Once your Fund has been established, the first challenge is to attract initial donations and reach the $20,000 level required for the fund to meet the minimum standard for one of the Foundation’s endowment funds, and perhaps more importantly, to begin earning matching contributions from the Foundation of 25 percent of the fund’s assets to a maximum of an extra $20,000. That means that once you have received donations of $80,000, the Foundation will have contributed $20,000 to make the new total $100,000.

Depending on the objectives of the fund, if the intent is to take the annual payout of 3.5 percent for operating expenses of a club, or to enable one or more student awards, the Fund will need to reach a sufficient total to make the annual cash needs workable. For example, a $5,000 annual student award would need a Fund of at least $142,857.

A majority of our Funds do not take an annual payout, but rather, reinvest their returns in order to grow the Fund more quickly.

Funds grow in three distinct ways:

  1. The main driver of Fund growth are the donations to the Fund – either on a one-time basis or through a monthly subscription
  2. As mentioned above, up to an additional $20,000 may come from the Foundation’s matching contributions.
  3. And lastly, assets in the Fund are invested by our Investment Managers at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel, based on the foundation’s Investment Policy, with annual payouts made to the Fund or alternatively, reinvested in the Fund.

A toolkit for Fund Building for Sustainable Growth can be referenced here, and is searchable through the table of contents for each topic.