Even though not all planned gifts are made for endowment purposes, many are. This means a charity with a planned giving program needs to be clear on whether it will also have an endowment. Ideally, discussion occurs and choices are made before a donor forces the issue.

Separately, are the charity’s governing board and investment managers familiar with the requirements of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, which applies in almost all of the 50 states? Does the charity understand the distinction between so-called “true” and “quasi” endowments? If a quasi endowment fund is maintained, what are the criteria for transferring otherwise unrestricted gifts to and from the fund? What if a donor has in mind a specific purpose for an endowment – or simply wants to be allowed to say what the name of the fund will be? And when the economy takes a turn for the worse, should the charity cut back on what it distributes from a particular endowment?

If your organization does not have answers to these and similar questions, Evergreen can help educate applicable parties, identify factors to be considered, and provide guidance in the development or revision of associated policies and practices.

Note: While mindful of the importance of proper investment and management of endowment assets, Evergreen does not provide financial consulting services.

Bill Zook has been a trusted advisor to Seattle Foundation for over 20 years. During that time, Seattle Foundation and the philanthropists it serves have benefited greatly from Bill’s considerable knowledge and experience. In addition to providing technical expertise, he builds relationships and cares deeply about his clients and our community.”

Jeanette Lodwig, J.D. Former General Counsel, Seattle Foundation