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Vol. 5 Issue 9


Here Today, Here Tomorrow


What is an endowment and why is it important to ASHRAE?

Don’t think of an endowment as merely an investment account. Think of an endowment as a “Gift to the Future.” ASHRAE Foundation’s endowment insures that its donors gifts will support the long-term continuity and sustainability of ASHRAE and the multiple initiatives supported by the Foundation. These gifts in the form of the endowments provide a permanent source of income to support the education, research, and public service missions of ASHRAE. These endowed gifts are managed for the long-term to strike a balance between the competing demands of funding current initiatives and preserving purchasing power to fund future operations.


The source of nearly all the Foundation’s endowment has come from gifts from generous ASHRAE members with an eye on the future. Many of these donors restrict their gifts to a specific purpose such as scholarships for training engineers or other restrictions that reflect the donor’s priorities. Some donors provide unrestricted gifts that enable the ASHRAE Foundation to provide support for future needs that may not be obvious today.


In the past, gifts placed in endowment were limited to distributing only their net income for charitable purposes. The law governing these gifts has been updated to allow investment managers to invest for total return instead of just income. That means the spending power of your gifts are strong and the principal can grow to meet future needs. Since its founding 20 years ago, the ASHRAE Foundation has annually authorized a 5% distribution to support the purposes of the various funds.


Why do endowments matter to the average ASHRAE member? 

Creating your Gift to the Future allows you to continue to give far into the future. Let’s say you give an annual gift or $1,000 to the RP campaign. If you establish an endowed fund, either now or from your estate, of $20,000 your fund will continue to make a $1,000 gift to support RP in perpetuity. Also, when your endowment fund grows in excess of its annual distribution, your principal increases and future distributions can grow as well


How can I make a Gift to the Future?

Endowed funds can be established now so that you can create a fund to support an ASHRAE initiative of interest to you. All it takes is a simple agreement describing your intentions. The minimum amount for an endowed scholarship is $100,000. The minimum for an RP endowment is $3,000. You can also create an endowment as part of your estate plans or add to an existing endowed fund from part of the generosity of your estate.

If you would like more information on how you can leave a legacy for the ASHRAE Foundation, please contact Margaret Smith at, tel: 678-539-1201.


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