Establish An Organization Endowment Fund

JCFW helps organizations build capacity through education, consulting, and top-level professional investment management services for endowment funds.

The Jewish Community Foundation of the West works with nonprofits to determine optimal fund structure, governance, and investment strategy. Together with Merrill Lynch our Institutional Investment Advisors, we adhere to a simple mission: to set the industry standard in institutional investment consulting services for sophisticated investors.

What is an organization endowment fund?

Your organization can create an endowment fund into which both the organization and its fund advisers can direct gifts. The organization may then request distributions, directing grant dollars to the programs it designates. JCFW assumes the complexities of administering the endowment fund, which includes accounting, investment, and reporting responsibilities.

An Organization Endowment fund can be established for general purposes or can have specific purposes such as supporting outreach efforts, building maintenance, or education. Within the endowment fund, sub-funds can be created to support specific purposes designated by the organization or by a donor giving to the fund.

Target audience

Any nonprofit interested in creating and building an endowment for charitable purposes of their choosing; Organizations seeking a simple, flexible endowment option to relieve endowment committee members of substantial record-keeping burdens; Organizations seeking to offer supporters a full range of charitable gift and fund arrangements, including charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts, along with professional expertise to aid supporters in making these gifts; and Organizations wishing to accommodate supporters who wish to make truly anonymous gifts.

Benefits to your supporters

Individuals may make gifts to the endowment fund using cash, publicly-traded securities, real estate, closely-held stock, life insurance, and retirement assets. Gifts can also be made through bequests and beneficiary designations. Donors may also make a gift and receive income through charitable gift annuities. In each case, our staff works with individual supporters to structure gifts in a way that works best for their financial goals and values.

Benefits to your organization

Your committee members are relieved of administrative burdens, freeing them to concentrate on promoting and building their endowment fund.

  • Cost-effective and efficient: No startup costs or additional legal, CPA, or administrative costs
  • Access to experts: Rely on our Giving Team’s expertise for community knowledge
  • Administrative support: Compliance with IRS requirements and fiduciary responsibility without required tax filings
  • Brand building: Enhance your public image, and brand integrity, and showcase your organization
  • Grantmaking services: Recommend a grant. We’ll handle the rest, reducing the burden on your Finance, Community Relations, and Administration staff
  • Anonymity: Opt for privacy and protection if you don’t want to be identified publicly
  • Protected funds: Budget for philanthropy held securely at our 501(c)3 organization
  • Audit: JCFW is audited yearly by an independent accounting firm
  • Managed charitable assets: Sophisticated investment options and financial management to grow your charitable giving
  • Financial advisors: The JCFW Institutional Investment team has over 40 years of experience in non-profit organizations

Additional benefits of working with the foundation

  • Convenient access to all financial and investment data via our online portal
  • Access to consulting expertise in resource development and governance
  • Invitations to timely, content-rich workshops
  • Opportunity to highlight new and innovative activities in JCFW’s donor communications

How to create an endowment fund

An endowment fund is typically established by the voting members of your organization or by the board of directors of your nonprofit. The specific form of the action should be consistent with the requirements of the governing documents of the organization. Often, a bylaw is drafted that describes the endowment fund, its purpose, and its governing structure. The following steps can be taken once the bylaw is in place.

We will establish your fund and send a confirmation to the designated representative from the organization. The financial representative will also receive a copy of the confirmation. Once the organization is satisfied the fund is established according to its specifications, the initial contribution to establish the fund can be sent to JCFW either by check or direct deposit.

Please contact Michael Ellison, Executive Director at [email protected] to establish your endowment.

For current fund holders

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At the Jewish Community of the West, we seek to guarantee a Jewish tomorrow through the creation of a culture of legacy within the community by empowering individuals and organizations to engage in effective, meaningful giving.