Endowment Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is an endowment?
A: Endowments represent the University's permanently invested capital that generates funds (annual interest/dividend earnings) to support our students and faculty. Each donor decides which area of the University they wish to assist with their endowment. Oftentimes, endowments are named for the donor(s), for loved ones of the donor(s), or for someone for whom the donor(s) have great admiration, i.e., a respected faculty member. Each year the University makes available part of the endowment earnings for the purpose selected by the donor(s) when the endowment was established. To protect against inflation, and to help each donor's endowment grow over time, a portion of endowment earnings may be added back to the endowment principal.
Q: How much money does it take to start an endowment?
A: The UL Lafayette Foundation Board of Trustees has set different minimum funding levels for different types of endowments:
• $25,000 will establish an unrestricted endowment for a particular college such as the College of the Arts or College of Engineering.
• $25,000 will establish an endowment restricted to a specific purpose, such as faculty support within the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.
• $25,000 will establish an unrestricted financial aid endowment. The most common example of this is a scholarship that supports undergraduates.
• $25,000 will establish a restricted financial aid endowment, such as a scholarship that gives preference to biology majors or international students.
• $100,000 will establish an Endowed Superior Graduate Scholarship. Base funding for these competetive scholarships is typically provided by the combined efforts of private donors contributing $60,000 and the State of Louisiana Board of Regents contributing $40,000.
Faculty Chairs & Professorships
• $1,000,000 will establish an endowed chair. Base funding for chairs is typically provided by the combined efforts of private donors contributing $600,000 and the State of Louisiana Board of Regents contributing $400,000.
• $100,000 will establish an endowed professorship. Base funding for professorships is typically provided by the combined efforts of private donors contributing $60,000 and the State of Louisiana Board of Regents contributing $40,000.
Q: What else does it take?
A: A gift agreement. This agreement between the donor and the University permanently defines the purpose of the fund. The agreement also outlines UL Lafayette’s standard procedures for managing endowment funds.
Q: Whose name is on the endowment?
A: You can name an endowment for yourself, your family, your friend, your favorite former professor, your company – the choice is yours. Your endowment will be recorded as “The [Name of Your Choice] Endowment Fund.”
Q: My lawyer knows about endowments. Can I have him/her prepare my endowment agreement?
A: UL Lafayette uses standard language for endowment agreements to ensure consistency in management of the funds. As we work with you to establish the endowment, we will discuss your preferences and suggestions with you.
Q: Do I need to sign an endowment agreement or meet a minimum gift level if I want to give to an existing endowment?
A: No. You can make a gift of any size to an existing endowment fund without signing an endowment agreement. There may be an existing endowment that reflects your interests to which you can add your support. Also, many donors who have established endowment funds in the past continue making gifts to them over time. The larger a fund is, the more it can do each year.
Q: How is the distribution from an endowment used? Are there any administrative assessments against endowments?
A: The spending distribution from each endowment fund is used to support the purpose as specified in the endowment agreement between the donor and the University. The University may assess reasonable charges against the market value of and/or distributions from the endowment to help defray certain expenses including development and indirect costs associated with administering the endowment, such as space and academic and administrative support.
STEWARDSHIP AND RECOGNITION
Q: How do I find out about my endowment after I have made my gift?
A: Once an endowment reaches the minimum funding level and starts generating spendable income, UL Lafayette will provide you with information about the value of the fund and the impact of your philanthropy. Financial aid endowment donors will also learn about their scholarship recipients.
Q: Can I meet the students who benefit from my scholarship?
A: In most cases, yes. Usually this is coordinated with the academic college's scholarship coordiator. If you do not have an opportunity to meet your student at a campus event, UL Lafayette's Office of Development can arrange a visit for you during some other time.
Q: How else does UL Lafayette recognize major donors?
A: Each year the UL Lafayette Foundation honors supporters who have contributed $50,000 or more or make a commitment of $100,000 or more during the fiscal year at the Distinguished Donors event. Hosted by the UL Lafayette Foundation Board of Trustees, this event recognizes generous constituents who collectively contributed to improving our University.