS IN LIEU OF SENDING FLOWERS - donate to The Tailhook Educational Foundation in lieu of sending flowers to a memorial event.

HOOK A SCHOLAR GiveDirect - recurring donation to the Tailhook Educational Foundation

With the GiveDirect credit card processing, a low 4% service fee is taken on your Credit Card donation. Your Tailhook Educational Foundation receives the other 96% of your gift. You can also opt to pay the service fee yourself.

The HOOK A SCHOLAR button allows members to make automatic recurring donations. Be sure to select the “recurring donation” option under Donation Preferences.

Shop Amazon Smile and you will Automatically donate .5% to the Tailhook Educational Foundation

HOOK-TO-SCHOOL Program: TEF’s Ongoing Educational Opportunity to Partner with Schools

As part of our ongoing educational program, we send over 1000 quarterly copies of the “The Hook” magazine to High schools and colleges throughout the United States. Many of these magazines go to NROTC and NJROTC units and they are paid for by your Tailhook Educational Foundation.

We need your help to expand the distribution of the Hook magazine to more high schools and colleges. Please visit the Hook to School Link and support a high school or college in your area or leave it to the Tailhook Educational Foundation staff to assign your support to a school in a remote area.

TEF Points of Contact:
TEF Executive Director (ED): Captain Rodger Welch, USN (Ret)
(858) 689-9223 ext.16

TEF Executive Assistant (EA): Ms. Beth Rollins
(858) 689-9226 ext.11

TEF Financial Advisor: Mr. Richard S. Carlquist, AIF® CFP®
(619) 297-9727 ext. 102

Tailhook Association (THA) Executive Director (ED): Captain Greg “Chaser” Keithley, USN (Ret)
(800) 269-8267 ext. 15

CFC Campaign Number: 10251

The Tailhook Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation ©2017,
9696 Businesspark Ave.
San Diego, CA 92131
(858) 689-9223 / (800) 322-4665
TEF Tax ID Number: 33-048778

Tailhook Educational Foundation Donors