The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is a registered charity governed by a Royal Charter and Schedule of Rules effective from 1st September 1996 with subsequent updates. The Association is registered with both the Charity Commission, covering branches in England and Wales, and, separately, with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Our branches fundraise on their own behalf and on behalf of the central charity. Monies raised by the branches in respect of the annual Wings Appeal are transmitted to the central charity.
The Association works closely with the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund (RAFBF) and manages the three jointly-funded respite care homes. The Association is also a member of the Confederation of Service Charities (COBSEO).
The RAF Association is governed by a Board of 21 Trustees (Central Council) who are responsible for the governance and control of the affairs of the Association and the administration of all its property and income. An Annual Conference is held each year and resolutions to change the rules of the Association may be made by Branches. The Trustees must abide by these decisions unless they believe that it is to the financial detriment of the Association.
All Trustees give their time voluntarily and receive no benefits from the charity.
The Central Council meet six times a year, attended by the Trustees, the Vice-President and Executive Directors as required.
The Council delegates some responsibility to the Executive Board which meets six times a year (presently suspended for a trial period of 12 months commencing May 2012) and is subordinate to the Central Council, operating with its own terms of reference. The Association also has an Investment Committee that sets investment objectives, reviews investment performance and makes recommendations about the investment of surplus funds. It reports to the Executive Board and meets twice a year.
The Secretary General (Chief Executive) and directors manage and administer the Association on a daily basis and are supported by a number of Area Headquarters that exercise devolved functions in support of the Central Headquarters. The Area Headquarters work with their Area Councils and coordinate the activities of the branches within their area.
The Association has a trading company called RAFATRAD Limited, which publishes a quarterly journal (Air Mail) for members and sells commemorative items and memorabilia.