Health—General & Rehabilitative

Challenge Air for Kids & Friends

Dallas, TX


Challenge Air enables thousands of special needs children to experience the wonderful freedom of flight that many only dream about. Since its founding in Dallas in 1993, Challenge Air has organized educational aviation experiences in 36 states involving over 31,000 special children and their families. The Challenge Air experience inspires these children and their families to see way beyond their perceived limitations. The events are designed for the purpose of giving these young people a chance and a choice to see the world from a different view - a view from the sky! In addition to providing an exceptional educational experience for children with physical challenges, Challenge Air's unique aviation program raises community awareness of the needs of these children. Challenge Air encourages community involvement by inviting volunteers to help make these events truly special for the children who take part.

Ruling Year


Chief Operating Officer

Ms. April Culver

Event Program Director

Juliet Siddons

Main Address

8001 Lemmon Ave. Hangar 2, Suite 280

Dallas, TX 75209 USA


children, disabilities, special needs, recreation, aviation, youth, flying, flight, wheelchair, aeronautics,





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Challenge Air Fly Day

8 to 10 Fly Day Events per year

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Program Goals:
1) To improve the quality of life for children/youth and families with special needs

2) Arouse children/youth with special needs to be excited about learning and inspired about their future

3) Educate children/youth about the aviation industry and encourage them to consider occupational roles other than the customary ones to which they are generally directed

4) Involve and promote civic and community engagement

5) Create an environment for peer interaction for children/youth with special needs.

6) Promote local organizational resources to families with special needs

1. Develop a measurement of success matrix for Fly Day activities. Periodically review matrix data and create a summary report to be presented to the full board at the annual meeting or such other time as specified by the Board.
2. Evaluate the current Fly Day experience then define new tools, resources and processes that will improve the overall experience for participates and volunteers.
3. Work with CAKF CEO to develop a one, three and five year plan for Fly Day growth. The plan should include:
a. Defining types of programs to be offered
b. Develop strategies for expanding the Fly Day experience to new markets
c. Define financial objectives for the Fly Day programs
4. Reviews requests from new locations and existing requests to hold Fly-Days and determines whether they should be hosted or not.
5. Mentor and assist local committees, in conjunction with staff, for capabilities and adherence to CAKF milestones as outlined on the program planning timeline to conduct a safe and rewarding program for participants, pilots and volunteers.

The Committee shall be composed of three or more trustees, as determined by the Board of Trustees, each of whom shall meet the independence requirements required by law and the relevant charitable statutes and requirements. The Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director and Finance Chair shall be ex-officio members of the committee.

At each fly day, participants, families, sponsors, pilots and agencies are given the opportunity to fill our a satisfaction survey. They are offered a paper copy or they can participate on Survey Monkey. These surveys are used to determine the success of the program as well as the challenges and areas that need improvement.

After each Fly Day, the committee meets to evaluate survey results and discuss strengths and areas that need improvement.

External Reviews


Challenge Air for Kids & Friends

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?