Before the coronavirus severely impacted the whole world, some nonprofits never considered creating an endowment. Unfortunately, this pandemic forced all expenses to rise. But even without this global concern we’re experiencing right now, time changes can hit our economy, decreasing annual donations.
During these challenging times, nonprofits need other possible sources of income, other than annual giving campaigns, to fund key programs, daily operations, and compensate staff. And an endowment is a perfect approach to coping with these problems, utilizing an effective endowment campaign strategy.
What Is Endowment?
It is when donors give money or properties to a nonprofit organization, which invests and uses the fund’s revenue for a particular purpose. Most endowments’ goal is to keep the principal amount intact while using the investment income for charitable activities or programs that usually align with the donors’ wishes.
Consultants play a crucial role in creating a successful endowment fund. They assist trustees and key decision-makers in establishing a review of their portfolio’s investment plan, guidelines, and objectives. When looking for specialists, know if they have broad experience, fiduciary, and customized strategies.
How to Begin and Expand an Endowment Fund
Make Policies and Guidelines and Involve Your Donors
Before you begin to solicit contributions for the fund, you should have clear plans and guidelines, agreements with the donor, and acceptance procedures. It should also include the investing and spending policies of the endowment fund. In other words, tell them how you will invest and spend the fund.
Remember that organizing everything before approaching prospective donors will make them think you are reliable and responsible. While they do not usually interfere with how you invest and spend the money, it’s necessary to ask for their recommendations. Otherwise, you have to honor their demand if they have specific stipulations.
Set a Clear Objective of Your Endowment
Generally, donors are inspired to give because they are passionately interested in your mission and vision. Set a clear and relevant objective of your endowment and explain to your potential donors why it matters. They need to know why and how your organization can make a difference.
Apply organizational business plans with responsible financial planning and management. Another reason that donors give is because of your credibility and goodwill. For instance, match your expenses to your anticipated reasonable revenue.
Additionally, your organizational income is more than just money that is directly spent on your operational expenses. You need to consider non-monetary contributions that help lower expenses, such as expert solutions, special skills, and goods or properties. In short, raise an income before setting expenses because your initiatives will become useless if you raise funds to cover money already spent.
You can find more info here about winning strategies to raise funds.
Have a Reserve money
Set aside a portion of your income and account for them appropriately, whether it’s donated or not. You must restrict this fund, and it must only be available for emergencies or particular purposes. If you have an excess income, deposit it directly into your reserve. This shows your potential donors that your organization has an endowment of any kind and also encourages more contributions and donors.
Find Knowledgeable and Experienced Investment Managers
Look for registered and reliable investment advisors who can provide your organization with expert investment guidance. Ensure to choose experts that act in your best interests and because they make most investment management decisions on your behalf.
Though market forces affect your investment’s results, an investment manager’s skills are also a contributing factor. Select an active or alpha manager who can lead your fund to surpass your competitors and benchmark indexes.
Make a Fundraising Project
Raise additional income from fundraising programs. It doesn’t mean that when donors give, you will set aside your usual yearly fundraising campaign. This is a way to boost your organizational income in addition to the revenues of your endowment’s investment earnings, even if your nonprofit is small.
If you find it difficult or don’t have the time to plan, consider hiring fundraising consultants to help you with your pre capital campaign. They are experienced and have the best techniques in preparing and applying fundraising policies while resolving issues that might arise during the process.