In 2014 Arise Africa started the endowment fund as another opportunity for donors to give with a long-lasting impact. This fund was set up for two reasons. The first is to help Arise Africa become self-sustaining and have funds in the future to operate from. The second is to have access to funds in case of an emergency in Africa. Currently the endowment has around $40,000 invested.
The endowment has been set up as a non-profit entity and has a board of three members. Donors can contribute directly to the endowment and these funds will be responsibly invested. All donations to the endowment are tax-deductible. At the end of each year, the board will decide if Arise Africa should use the interest earned from the endowment for its operating expenses or return the interest to pour it back into the endowment. The current goal is for the interest earned from the endowment to be reinvested helping grow the endowment as much as possible. However, it is our prayer that one day the endowment might grow to a size that the interest earned might be able to cover some of the operating expenses of Arise Africa. In return, this would help each donor's dollar reach the program to which they are giving. (As stated, we currently take 7% of every donation to help cover our operating expenses.)
The endowment is invested through Robertson, Griege and Thoele, independent financial advisors based in Dallas, Texas. The endowment board monitors the investing throughout the year. Founded in 1985, Robertson, Griege & Thoele serves clients with the highest standards of integrity, excellence and innovation. For more than 30 years, they are the adviser for select individuals and families who desire a customized approach to their investment management and financial planning needs. Robertson, Griege & Thoele advise high, net-worth individuals such as corporate executives, professionals, business owners, professional athletes and other clients of substantial income and/or assets. They are listed on Barron's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors.
Please watch our endowment video to learn more about how it works:
Currently the endowment funds are invested in the American Funds American Balanced F2:
You can also download the mutual fund report on where our funds are invested:
The principal funds in the endowment can never be utilized unless there is an emergency in Africa. The Arise Africa board would have to make a special request to the endowment board for funds. Every single option or other solution would be sought before going to the endowment board. The last possible option would be to tap into the endowment. Then the endowment board would have to vote on whether they feel endowment funds should be pulled. Currently some of the possible theories for a request from the endowment fund would be if tribal warfare broke out and we needed to get our full-time custody children in the Arise Home to a safe place. Another theory involves if Ebola broke out in the areas we serve and we needed funds to help protect our children and staff. Although Arise Africa prays that the endowment funds are never touched, we also feel a responsibility to be prepared and to have back-up funds to help the children and staff we serve. We would rather not have emergency funds sitting in a bank account not earning any money for us. Therefore we feel the endowment is a perfect place for the funds.
Donors can give to the endowment fund by writing a check made out to Arise Africa and writing in the memo line "endowment." They also can give to the endowment online through credit card.
If you would like more information on the endowment fund feel free to email Alissa and she can help you get in touch with a board member or the investment firm.