BU’s Endowment: Learn More
A university’s endowment is essentially a trust fund: It is the income-generating body of investments that is maintained in perpetuity and underwrites the institution’s operations.
Boston University’s endowment is referred to as “the pooled endowment.” Donors to the “pool” designate their gifts for specific purposes such as scholarships, lectureships, professorships, or special programs.
The pooled endowment is made up of individual funds, each of which is assigned unit shares within the pool—the unit shares determine the annual market value and the annual disbursement.
The investment committee of the Board of Trustees manages the endowment. Investments are conservative and diversified, and they include domestic and international equities, as well as fixed-income investments. The managers balance the need for immediate revenue with the necessity of preserving assets for the future.
A pooled endowment fund operates very much like a mutual fund but has the advantage of an almost limitless time frame. This is why endowed gifts are also made to honor individuals or foundations, as legacies that will last well beyond a lifetime.
Why is the endowment critical?
While Boston University relies heavily on current sources of income to take care of immediate needs, the endowment is critical to its long-term success. It is the foundation that keeps the University working today, while assuring support in the years to come.
For donors, the endowment provides an opportunity to make gifts that honor loved ones, create legacies, and fund people and programs important to them in perpetuity.
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