Endowments for Organizations
Building an Endowment for Your Organization
Like most synagogues and agencies that benefit the community, your organization probably struggles with the ongoing challenge of maintaining adequate operating funds. You want to start an endowment fund to supplement your operating expenses (maybe even provide for some additional programs), but there’s never enough extra at the end of the year to start a fund — and there may never be! So what can you do? Start small and build the fund over time. The Jewish Community Foundation helps make that happen by working with your organization through the steps of building an endowment.
Consider this Traditional Approach
The first two years, your organization puts what it can into the fund: a couple of bequests, a portion of the proceeds from a fundraiser, or perhaps some of the money you receive as tribute gifts. At the end of two years, you’ve managed to build a fund of $20,000. During that time, you took nothing out, and the fund earned some return on investment.
During the third year, you take your first disbursement, but you continue to add at least $10,000 to the fund annually using bequests, tributes, and a portion of the proceeds from fundraisers. Each year you do the same, continuing to slowly grow the fund, but taking a disbursement, which increases every year and is a welcome addition to your operating budget.
Now Consider a More Strategic, Planned Approach
The staff at the Jewish Community Foundation can help you create an endowment building plan. We walk you through the steps of creating a committee, a case statement, and a marketing plan — including assistance choosing the right donors. We explain why endowment building will not negatively impact your annual membership monies or campaigns, but will actually be a partner to it. We also advise you about how to speak with your members and supporters to give them choices about the type of endowment they would like to create.
We provide the following resources as a foundation for your success:
Gaining board and staff commitment.
Setting goals and developing an action plan.
Assistance in cultivating, meeting with and soliciting donors.
Consultations with donors’ attorneys, accountants and other professional advisors.
Proposals for charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts.
Strategies to encourage bequests from wills and trusts.
Programs for board members, staff, and donors.
Seminars for estate and tax planning professionals.
Financial and Investment Services
Administration of portfolio.
Development of policies and guidelines.
Endowment Book of Life Program.
Ideas for donor recognition.
Assistance with brochures, articles, and other marketing material.