WCU Endowments

An endowment is created through the establishment of a permanent fund that is invested and managed. A portion of annual investment growth and income generated is used to carry out the donor's designated purpose. Endowment yield in excess of the annual amount spent is added back into the fund so that it continues to grow and maintain its purchasing power for future generations.

Endowments create financial stability, allowing Western Carolina to be less dependent on unpredictable sources of revenue, such as state appropriations. Endowments allow for a rich variety of activities, including scholarships and fellowships for talented students; support for distinguished and dedicated faculty members through professorships, or chairs; and support for research and other programs.

Outright gifts and planned gifts such as charitable trusts and bequests are popular ways to fund the initial endowment or add to it in later years. Donors may fund endowments with a single gift or multiple gifts spread over time.

 

Endowments Frequently Asked Questions

What is an endowed scholarship fund?

An endowed scholarship fund is a permanent fund with the WCU Foundation. Scholarship gifts for the University's endowment are never spent. Instead, they are prudently invested according to the University's Endowment Investment Policy. Every year, a percentage of each scholarship fund's market value is awarded to students according to the donor's wishes.

How do I name and establish criteria for my endowed scholarship fund?

Your endowed fund is created by you to name as you wish. Often it is named in honor or in memory of someone of importance in the donor's life. Whatever name you choose, the scholarship can reach the student(s) that you feel are most critical to reach.
Criteria may include:

  • Graduates of a particular high school, undergraduate or graduate students
  • In-state or anywhere in the United States
  • Whether or not financial need is considered
  • Cumulative GPA
  • College Major
  • Activities
  • Community Service
  • Merit based consideration
  • Athletic consideration

No Fund may discriminate among applicants on the basis of race, gender, religious preference, citizenship or ethnic origin.

How much does it cost to endow a scholarship?

Donors work with WCU's development staff to understand the ultimate goal of what the donor is hoping to accomplish with his or her gift. The current endowment threshold is $25,000.

How is endowment spending determined?

The WCU Foundation board of directors approved an endowment spending policy recommended by the investment committee. The spending policy is based on a total return approach to maintain stable cash flow over an extended period of time, to protect endowment funds against inflation, and to preserve and grow the purchasing power of the endowment. For fiscal year 2017, the spending policy of the foundation is five percent of the endowment pool's twelve quarter rolling average market value, discarding the highest and lowest quarter's value as determined on June 30th.

Are there fees associated with my endowed fund?

A 1% fee is charged to the Fund annually. This is assessed on the fair market value of the fund on June 30 of each year. No administrative fee is charged until the Fund reaches the endowment threshold.

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