Part I: How To Launch an Endowment Giving Program For Your Nonprofit

Part I: How To Launch an Endowment Giving Program For Your Nonprofit

Over the course of two ebooks, you will be guided on how to launch an endowment giving program for your nonprofit.

In this first ebook we will look at what endowment is, what endowment funds are, how endowment funds are given, and—most critically—whether endowment is a good fit for your organization.

In Part II, we’ll look at all those policies and procedures, and consider who your endowment donors are and how you can find them. We’ll drill more deeply into how endowment funds are given and then we’ll look specifically about launching an endowment giving program.

Let’s get started by looking at endowment and what it actually is.

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– A Sneak Peak Into

“How To Launch an Endowment Giving Program For Your Nonprofit, Part I – What is Endowment and Are You A Good Fit?”

Take an Inside Look at the Chapters of This eBook:


Chapter 1: Introduction

When the topic of endowment comes up in nonprofit circles, it is usually about the endowments of large universities, museums, or hospitals. Occasionally, endowment conversations are about a wealthy individual or family who endowed a trust or foundation so that it could, over time provide support (and hopefully sustenance) to other nonprofit entities.

When we think about endowment, we think large. We think of vast amounts of money. And we often think about the many people it will take to manage the investments for the endowment funds.

But endowment doesn’t have to only be for…

Chapter 2: What Is an Endowment?

According to Investopedia (—an online financial content resource, an endowment is “a donation of money or property to a non-profit organization, which uses the resulting investment income for a specific purpose.”

True as that is, it doesn’t quite do justice to the intricacies of endowment. Endowment is a pot (or many pots) of money that is…

Chapter 3: What Do Endowment Funds Support?

From an accounting standpoint, all endowments are considered “restrict- ed.” Remember, these are funds that can only be used for specific purposes or only after a condition is met. That condition may be a

specific amount of time, after a certain amount of matching funds have been raised, or any other circumstance the donor decides on. Only donors may impose restrictions and conditions though again, boards can create designations for funds. However, while all endowments are technically restricted, the purpose for which the money may be used isn’t always so limiting.


While endowments can, and do come in many different shapes and sizes, there are essentially two types of endowment funds that…

Chapter 4: How Are Endowment Funds Given?

A donor can give a gift of endowment in a number of ways. The gift can be:

  • Current: Cash or appreciated stock that immediately is invested and begins earning interest
  • Planned: Also known as Deferred. These gifts will not be recognized until the donor (and, depending on the type of planned gift, perhaps another beneficiary) passes on.

These types of gifts can also be combined which allows the donor to make a much larger gift. For example, your donor could make…

Chapter 5: Is Endowment Giving Right for Your Nonprofit?

Some years back, I worked with a national organization that was helping independent schools build endowment. Some of the schools I worked with were very small, and many of them had a hard time meeting their

annual operating budgets. I believed then and having followed up with several of the schools, believe even more strongly now that endowment was really not for those schools, at least not at that time. All of them did raise endowment funds and many of them did meet the national organization’s requirements to qualify for additional perks. But many of them also suffered because…

Chapter 6: Summary

Launching an endowment giving program is not for the faint of heart, but it may just be the right thing for your organization. As long as your fiscal house is in order, your organization may be primed to consider raising funds not just for today but also for tomorrow…

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