The Process of Establishing a New Endowment
Any new endowments can be established with an initial founding contribution of $10,000. If established with a single gift by an individual or family, the donors will be asked to specify the purpose of the fund. The Foundation can provide a template that spells out the key terms of an agreement. In the course of the preliminary discussions or negotiations it is appropriate for the Foundation Board to be informed of the discussions, since at some point the Board must vote on whether to accept the funds for the purpose specified. An endowment agreement cannot be signed and approved by the Board unless the minimum funds are transferred to the Foundation. In other words, a pledge is not sufficient to establish an endowment, although it may be a part of the process. An endowment intended to be created by a bequest or a pledge payment does not become official until the $10,000 threshold is reached with actual funds or assets transferred.
Once an endowment has been approved by the Board and the agreement signed by all parties, the Foundation may ask the founding donors to provide a brief biographical sketch for each of the founding donors. This material will become part of the official file for the new endowment.
The Foundation's endowment agreement template may be viewed here.