Robin Bentley, Assistant Head for Finance and Operations, discusses the importance of a school's endowment.
A Note on Endowment
Robin Bentley, Assistant Head for Finance and Operations
A financial reality of the independent school model is that tuition doesn’t cover all of the costs of running the school. Schools try to keep tuition as low as possible while trying to pay competitive salaries and keep class sizes small. Therefore, schools must rely on fundraising to supplement the operating budget. Schools use two main types of fundraising strategies: one is the Annual Fund and the other is raising Endowment.
Endowments are created by donors who indicate that they want their gift invested but may allow part of the annual investment income to be used for programs or purposes that the donor specifies when they make their gift. Endowments can be restricted to support the donors’ specific area(s) of interest, such as salaries or financial aid. Quasi-endowments, on the other hand, are unrestricted by the donor and are allocated by the school’s governing board.
Management of Bush’s endowment is under the purview of the Investment Sub-committee, which reports to the Resource Management and Audit Committee and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees. The school has engaged an investment advisor who makes recommendations regarding investment policy, asset allocation, and investments.
Endowments are considered a hallmark of financial sustainability.