Endowment Trust Committee
The USJF Endowment Committee meets annually to manage and represent the best interests of the established Endowment Fund.
News of the Endowment Trust Fund
An Introduction to Endowment Funds By Robert C. Brink (President of U.S.J.F. 1992 – 1996)
by Tom Sheehan
Most people being “wage earners” earn income by performing personal services. An “Investor” is one earning a return from the use of money and other types of property investments. In contrast to the wage earner and investor, businesses raise income from the sale of goods and services. How do these familiar notions compare with an endowment?
Webster’s defines the term “endow…to furnish with an income.” An endowment is more like an investment: The money owner invests and, hopefully, earns some “return’ or income.
What happens to gifts made to an endowment? In an endowment, its income is intended for current operations, program costs grants and similar cost associated with the non-profit organization’s tax exempt purposes. Similar to the investment held by a private investor, the gifts it receives, also known as the endowment’s “corpus” or the “principal,” are not intended to be used for programs and operating costs. An endowment fund principal is intended to be maintained, conserved and invested so as to generate annual income. Its gifts (principal) are not to be used up, spent or otherwise disbursed
Often an endowment fund is established to receive gifts from all interested donors, including an organization’s individual members, estates of deceased members, and other persons interested in the organization’s charitable purposes. In addition, many endowment funds are started with an initial gift from the charitable organization itself, and further build up with continuing gifts from time to time. Many times such gifts are made in the name of an individual as a “memorial gift” and sometimes gifts are limited to some special use related to the organization’s exempt purpose, e.g., “income only for use in junior elite athlete development.”
Having an endowment fund with one or more popular charitable purposes is often viewed by charitable fundraisers as a good way to attract future financial support from prospective donors. Organizations, which have established endowment funds regularly, solicit support from both within and outside the organization. Gifts made to endowment funds very often consist of cash donations, donations of highly appreciated property (later sold by charity), testamentary bequests of members for gifts to be made from their estate after passing on, or by the pledge of a future gift in the form of insurance policy proceeds possible by the purchase of paid-up policy or by the payment of annual premiums for such insurance.
The possibilities for charitable gifting are only limited by imagination of the organization and its prospective supports. Unlike most other charitable gifting, the idea of giving to an endowment fund very often appeals to supporters of modest means preferring to see their organization’s programs far into the future.
An endowment gift is often referred to as the gift that keeps giving; and now you know why.
Note: President’s and Regular Life Member fees are placed into the USJF Endowment Trust Fund.