What is an Endowment?
An Endowment is a broad term used to describe the total of one or more endowed funds, including true or permanent endowment funds and quasi-endowed funds.
What is an Endowed Fund?
An endowed fund is a charitable gift established in perpetuity in which the principal is invested for total return and a small portion of the fund’s balance (usually 4-5%) is paid out, usually annually, for the purposes defined by the donor or in the endowment agreement. The intent is for the total return of the fund to exceed the payout over the long term and therefore the fund will remain in perpetuity. An organization may have several endowed funds in its endowment, established by one or more donors and for one or more purposes. In NC, endowments are governed by the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act.
What types of Endowed Funds are there?
- True or Permanent Endowment Funds. Gifts received from donors that have stated the gift is to be held permanently as an endowment, either for general or specific purposes as identified in writing. This may also include gifts to existing True/Permanent Endowment Funds. The corpus of such funds is protected by the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA). The Huber Fund is a true endowment.
- Quasi-Endowment Funds. This may also be referred to as Funds Functioning as Endowment. These are funds restricted by the decision of the governing body, not the donor (in our case, the Vestry) to treat the fund as if it were an endowment. This includes gifts from donors to an existing quasi-endowment fund (Legacy Fund). Because the governing body may vote in the future to change the terms of this fund and spend the corpus, it is not a true or permanent endowment, but referred to as a quasi-endowment. It functions like a true endowment but is not protected by UPMIFA like a true or permanent endowment. The Legacy Fund is a quasi-endowment.
What is UPMIFA?
UPMIFA is the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and provides guidance on investment decisions and endowment expenditures for non-profits and charitable organizations and is the law in 49 states, including NC. All permanent endowment funds are governed by UPMIFA.
Why are Endowments important?
Non-profit organizations establish endowments to provide permanent sources of funds that can be used for decades and provide revenue that is stable and reliable amid the uncertainty of other revenue streams and may support unexpected needs/expenses that arise. For example, when organizations like St. Paul’s have physical facilities that need attention, maintenance or renovation that can be significant, the endowment distribution can be an important resource to assist in meeting those needs.
Can I create a new endowed fund for a specific purpose that I define?
Yes, as long as it meets the Gift Acceptance Policy of the organization, which will include the size and type (real estate, cash, securities etc.) of the proposed gift. For St. Paul’s, the gift or gifts must total $100,000 to establish a separate endowment for a specific purpose. Gifts smaller than $100,000 should be directed to existing endowment funds that most closely align with your desired purpose. Please contact someone on the Endowment Committee for more information on establishing a separate endowment fund.
Can I make a gift of real estate?
Yes, as long as it meets the requirements of the Gift Acceptance Policy. The St. Paul’s Endowment & Investment Committee serves as the Gifts Review Committee and will review any proposed gift. Please contact a member of St. Paul’s Endowment & Investment Committee if you have questions about a gift of real estate.
How do I designate my gift to the Endowment?
If you would like to make a contribution to St. Paul’s Endowment, please note this on your check or otherwise notify the church office of your designation. If you want the contribution to go specifically to the Legacy Fund or Huber Fund, please note this accordingly in writing. Contributions to the Endowment or specifically to either fund do not satisfy Annual Commitment pledges, which is a separate designation from endowment contributions. If you have any questions, please contact a member of the Endowment Committee. Click here to learn about the Annual Commitment Campaign or to make a pledge.
How are gifts to the Endowment stewarded?
All donations to St. Paul’s Endowment are thoughtfully and professionally invested and overseen by the Vestry and the Endowment Committee with the guidance of financial and legal experts. The Vestry has recently adopted best practice polices, including Spending Policy, Disposition of Bequest Policy, Donor-Restricted Funds Policy and Gift Acceptance Policy.