The URIFAE Board of Directors has delegated the investment management of the University’s endowment to the Investment Committee. The Committee seeks investment returns through a diversified investment portfolio while operating within the parameters of the URIAFE Investment Policy Statement.
To achieve its objective, URIFAE retains an independent investment consultant to provide ongoing evaluation of economic conditions, review manager performance, and provide advice on asset allocation and investment manager selection.
Investment Allocation and Performance
The performance of the overall endowment pool is calculated on a total return basis, which measures the performance of equity, fixed income, and alternative investments.
Total return is the combination of income, dividends, and gains and losses for the fiscal year, net of investment management fees and distributions made from the endowment. Investment performance is determined on the endowment as a whole rather than on each separate endowment.
The fluctuation in the portfolio value over time would reflect investment earnings and losses, as well as payouts distributed to the University and additions and/or deductions in the overall principal value of the endowment pool.
The Investment Committee incorporates a long-term view of the financial markets to determine the appropriate asset allocation guidelines. This asset allocation is intended to provide funds for both spending policy and for appreciation potential with an acceptable level of related risk.
The Investment Committee reviews portfolio composition at least quarterly, and, if deemed necessary, it will direct cash flow or assets to be shifted to bring the portfolio within the target ranges.
For more information contact Adam Quinlan, Chief Financial Officer, at 401.874.4490, firstname.lastname@example.org
The distribution from the investment of the endowment to the University varies each year, based on the endowment value and the adopted spending policy for that year.
Individual endowment funds must meet a minimum value, established at the time the fund is created, before earnings can be disbursed to support designated purposes. For most funds, that minimum is $50,000 but may differ based on the use and purpose.
Note: The first award for endowed scholarships is available the first fall semester 12 months from the date of fulfilling the minimum fund value.
The endowment spending rate that will be applied in the 2022–2023 academic year is 5.05 percent, which contains both the University distribution and the URIFAE administrative fee. The University payout increased from 3.5 to 3.6 percent of the market value of the endowment (calculated on a 12-quarter rolling average ending on December 31 of the prior year). The administrative fee decreased from 1.55 to 1.45 percent. The dollar value of the payout to the University to support gift purposes this year will increase from $5.4 million to $6.4 million.
Calculating payouts for individual funds
The mechanics of endowment investments at URI are similar to those of mutual funds. Calculations of endowment values are based on units purchased. Each individual named endowment owns units in the GEF, which are revalued at the end of each quarter. As each quarter ends, using that quarter’s end market value, a unit price is calculated and new endowments enter the pool. New endowments “buy in” and receive a number of units in the pool, based on the gift value and the unit value on the buy-in date. As the value of a unit in the pool grows or declines, new endowments purchase a smaller or greater number of units. Using the spending rate approved by the URIFAE Executive Board, a distribution amount per unit share is paid out to each fund at the date of distribution. This payout is transferred to a spendable account annually, providing the fund has achieved its minimum funding level.
Strategic Reinvestment Fund
The University and the URI Foundation & Alumni Engagement, committed to assuring the continuation of the critical advancement work that benefits our faculty and students and protects and enhances the endowment, designates five percent of all non-endowed gifts toward this fund.
The URIFAE Board of Directors, in concert with its Investment Committee, works diligently to enhance the management of the URI endowment to maximize returns while maintaining appropriate risk and liquidity parameters.
Each year, URIFAE posts a complete list of endowed funds. Funds on this list represent the University’s complete endowment portfolio, including those created to support scholarships, faculty, programs, and capital projects. Though all funds are listed, some funds may not have reached the minimum gift value required to permit a payout. Earnings on these funds will continue to be reinvested into the principal until they payout.
Note for students and parents: The list is prepared primarily for donor relations purposes and lists all funds, not just scholarships. For a list of scholarships available for awarding each year, please review the scholarship list made available by the Office of Enrollment Services.
Endowment stewards are advised of their fund’s market value and distribution amounts directly and in writing. URIFAE also produces an annual report and endowment report each year with investment highlights for the entire endowment portfolio.
For more information contact Gina Simonelli ’01, M.S. ’03, Senior Director, Donor Relations and Engagement, at 401.874.7101 or email@example.com.
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
- To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
- To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
- To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
- To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
- To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
- To be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
- To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
- To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
- To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
- To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.
Note: The text of the statement, above, was developed by the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel (AAFRC), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and adopted in November 1993.
For more information contact Jacqueline Nowell, Associate Vice President, Donor Relations and Engagement, at 401.874.4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.