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Leadership Giving FAQ
What is a major gift?
Major gifts are high impact giving opportunities, often a customized philanthropic investment over several years. These gifts are typically designated to a specific program and may involve a multi-year commitment. Major gifts also may be unrestricted — open to wherever the greatest need exists.
How is a major gift different than an endowment gift?
Major gifts are used immediately; whereas, endowment gifts are invested as principal and only the interest is spent on current programs.
What are the minimum endowment levels to establish and name an endowed fund?
The minimum gift required to establish a named endowment fund is $25,000.
How can a major gift be made?
Major gifts may be made as outright gifts of cash or securities, as pledges payable over a period of time (most commonly, three to five years), or as planned gifts.
What does the ISU Foundation’s endowment provide for?
More than 700 funds make up the ISU Foundation’s endowment.
Can I choose what my endowment supports?
Yes, a number of donors to choose to restrict how their funds can be used. Whether for student scholarships, programmatic support or faculty positions, you can designate your gift to support a particular school unit, program, or special project at the University.
Once established, can I continue to give to my fund?
Yes, you or other donors who choose to support the fund are able to provide future gifts directly to the fund.
When will an endowment begin generating payout that can be spent?
Once the initial gift has been received, there is a three-year vesting period for the fund. This allows the fund to have maximum impact. For donors wanting the fund to have immediate impact, it is recommended that an additional contribution is made so the fund is able to pay out annually until the vesting period is complete.
What percentage of endowment earnings are spent?
The amount of earnings that are spent each year varies because it is based on the market value of the endowment.
What is an "underwater" endowment?
An endowment fund is "underwater" when its market value falls below the value of the original gift made to the University to establish the fund.
What is the ISU Foundation’s policy for endowed funds? Is there a policy for spending from underwater funds?
The Foundation has a policy for how endowed funds are managed and spent. The full version of the Endowment Spending Policy can be viewed on our website. There is no spending or no fees process from underwater endowed funds as outlined in sections one and two of this policy.
What is the value of the ISU Foundation’s endowment and how is it invested?
The ISU Foundation’s endowment is more than $58 million. It is invested in a variety of accounts, including real assets, global fixed income, global equity and diversifying strategies. This information along with endowment performance is available on the ISU Foundation’s Annual Report. The Foundation’s investment portfolio is overseen and managed by the ISU Foundation Board of Director’s Investment Committee.
How does the endowment increase in value?
The endowment increases in value by the performance of its investment strategy. New leadership or planned endowed gifts made by Indiana State University donors contribute to growth of the endowment.