Our New Endowment Fund
From the Board of Directors Point of View
- By Monroe Sprague, Chairman, Development Committee
Contributions to River Partners’ new endowment fund would enable the organization to take on more grant-funded habitat restoration work across California.
We are all proud River Partners has continued to grow and develop its expertise, skill and reputation in the field of environmental restoration on a scale equaled by few, if any, others. One of the interesting approaches we have used to facilitate large, farm-scale environmental restoration has been to balance financial loss from non-profit grants with financial gain derived from contract work that also falls within our mission.
As we have grown, our desired balance of profit (contract) to non-profit (grant) work has shifted markedly toward the non-profit opportunities. Such grant work is often more complicated and difficult to get to the shovel stage. Due to grant funding restrictions, these grants often do not cover all of our project costs. It is frustrating and discouraging to pass up a grant that would make a key improvement in our environment because we cannot afford it. A few years back we realized that we have a “grant habit” that the organization can no longer afford.
In 2015, the Board of Directors decided to establish our first endowment fund, which will grow so that annual returns will be used to make up for the losses associated with grant work. Their intention is for the endowment fund proceeds to provide an 85% return in environmental restoration work by covering the 15% unfunded cost of the grants. Through this fund, donors can make contributions to River Partners future with a variety of financial assets and instruments. Donated stocks or property could have a significant tax advantage for the donor, and donors would know their contribution would not be depleted but continue to build and support important environmental work for years, as only the annual returns would be spent. If you are interested in joining the effort and learning more, please contact Gerald Dion at email@example.com.