Starting an Agency Endowment
Why Consider an Endowment?
An endowment augments a non-profit organization’s resources by providing an ongoing and sustainable source of income. Because a permanent endowment is an invested pool of money that provides an income in perpetuity, the organization can count on annual distributions for its charitable work. Funds may be designated for endowment by the donor or by the board of directors. With appropriate investment and spending policies, the endowment’s purchasing power will be preserved.
An endowment also grows over time with additional donations, offering an opportunity for both outright gifts and for donors who wish to make legacy gifts that will serve the organization into the future. Endowments can increase an organization’s financial independence, build donor confidence, and further diversify revenue sources.
An endowment at the Gorge Community Foundation is a permanent fund that provides you with a return of 5% annually that you can use to support operations, a special program or initiative, or to reinvest in your fund.
Is your organization prepared for an endowment?
Resource Development Capacity
Experienced fundraising staff, volunteers, and a donor base that understands and is committed to the organization’s mission and to providing long-term support will help implement fundraising strategies to build and utilize an endowment.
Why place your endowment at the Gorge Community Foundation?
We’re here for the Gorge
We are uniquely dedicated to serving the Columbia River Gorge, including Skamania and Klickitat Counties in Washington and Hood River, Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam Counties in Oregon. Funds raised here stay to build our communities and improve the quality of life for all Gorge residents.
Join peer organizations throughout the Gorge
Over 40 organizations in OR and WA have entrusted their endowments to GCF. We meet annually with fundholders as a group and more frequently upon request to answer questions and provide updates
Funds are professionally managed and benefit from a pooled portfolio
Our endowment at the Gorge Community Foundation provides critical support. Our donors know that by giving to the endowment, they’re supporting United Way now and into the future.
Save time and resources
How to participate
To open a Designated Fund for your organization at the Gorge Community Foundation, you must:
- Be a 501(c)(3) public charity or a public entity such as a school or municipality
- Be registered with the Oregon or Washington Secretary of State
- Have a substantial mission of service to the Columbia River Gorge region
- Create a permanent agency endowment fund at GCF with an initial investment of $1,000 and a commitment to bringing the fund to $10,000 (minimum for annual 5% distribution) within five years
- The Gorge Community Foundation assesses a 1% annual management fee
Investment and distribution policies
GCF invests endowment funds to build a diversified portfolio in accordance with an established investment profile. Monthly reports are posted on a secure password-protected section of the GCF website and there is an annual meeting for all endowment partners with members of the GCF investment committee and fund managers. Our investment policy is posted here on our website.
The distribution is 5% annually based on a two-year rolling average. We report annually (twice a year for funds over $100,000) and you advise us on whether you wish to take or reinvest your distribution.
Donations to your fund may be made through your organization or directly to GCF, designated for your fund. When we receive donations to your fund, you will be notified during the month immediately following receipt so you can acknowledge the donor.
Fund agreement and disclosure statement
The Gorge Community Foundation director will prepare these documents to be reviewed and approved by your board as well as the GCF board chair.
To discuss a presentation to your board of directors, or for more information, please contact Jill Burnette, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.250.3525.