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Endowment Management > Philosophy

Endowment Gifts Securing the University’s Present – and Future

Endowment gifts provide enduring operational support for their specific academic areas through the allocation of a proportion of the additional dollars raised through investments. At the same time, the principal—typically the original gift amount—is seldom, if ever, drawn upon; its existence ensures annual operational dollars as well as a sustainable long-term future for the realm that the donor wished to support.

An endowed chair, for example, can assist enormously in attracting and keeping top-notch scholars. Appointment to an endowed chair designates the recipient as one of the university’s most accomplished and promising professors. In addition to providing annual resources, an endowed faculty position also represents an exceptionally significant achievement in the life of an academic, an occasion marked with formal ceremony and celebration among colleagues, family and friends.

In the same manner, when Case Western Reserve competes for some of the nation’s most talented students, the university’s ability to provide significant financial assistance can play a prominent role in the choices families make. When this assistance also comes in the form of a named scholarship, it sends a compelling signal that the institution so values the student that it has allocated a named award to recognize the academic promise it sees in that young person.

Like the endowed professorship, then, an endowed scholarship also carries significance well beyond the financial resources involved.

As important as this emotional impact is, the amount of assistance provided absolutely matters—both to the individuals and disciplines or programs involved, and also to the university as a whole. In this 2014 fiscal year, for example, the university’s endowment funds and those held by other organizations together provided $83.6 million to support Case Western Reserve’s operating expenses.

In one sense, one could say these dollars allowed Case Western Reserve the ability to invest additional funds in critical priorities. In another, they represent investments in teaching, research and other initiatives that might otherwise never have happened. Both perspectives are true, and each is incredibly important to the university, its faculty and students.

Support from alumni and friends strengthens the endowment and helps safeguard the university’s financial condition. It also means that Case Western Reserve can continue to provide transformative education and research for future generations.

We will continue to steward these gifts carefully, and feel profound gratitude to all who have provided such remarkable support.

Investment Approach

The university’s endowment has a perpetual horizon—that is, the managers of today steward resources for an institution of higher learning that dates back nearly two centuries—and aims to serve students and society for generations to come. Case Western Reserve’s investment approach, then, seeks to grow the endowment as aggressively as possible without incurring undue risk. The goals are to sustain the endowment for generations to come and also ensure that the university can spend a small percentage annually to support donor intent and advance its overall mission.

Investment Pool Target Asset Allocation
Type Percentage
Global Public Equity 40%
Private Equity and Venture Capital 17%
Real Estate and Natural Resources 15%
Marketable Alternatives 23%
Fixed Income 5%