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

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?

“If I create a fund at the community foundation, can my investment manager still manage the funds?” You may have already come across a donor that asked this question. Such a donor is essentially requesting that the fund they create be invested outside of the foundation’s investment pool(s). While there are cases where the answer must be “no” (e.g., donor wants the investment firm she owns to manage the assets), there are also cases where the answer should be “no.” A strong policy will guide the community foundation in those cases where the answer may be “yes.”