The Education Foundation’s Endowment Fund reached a high of about $120,000 in 2018, before suffering a cyclical setback late in the year. Regardless of such ups and downs, Board members are sticking to a goal to steadily increase the fund balance, largely through donations, during the next few years.
The current goal is to reach $150,000 by the end of 2021.
The Endowment Fund is a pool of invested dollars that provides income to the Education Foundation to help fund grants for education projects and organization expenses.
The fund is administered for the Education Foundation by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, which oversees about $150 million in funds for organizations such as nonprofits, churches and government agencies. A committee of local investment professionals helps the SFACF with its investment decisions.
“Our endowment funds are designed to withstand the ups and downs of the market and kick out an annual distribution and, if we’re lucky, grow a little bit,” said Patrick Gale, vice president of community investment for SFACF. “It’s a source of guaranteed annual funds that you don’t have to go out and raise each year.”
At a typical market rate of return, the Endowment Fund generates an annual payment amounting to about four percent of the fund total. The income can be withdrawn and spent annually on Education Foundation programs or reinvested to help grow the fund. The principal is left intact to earn more.
The Education Foundation fund was started in 1994. It’s been “plugging away” and “doing a good job,” Gale said.
The Education Foundation Board wants to increase the base of the fund for greater, long-term gain. The long-range goal is for Sioux Falls to have the largest, public school endowment fund in South Dakota by the end of 2035.
People and organization representatives who would like to contribute to the Education Foundation’s endowment fund are welcome stop by the SFACF office at 200 N. Cherapa Place in Sioux Falls. The SFACF will accept cash, checks or even gifts of stock.
Gale suggested that donors with questions about the endowment fund contact Mary Kolsrud, vice president for philanthropy at the SFACF. She can be reached at 605-336-7055, extension 26, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the SFACF, see www.sfacf.org.
Donors with questions about Education Foundation or its grant programs should contact Allison Struck, executive director of the Education Foundation. She can be reached at 605-367-4484 or Allison.Struck@k12.sd.us.