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Endowments at Oklahoma City University

Gifts for immediate needs are vital and always welcome. But there is another way to support the university which while providing for immediate needs, also insures its future well-being. An endowment fund is established with cash, securities or other assets through an outright gift, or through an estate gift. In most cases, unless otherwise instructed by the donor, the fund is permanently restricted in an invested account and only the income from the fund is spent, insuring that your gift will continue to make a difference in perpetuity.

Specifying the Purpose of Your Gift

When you establish an endowment at Oklahoma City University, you decide how the funds will be used. For example, many donors choose to direct their endowments toward student scholarships or faculty chairs or professorships, sustain an on-going program, or provide a fund for changing areas of greatest need.

Others choose to endow their annual gift. As annual giving is the lifeblood of any non-profit organization, the ability to count on your gift each year makes it possible for us to carry out our mission. Through an endowment designated for the annual fund, you can continue to support the university in a meaningful and reliable way even after your death.

The purpose of your endowment gift is up to you, but we do request that you consult with us in advance to make certain we will be capable of meeting the conditions of your gift. Generally, we will prepare an “Endowment Agreement” between you and OCU which specifies the terms of your gift. If you should change your mind about how you want the gift used, the agreement may be amended, but it does serve to insure your wishes are known and met, now and into the future.

Naming an Endowment Fund

In creating an endowment, you have the opportunity to attach your name or the name of something special to you to the project, program, scholarship, or other item to be funded. This enables us to honor and remember you or a loved one far into the future. Your gift becomes a lasting tribute and establishes a permanent link between the past and the future of Oklahoma City University.

If you are considering a memorial gift, please let us know. We will be happy to work with you.

Minimum Endowment Amount

A minimum gift of $25,000 is required to establish an endowment; however, this amount may be pledged and paid over a five-year period. Until the fund reaches $25,000, all earnings are reinvested in the fund and no awards will be made.

How to Get Started

Once you have decided to create an endowment, you can achieve your goal through several methods – the choice is yours. Please contact Judy Reyes-Henderson in the Office of University Advancement at jreyeshenderson@okcu.edu or 405-208-7000. We can answer your questions and get you started – without obligation. Working with you and your financial advisers, we’ll help you determine if an endowment fund at Oklahoma City University meets your philanthropic goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an endowment?

Individual endowments represent the legacy of benevolent donors who invest for long-term growth. An endowment is timeless because the long-term aim is to conserve both the corpus and purchasing power. The investment income and gains earned from an endowment advance the strategic vision of the donor on a continual basis.

Why are endowments important?

Endowments build a legacy of support that spans generations. As a permanent legacy, they will continue to give educational opportunities to the most talented students long into the future. They also allow OCU to recruit and retain the best teachers to build programs and act as esteemed mentors to our students.

What are the minimum endowment levels to establish a named endowed fund?

The minimum gift required to establish a named endowment fund is $25,000. Endowment gifts can be pledged and paid over a period of up to five years.

Some examples of minimum guides for named endowed funds are:

  • Scholarship: $25,000
  • Professorship: $1 million
  • Chair: $2 million

Whose name is on the endowment?

Donors are encouraged to name their endowed fund in a way that is meaningful to them. Many donors establish an endowment in honor of a specific person—a family member, professor or coach—and name the fund accordingly. Endowments can also be named more broadly for the discipline they support or the group or individuals who establish them.

Can I give to an existing endowment?

Yes. Unless you state otherwise in your memorandum of understanding when the gift is established, the fund can be left "open" to future gifts from you or others who choose to support the fund. While there is a minimum of $25,000 to establish a new endowment, there is no minimum gift required for increasing the size of an existing endowment.

Can I choose what my endowment supports?

Yes. A number of donors to Oklahoma City University choose to restrict how their funds can be used. You can designate your gift to support a particular school or program, special initiative, library, or other opportunity at the University or establish an endowment whose income may be utilized at the discretion of the Board to meet strategic needs.

How is an endowed fund invested?

OCU adheres to investment policies intended to provide a balance of risk and return in the portfolio. The investment portfolio is diversified to keep volatility within acceptable limits for the portfolio as a whole. This provides the greatest assurance that future generations benefit from the endowment as much as current students.

When will an endowment begin generating payout that can be spent?

Once the initial gift has been received, the minimum required funding levels have been achieved, and all required paperwork has been completed, initial payout of funds typically will become available after 12 months. Individual gifts in excess of 50% of the market value will become available after 12 months.

How is the amount of annual payout determined and then distributed?

The amount of payout allocated each year varies because it is based on the market value of the endowment portfolio for the last twenty (20) quarters. The Board of Trustees reviews and approves the spending rate annually. The average spending rate for the past five years has been approximately five percent of the endowment's average market value.

How does the endowment increase in value?

While investment returns help to fuel the growth of OCU's endowment, the addition of gifts is more important over the long term. Recurring contributions are important because this allows for averaging the cost basis over time.