The idea came up in the summer of 1991. We’d been computerized for over four years and doing our own programming, so this was something we knew we could — and should do. The name we chose was NRA Round-Up. The idea was to ask each Customer, when they mailed or called in an order, if they would round-up that order to the next higher dollar and allow us to send their money to the NRA to help defend the Second Amendment.
In November, we decided to ask the NRA for permission to use their name, though we were sure they wouldn’t mind. I’d been a life member since 1974, but had never met anyone from the NRA, so I just called the switchboard and started talking. The operator transferred me to Wayne Sheets (Director of Planning and Development), who listened politely, said it sounded like a good idea and invited me to attend an NRA Finance Committee meeting to be held on December 3, in St. Louis.
At that meeting I met Mr. Sheets, and also Wayne LaPierre, Bob Corbin (NRA president) and Jim Porter (future NRA president); and received verbal authority to use the NRA name with Round-Up. The official recipient was to be The NRA National Endowment for the Protection of the Second Amendment. The contributions would never be spent, only 5% would be taken out each year to protect the Second Amendment at the local, state or national level.
Our January 1992 flyer had a line for NRA Round-Up on the order form, and on January 2, 1992 we started asking Customers if they would like to round-up. As the phone calls rolled in, we were pleased to learn that over 80% of the Customers we asked said yes, and some even gave extra. One Customer (Claude Hendrix of Bakersfield, CA) called it “the second shot heard 'round the world.” Every week we mailed a check to NRA-ILA for the full amount of our Customers' contributions. Several years ago, someone came up with the idea of presenting a ceremonial check, at the NRA Annual Meetings, representing the total amount collected and sent to NRA-ILA, since 1992. That check gets more impressive every year.
2013 was the first year our Customers contributed over $1 million in a single year. The balance in the endowment now stands at $13,550,179.58, which will provide $677,508.97 this year alone to help protect the Second Amendment.