Annual Report 1994


President's Message

ANNE D. NEAL, President

Twenty-five years! In 1994, Sabre Foundation celebrated a quarter century's work on behalf of the philosophy and practice of free institutions. During that time, we have attempted to live up to our name. We have focussed on the "cutting edge": supporting innovative projects as well as independent thinkers and writers--in work that would not otherwise have been accomplished.

At this important juncture in our institutional life, we are pleased to find ourselves more mature, more experienced and--we hope--ever more responsive to changing needs.

By year-end 1994, Sabre had received for donation 2,048,180 books with a fair market value of $59.2 million since the book program began in 1986. Sabre had established book donation programs with local partners in 15 countries. And by year-end, Sabre was taking special pride in the growing importance of its Technical Assistance Project, which has expanded the concept of book donation to include delivery of electronic information to sites in the former Soviet Union using the resources available on the Internet.

Meanwhile, in a move toward self-sufficiency, libraries in six countries committed more than half a million dollars of their own funds to Sabre's three-year program for subscriptions to advanced scientific and medical journals.

As this annual report illustrates, Sabre continues to seek new ways to use scarce resources and to leverage their impact-in partnerships with other non-profit groups, in reduced-cost purchase services, in in-country translation and publication, and in meeting special emergency situations.

But as we look back, we also look ahead to new challenges and developments.

And key to our vision is a touching and noteworthy "birthday surprise"--the establishment of an endowment fund through the generous and inspiring gift of some $41,000 in mutual funds from a Sabre friend, Mr. Alfred Strouts of Coos Bay, Oregon.

Just a year ago, upon receiving our 1993 annual report, Mr. Strouts inquired whether Sabre would "consider an endowment fund so that others could see their contributions do more good over a longer period." "Since I am legally blind," wrote Mr. Strouts, "I was deprived of a formal education and I tend to appreciate the difference it makes for others."

Thanks to Mr. Strouts, Sabre can now bring a longer-term perspective to its activities. Through the establishment of the 25th Anniversary Endowment Fund and continued support from donors following Mr. Strouts' lead, Sabre can use unrestricted income from the Fund to undertake initiatives not possible under project-oriented grants.

Advent of this endowment fund, coupled with continuation of our existing projects, expands the horizons of Sabre's activities as we look ahead to our next twenty-five years.

To sustain all these programs, Sabre of course continues to depend upon the unstinting help of its partner organizations as well as individuals, agencies and foundations in the United States and abroad. As in years past, Sabre is especially grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William H. Donner Foundation, Whitehead Foundation, and numerous other individuals, private associations and in-kind donors for their support. To mark our twenty-fifth anniversary, we were pleased to host a dinner celebration in New York honoring John C. Whitehead for his work on behalf of Sabre and philanthropy in general.

Celebration must be coupled with concern, however. As we look to the years ahead, private contributions that help sustain Sabre's work may be all the more crucial if the United States Information Agency holds to its announced intention to end participation in book donation programs worldwide after 1995. While some announced USIA cuts have already been restored, and AID shipping funds have been increased modestly, Sabre is well aware that the federal funding of book programs is imperilled and will depend on bipartisan Congressional support.

Twenty-five years after its inception, Sabre thus finds itself facing new challenges and rapidly changing requirements and needs. With your continued support, we look forward to helping shape the philosophy and practice of free institutions into the next century.

ANNE D. NEAL, President

Tibetan students at the Namgyal Higher Secondary School in Gokarna, Nepal, recipients of textbooks in a Sabre-assisted program.