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 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
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.
Editable foundation investment policy template.
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?
Helpful tips and resources for managing your investments. Members only content.
“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.”