At the donor’s direction, gifts of $100,000 can either be spent immediately or endowed. Endowed gifts are held in perpetuity and invested by the university with an emphasis on long-term growth. The Board of Trustees meets annually to determine what percentage of endowment income may be spent, generally between 4 and 5%.
Endowment values are revised quarterly based on the university’s internal investment market (EIP) performance. The Office of External Affairs receives updated endowment figures about one month after the close of each calendar quarter.
Every department has two responsibilities relating to endowments:
- Know your endowments. Every department possesses a binder filled with useful information about the history of their endowments. Because we are legally bound to the donor’s intent (and some endowments date back to the 19th century!), it is important to review all agreements. Periodic review of backup documents will ensure that annual payout is spent as the donor intended. For more information, see Donor Relations.
- Spend the funds in accordance with donor intent. Endowment gifts generate income every year that must be spent promptly. The Office of External Affairs and the Business Office review endowment payout accounts frequently to ensure that funds are spent and do not accumulate from year to year.
If you have any questions about the amounts that are available to spend from your department’s endowments, please contact the Office of External Affairs.