Endowment FAQ

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a long-term fund investment for the future needs of an organization. The fund is intended to be held in perpetuity and a portion can be used each year to fulfill an organization’s charitable cause. An endowment is governed according to a specific purpose, spending policy and distribution schedule.

Why should my organization have an endowment?
  • Reinforces your organization’s commitment to serving the community for years to come.
  • Provides a steady revenue source, thereby helping your organization weather the ups and downs of other funding sources.
  • Allows donors to leave a legacy.
  • Raises your organization’s credibility by conveying stability, fiscal responsibility and prudent planning.
Why use a community foundation for your endowment?

Many nonprofits choose a community foundation to steward their endowment rather than investment and banking organizations. That’s because foundations are tapped into the unique needs of the nonprofit industry and share a commitment to the welfare of the community. This can assure you that a foundation’s goal is to serve your and your cause.

Why entrust Community First Foundation?
  • Stability
    Since 1975 we have helped nonprofits and donors come together to improve quality of life in their communities. We are a stable organization that has been managing millions of dollars in assets since our founding.
  • Track record
    We are a leader in endowment building the Denver area, having contributed more than $4.5 million since 2004 to help nonprofits successfully launch and kick-start endowment campaigns.We manage the funds of more than 90 nonprofits.
  • Expertise
    Endowments are initiated in many ways. An organization may have reserves dedicated for the future. A donor campaign may spur endowment funds. Or an endowment may be created in honor of someone or to leave a legacy. Whatever the impetus, we know how to help you through its creation and growth.
How does the Foundation manage endowment funds?

When you establish an endowment with us, the funds are placed in a pool for long-term investments. The purpose of the funds and needs of your nonprofit are taken into consideration. The funds are then guided by our investment strategy that is designed to encourage steady asset growth.

We work with the local investment expert Innovest Portfolio Solutions http://www.innovestinc.com/ for independent consulting. Our finance and investment committee selects asset allocations and our board of directors defines the investment policy and risk parameters. This team oversees all of the details of investment oversight, management, accounting and reporting.

Describe your fees.

Nonprofit endowment funds at the Foundation are commingled to create a very large investment pool. This gives the fund extensive buying power, access to institutional investments and lower fees that benefit our Nonprofit Endowment Partners.

Annual fees are based on a fund’s balance and computed monthly:

  • 1.00% on the first $1 million, 0.75% on the second million, and 0.50% on the remaining balance.
  • The minimum annual fee is $200.

“Safehouse Denver is delighted to establish an endowment fund with Community First Foundation. We’ve taken advantage of their complimentary educational sessions and good networking opportunities. The Foundation always seems to have the best interests of their partners in mind.”
Victoria McVicker, CEO, Safehouse Denver