Are endowment funds growing in this economy? Is the community foundation seeing interest in establishing new endowments? You bet! There is surging interest across the state in support of new funds. It’s exciting to receive so many calls from individuals, families, businesses and corporations, along with calls from our network of professional advisors, who are searching for answers and opportunities to meet needs in their communities.
I could suggest that this elevated interest in new funds is a beacon for renewed confidence in our economy, perhaps the stock market. And I suspect it is coupled with a deep commitment to help our communities across the 66 counties we serve. But I’m equally convinced that this level of interest is in direct response to our activities and reputation across the state in partnership with our fund holders, our affiliates, and the outreach of our statewide staff.
We are also seeing creative methods of growing existing endowment funds. In recent weeks I’ve spoken with fund holders who successfully raised gifts through year-end direct mail campaigns, events, special appeals at class reunions, through the development of individualized marketing campaigns for some of our funds. Interest in planned gifts is high as we contemplate this current intergenerational transfer of wealth in our communities. Can you imagine the significance of endowing just a small percentage of this transfer into endowments to support local communities? We can keep those dollars working and supporting our rural communities.
So, there is much to be excited about and encouraged by. If you are thinking about starting a fund, or would like to discuss ideas about how to grow your fund, give me call—or let’s just blog.