Investment & Spending Policies

The intricacies of spending policies, investing decisions, asset allocation can be overwhelming. As a philanthropic executive or board member, however, it is critical for you to remain engaged in the investment management process. The Council can help with these efforts by offering a wide range of investment and spending policy resources to help your foundation follow sound governance procedures.

In-Depth knowledge on Investment & Spending Policies

Investors are facing one of the worst starts to a calendar year on record. Volatility in China, rising interest rates in the US, and falling oil prices have all contributed to the markets’ unease. The ongoing correction has seen stock prices tumble more than 10% from their most recent peak, and many are wondering if 2016 will have more drops in store. At the same time, many experts believe that the American economy remains fundamentally strong and that recent turbulence could pass.

The Council's Board of Directors released this guidance memorandum in March 2010 and strongly recommends that when reviewing and approving foundation investment policies and procedures practices, all foundations—private and public—consider these best practices in foundation investment management.

This article focuses on conflicts of interest around foundation investments. May foundation board members (or other closely affiliated individuals or businesses) manage foundation investments? May they be paid for this service? What factors should foundation managers consider before they select an investment manager who has a close relationship with the foundation? When is it a bad idea? What special procedures should be followed when a board member or other close affiliate is also an investment manager?