Investment & Management

With the experience and expertise of Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF), donors trust that their endowment funds will grow and support their wishes, now and forever.

Our goal is to work with donors to provide lifelong support for Edmonton’s non-profit sector. In order to do this, we must earn sufficient investment returns to:

  • Allow disbursements according to the spending policy,
  • Pay ECF’s administration expenses, and
  • Grow the asset base to maintain the purchasing power of the investment portfolio.

All our investments are professionally managed. They earned an annualized rate of return on investment of 5.83% (in 2016), net of average custodian and investment counsel fees. Gross of fees, they have earned 8.17% since 1989. The long-term average real rate of return, as measured over moving 10-year periods, is expected to be a minimum of 5.5%.

ECF’s Board, with assistance from the Investment Committee, sets investment policy and regularly reviews the investment portfolio. The Investment Committee consists of volunteers with senior level investment management experience. It reviews ECF’s professional fund managers’ performance quarterly against established benchmarks. If a new or additional investment manager is needed, we will use an independent consultant for the search.

Disbursement guidelines

We follow a disciplined disbursement policy, disbursing 4% of the endowment fund to charities each year. This ensures funds keep pace with inflation and can accommodate periodic weak investment performance. Over time, this means more support is provided to our community than if any higher percentage of fund value were disbursed.

Endowment funds and grants continue to grow year over year because any net earnings above administrative costs and the 4% disbursed are reinvested. We also keep net administration costs below 1% of the average market value of all funds.

Careful stewardship practices like this gives our donors confidence that their gifts will be carefully invested for the long term. The investment income provides support for our community for generations to come, matching donor wishes with community needs.

Click here to learn more about how endowment funds work. You can also contact our Donor Services Team at donorservices@ecfoundation.org to establish an endowment fund and begin building your lasting legacy today.