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Endowment is a combination of charitable contributions or funds permanently invested to produce a continuing stream of income.  These funds are jointly invested to produce a maximum rate of return consistent with a prudent investment strategy.  The income is used to make grants for community improvement activities in the local area and to cover the administrative expenses of the community foundation.

A regional community development foundation addresses both current and long-term needs.  If a community's needs are immediate and critical, for example, providing accessible and potable water  - a foundation will seek funds and collaborate with other groups to address these urgent problems right away; however, a foundation also consistantly looks to the future - anticipating new community needs and developing strategies to address those emerging problems before they become overwhelming and urgent.  In this regard, endowment funds enable the foundation to serve as a "savings account" for the community.

~ Endowment ~

  • strengthens the long-term stability and sustainability of the community foundation
  • ensures that the foundation has resources of its own to contribute to current and long-term projects addressing community concerns
  • increases organization independence and stature when decisions, some of which may be difficult or controversial, are being made by the Board and staff of the community foundation
  • provides a margin of security so that the community foundation can ride out periodic economic downturns
  • enables the community foundation to plan with greater certainty, perhaps making multiyear grants for long-term projects
  • provides to opportunity for a donor's gift to last forever, and for the donor's concern for community to be recognized in perpetuity