Endowed Funds and Scholarships: A Gift That Keeps on Giving

A strong endowment is a key indicator of the quality and financial strength of a college. An endowment is a “trust fund”  –  a nest egg for the future.

St. Olaf College’s endowment has been built over the years through generous gifts of all sizes designated for a variety of purposes. Each endowment gift is invested to generate growth and income, and St. Olaf spends only a portion of the annual investment return in supporting the college’s mission and operations. To guard against diminishing funds caused by inflation, the remaining investment return is added back to the fund.

The goal is to ensure that the fund maintains its value over time, and the programs supported by the endowment receive the same — or even greater — funding in the future as they receive today.

The endowment program at St. Olaf continues to grow because more people recognize the benefits of creating their own endowment funds. Some prefer to launch an endowment now so they can see immediate results. Some arrange to establish an endowment gift later with estate assets. Still others prefer to establish an endowment now and add to it through a bequest. Why make an endowment gift to St. Olaf College?

  • Durability – The idea of creating a perpetual stream of financial support makes sense to people who see a similarity between retirement funds and endowment provisions. You may like the concept of a fund that is guarded and invested separately from other assets so the principal of the fund will stay intact. Only the income or a portion thereof will be used to support St. Olaf College.
  • A Positive Legacy – When your name is attached to an endowment fund, you create an enduring legacy for generations to come. Endowment funds can also be used to honor those who have made a significant impact either in your life or the life of St. Olaf College.
  • Perpetuate Annual Gifts – You may see an endowment fund as a way to underwrite your regular giving to St. Olaf College.
  • A Stronger St. Olaf – Each year, St. Olaf must raise a certain amount of money to sustain facilities, programs and personnel. Raising money for today’s needs is always a priority. Annual payouts from endowment funds relieve some of this pressure and allow the college to plan more confidently for its future.
  • Personal Satisfaction – It is very fulfilling to do something that makes a significant difference and leaves a lasting impact.