How an Endowment Gift Works

In this step-by-step illustration, you’ll see how an endowment gift works, and the benefits that accrue to SU, our students, and the donor.

  1. 1. A College of Visual and Performing Arts alumna makes a $50,000 gift (the minimum amount required) to the Setnor School of Music to establish a named endowed scholarship in memory of her father.
  2. 2. A gift agreement is drafted between Syracuse University and the donor, guaranteeing that her gift will be added to The Syracuse Endowment and used solely for its stated purpose.
  3. 3. The donor’s named scholarship fund buys units in The Syracuse Endowment, much as one buys shares in a mutual fund.
  4. 4. The Board of Trustees’ Investment and Endowment Committee prudently invests the donor’s gift across major asset classes in the University’s portfolio to maximize long-term total return, within acceptable levels of risk.
  5. 5. A predetermined portion of the annual return is used to provide a scholarship for one music student per year. The fund’s principal remains intact.
  6. 6. The remainder of the annual return is reinvested in the named fund’s principal as a hedge against inflation and to generate growth.
  7. 7. The named fund continues to grow, ensuring future scholarship support.

As you can see, the advantages of an endowed fund are many. A talented musician receives financial support. The Setnor School of Music is able to use the scholarship to recruit and retain top students. A steady revenue stream allows the school to plan for future needs. And the donor has created a living legacy.

The example here is just one of the many ways endowment gifts can have an impact. In addition to scholarships, donors can endow faculty chairs or professorships or support academic programs, student activities, the library, athletics, or other programs or departments.

To learn more about creating an endowment at Syracuse University with a gift, pledge, or bequest, contact us.