For nearly a century, the Jackson Zoo has been an expansive outdoor classroom for children and a fascinating family experience for Mississippians and visitors. Planning for the next hundred years, Zoo officials started endowment and reserve funds at the Community Foundation.
As Paul Simon sang, the monkeys stand for honesty, and this is the truth: successful investing in the future isn’t just a ‘bragging right,’ it’s a necessity. Your organization’s future may depend on it. So when three major donors created a windfall for the Jackson Zoo, it smartly seeded an endowment fund and a reserve fund, which will let others contribute gifts to this treasured attraction that has touched the lives of thousands of Mississippians.
Endowments, like the one started by the Zoo, create a long-term funding source for nonprofits. Donations are invested over time, with 5% of the fund balance able to provide an annual revenue source for your organization. Reserve funds often act like a higher-yield savings account, and can help create an opportunity, cover critical needs not included in a budget, or fund emergencies that come up from time to time.
The Community Foundation takes on the investing responsibility and oversight, so your nonprofit organization and your board of directors can do what you do best: raise money and run the organization. Pooled funds, like those at the Community Foundation, also can provide better returns and stronger investment options than small nonprofits might rate on their own in the marketplace. We’re experts at receiving strange things, indeed. Property? Artwork? Uncle Hubert’s mineral rights? We can figure out a way to convert a gift to benefit your fund forever. What is your vision for the future? Together we can develop a way to make it happen.
To learn more about how you start an endowment or operating reserve fund, email firstname.lastname@example.org.