Focused Wealth Management has worked with Institutions, Not-for-Profits, Public and Private Endowments, Pension Funds, Foundations,401(k)’s and 403(b)’s and Contingency Funds for many years managing their accounts and helping them work toward their mission, long term goals and objectives. This white paper is intended to help Boards and Investment Committees of non-profit organizations identify some of their critical responsibilities and share what we consider to be best practices of successful organizations. It is not intended as a template for every organization, but rather, as a starting point to help organizations develop policies and procedures that are appropriate for them.
Most non-profit organizations have a Board of Directors that is responsible for establishing broad strategy, overseeing the implementation of that strategy, and working to achieve the mission of the organization. Overseeing the assets of the organization’s endowment is among the most important responsibilities of the Board. Many organizations, though not all, delegate the responsibility for managing the endowment to an Investment Committee which reports to the Board.
Whether the Board directly oversees management of the endowment or delegates that responsibility to an Investment Committee, the duties are the same. These duties include deciding how the endowment’s assets should be invested and who should invest them, establishing an investment policy and a spending policy which balances current spending opportunities with available discretionary funds, monitoring investment results and evaluating the performance of investment managers, and generally assuring that the endowment’s assets have been appropriately invested to pursue the long term goals and objectives of the organization.
This paper will deal with the following topics:
- Investment Committees,
- Investment Policy Statements,
- Spending Policies,
- Selecting an Investment Manager, and
- Sample Request for Proposal