Resources

Topic: “Investments”

Investment Committees

Even small foundation boards can benefit from developing an investment committee with just a few members so it is clear who is leading the charge. Board members who understand investing make natural choices for an investment committee; however, they should serve alongside less experienced board members. (Be sure more than one experienced person is on... Read More

Fiduciary Responsibility

Fiduciaries should avoid the following Investment practices: Not adhering to the investment policy statement—This is one of the most common mistakes cited by investment advisors to foundations. Self-dealing—Foundation insiders cannot direct investment decisions and/or revenues to self, relatives, close friends, or colleagues. Paying a family member to serve as an investment advisor—Doing so makes it... Read More

Designing a Spending Policy That Works

Your organization’s spending policy should be carefully selected after the thorough evaluation of several key inputs. A qualitative review of the type of organization, time horizon, beneficiaries, purpose of the endowment, sources of funding, institutional resources, applicable donor restrictions, and the investment policy statement should lead to a quantitative analysis that addresses: Annual operating expenses... Read More

Controlling Fees

By relying simply on stated fees, such as management fee or advisory fee, foundation trustees may be underestimating the full impact of the aggregate investment expenses because as there may be other components of investment costs that are not explicitly stated as fees. In the 1990s, when portfolio performance was beating the S&P 500, it... Read More

Allocating Your Assets

Are you talking with your board and investment advisors about asset allocation? Concepts to consider A number of concepts should be understood before you tackle the important work of creating an investment policy and allocating assets. Investment time horizon How long do you want your foundation to exist? Do you plan for your foundation to... Read More