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Agency Endowment Funds

WCF / Nonprofit Partnership / Agency Endowment Funds


The Whatcom Community Foundation specializes in managing funds that are permanently endowed for the benefit of a specific charitable cause.

In the case of agency endowments, that cause is the organization itself.

We achieve economies of scale by pooling your agency’s endowment with other funds, which can reduce investment management fees.  We provide investment oversight, saving your staff and Board time and enabling you to focus on growing your program. Once established, the Fund’s income can be directed each year to your organization’s operating budget, giving you additional revenue to support your good work.  It’s easy to get started.

Five Steps to Open an Agency Fund

1. Talk to our staff.
We’re happy to discuss the pros and cons of creating an endowment fund with your executive director or chief financial officer before you involve your Board in the process.

Contact us at 360-671-6463 or email us at to set up a meeting.

2. Engage your Board.
If you decide to move forward, you’ll probably talk first to the Board Committee that handles your finances. We’re happy to work with you to prepare an objective case comparing the advantages and drawbacks of your current program versus an endowment Fund with the Whatcom Community Foundation.

3. Complete the paperwork.
Our fund agreement is all you need to get started. Most people have questions about variance power and the irrevocability of gifts made to the Community Foundation. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

4. Tell us about your goals.
We’re here to help your organization achieve its mission in the long run. If you want to market this new endowment Fund to your current or prospective donors, or to others in the community, we can provide assistance. We often help nonprofits structure their donors’ major and planned gifts to build their endowment Funds.

5. Let us handle the administrative details.
Once your Fund is established, we handle all investment management and investment oversight activities. It is our job to invest the funds, conduct quarterly reviews of their performance against benchmarks (via our Investment & Finance Committee), and consider changes where performance is lagging.

What are the Benefits of an Agency Fund?

The Foundation is an excellent vehicle for developing your agency endowment with maximum advantage.

Agency Funds:

  • allow the nonprofit organization to focus on building an endowment, without the burden of managing one;
  • benefit from the creation of a partner designated fund, listed on WCF’s website;
  • formalized the organization’s partnership with the Community Foundation; and
  • gives donors peace of mind to contribute a “restricted” gift dedicated to the longevity of your organization.

Community foundations invest endowment funds for both long-term growth and income. Foundations expect excellent, if somewhat conservative, investment management. You should expect long-term growth and a reasonable return, but not wildly speculative risk or unusually high income.

To help offset administrative costs, the Foundation charges a small fee for establishing and maintaining agency endowment funds.

Agency Endowment Funds at Whatcom Community Foundation