AIGA endowment policy

Filed Under: About AIGA , governance


This policy statement is intended to set guidelines for the administration of AIGA endowments, which have been established in accordance with the corporate bylaws. Nothing herein is intended to conflict with the bylaws, which shall govern in all instances. Additionally, this policy is not intended to conflict with donor gift restrictions.


The executive committee of AIGA, established in accordance with the corporate bylaws, and aided as necessary by staff members, shall administer the ongoing activities of any endowment. The committee shall meet at least quarterly, keep a record of proceedings, and report to the board at the board’s subsequent meeting.


Funds from many sources should be encouraged and solicited to meet the long-term needs of AIGA through its endowments. However, the executive committee shall review all major or restricted donations before acceptance and may decline any gifts for whatever reason. “Major donations” will be those greater than $10,000, independent of ongoing AIGA fundraising activities, such as the gala, and would include those donations that are restricted. Donations to endowments shall be considered unrestricted as to their end use, unless they are major donations and given with a purpose or time restriction by the donors. The committee shall ensure proper records and controls are maintained to comply with donors’ specific conditions, and also that records are maintained of the “initial contribution” amount (defined as amounts contributed by donors directly to an endowment, plus the “quasi endowment” originally designated by board action).

It shall be the intent that unrestricted gifts from estates and from planned giving sources (such as charitable remainder trusts) will go into an endowment, rather than to operating funds. Such monies, however, will not be added to an endowment until a financial review near the end of each fiscal year determines that the new funds are not needed for operations.

Expenditures of endowment funds

The basic concept of endowments is to provide funding for long-term needs, whereby the funds contributed by donors are not spent immediately, but are invested to provide a stream of earnings which can then be used (or compounded). In this light, the executive committee and the board are encouraged to spend as “lightly” as possible for the first several years of an endowment. Even so, with input from the staff as to corporate financial needs, the executive committee will, near the end of each fiscal year, recommend to the board an amount (if any) to be transferred from the endowments for general corporate purposes in the forthcoming year. The amount generally will be calculated as a percent of the net assets of the fund at current values.

  • Expending any amount of more than 20 percent of the net value of the endowment, calculated as of October 1 of the current fiscal year, will require an executive committee recommendation. An affirmative vote of 75 percent of the entire board of directors then serving is required.
  • Expending any portion of the “initial contribution” to an endowment (as defined above) will require an executive committee recommendation and the affirmative vote of 75 percent of the entire board of directors then serving.

The executive committee also shall make decisions on spending from restricted gifts and funds, to the extent that donors’ restrictions allow leeway.


Investing the funds of the endowments shall be done by management in accordance with the separate investment policy.