Before the coronavirus severely affected the whole world, some nonprofits never thought about creating an endowment. But this pandemic forced all expenses to rise. But even without this global problem we’re experiencing now, time changes can hit our economy, decreasing yearly donations.
Throughout this challenging time, nonprofits need other potential incomes, besides fundraising projects, to fund major projects and programs, everyday operations, and pay staff. They need a fresh approach to nonprofit fundraisings, like an endowment.
What Is Endowment?
It is the act of donating money or property by donors to a nonprofit organization, which invests and uses the income of this fund for a specific reason. Usually, endowments have a common goal – to preserve the principal money while using the investment income for charitable activities and programs typically in line with donors’ wishes.
The role of professional services, such as Alexander Haas endowment fundraising services, is essential in a nonprofit’s endowment. They help trustees and major decision-makers establish a review of their portfolio’s investment policy, guidelines, and objectives. When looking for experts, find out if they have broad experiences, fiduciary, and personalized solutions.
How to Start and Grow an Endowment Fund
Make Plans and Guidelines and Involve Your Contributors
Before you begin to solicit donations for the fund, you should have clear plans and guidelines, agreements with the donor, and acceptance procedures. These should also include the investing and spending rules of the endowment fund. Meaning, you should tell them how it will be invested and spent.
Remember that organizing everything before approaching prospective donors will make them believe you have a sense of reliability. While they don’t usually interfere with how the money is invested and spent, it is essential to ask for their suggestions. If they have specific stipulations, you have to honor their requests.
Establish a Clear Objective of Your Endowment
Donors are inspired to provide because they are passionately interested in your goal and visions. Set a clear and meaningful purpose for your endowment and discuss with your potential donors why it matters. They have to know why it’s essential and that your organization can make a difference.
Apply organizational company strategies based on responsible financial planning and management. One reason why contributors give is because of your reputation and goodwill. For example, match your expenditures to your anticipated reasonable earnings.
Also, your organizational income is more than just money that is directly invested in your operational expenses. You should consider non-monetary contributions that help reduce costs, such as specialist services, special skills, and items or properties. In short, raise an income before establishing expenses because your efforts will become useless if you raise funds to cover money already spent.
Have a Cash Reserve
Whether it’s donated or not, reserve a portion of your earnings and account for them appropriately. This fund must be restricted and is only accessible for emergencies or specific purposes. Also, if you have excess money, put it directly right into your reserve. This shows your possible donors that your organization has an endowment of any kind, which might encourage more contributions or donors.
Search for Knowledgeable Investment Managers
Look for skilled investment managers who can provide your organization with suitable investment guidance. Choose professionals that honestly act in your best interests. Be practical in choosing fund managers because they make most investment management decisions on your behalf.
While market forces impact your investment’s results, an investment manager’s skills are also a contributing factor. Select an active or alpha supervisor who can lead your fund to beat your competitors and their benchmark indexes.
Build a Fundraising Project
Raise extra income from fundraising programs. It doesn’t mean that when donors give for your endowment fund, you will set aside your usual fundraising activities. Remember that it’s one way to increase your organizational revenue in addition to the earnings of your endowment’s investment earnings. Even if your nonprofit is small, this is a desirable goal.
If it’s too overwhelming for you, consider working with a reliable annual fund consultant. They are skilled and have the best strategies in planning and implementing fundraising policies while dealing with issues that may develop during the process.