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Endowment FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in giving to establish an endowment. How much will I need to donate?
A named endowment fund may be established with a minimum gift of $25,000. There is no maximum level. We will gladly discuss the intended impact of your gift and suggest a gift level that reflects your aspirations. Gifts to establish endowed funds may be made outright or pledged and paid over a period of up to five years.

How soon will annual income be available from the endowment?
Once the initial gift is received and all required paperwork has been completed, the corpus begins generating total return.

When will my endowment begin generating an amount that can be spent?
Each year in July or August, we calculate the spending amount that will be allocated from each fund during the fiscal year.

The spending amount is calculated based on the Foundation’s approved distribution rate for the fiscal year. The distribution rate is currently 4.5% of the fund’s average market value for the three fiscal years (12 quarters) prior to and including June 30.

New endowments which have not been in existence for 12 consecutive quarters will get a prorated spending amount based upon the number of available quarters. For example, the distribution for a fund that has been in existence for one year would be based on the average of four (4) quarters of information.

The Foundation’s investment spending policy requires an endowed fund’s market value to be more than the corpus to allow for a spending amount to be allocated.

Will the Foundation reinvest the annual payout to help my fund grow?
In some circumstances, yes. Notably, if spending amounts are not spent after three consecutive years, the unspent funds are reinvested. Accumulated unspent spending amounts may be reinvested into the corpus of the fund at the donor’s request.

When will my endowment generate enough to fully fund the purpose, project, or student scholarship it is designed to support?
Market factors greatly influence when an endowment will generate the greatest spending amount. Donors may provide additional gifts to supplement the purpose of their endowment for immediate use while the endowment fund grows.

Is there a policy for spending from underwater endowment funds?
The Foundation’s policies preclude spending from underwater endowment funds unless specifically requested by the donor.

How is the Foundation’s Endowment currently managed?
The Foundation’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) firm is responsible for day-to-day management of the assets in the Endowment. The OCIO works together with the Purchase College Foundation Investment Committee to establish asset class targets and ranges consistent with the specific financial needs and objectives of our endowment as a whole, which includes all individual endowment funds established by donors combined.

Does the Foundation charge any administrative fees to manage my endowment gift?
Yes, each endowment is assessed an administrative management fee that covers expenses related to securing, raising, investing and administering endowment funds in accordance with policies and procedures of the Foundation in effect at the time. The annual fee, currently 1.75%, is assessed monthly to the market value of the endowment at the start of each month.

What can I expect of the Purchase College Foundation and Charitable Entities?
The fundamental responsibilities that accompany being the stewards of an endowment include:

  1. The responsibility to use the funds for the purpose(s) for which each endowment was established, which is required by law; and
  2. The responsibility to ensure the endowment can both meet spending needs in the short-term, as well as persist in the long-term. We are required to invest prudently and in ways that ensure the future purchasing power of the endowment. By safeguarding ‘intergenerational equity,’ we ensure that the endowment grows so that the spending amount available to future generations is the equivalent of today’s spending amount plus accumulated inflation.

More Information
For more information about establishing an endowed fund, or if you have questions about an existing fund, please contact Jason Soto, Interim Executive Director of the Purchase College Foundation and Charitable Entities (914.251.6040;