How This Community Foundation Manages the Endowments of Local Nonprofits

Oklahoma City. Vision Trail Media/shutterstock

Oklahoma City. Vision Trail Media/shutterstock

Community foundations in America serve many roles, working with donors to create funds, distributing grants, spearheading collaborations and speaking out about locally relevant topics. However, another less-discussed role of these foundation is to manage nonprofit endowments. Few community foundations know this role better than the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (OCCF), which has the largest charitable organization endowment program in the country.

“We are honored to manage endowments for our community’s nonprofits,” said Nancy B. Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation president. “This program provides an important source of funding to help ensure vital charitable services and programs will continue.”

Managing endowments involves a lot of moving parts, such as providing an online reporting service, processing gifts, disbursing funds, and offering trainings on financial management. Notably, nonprofits establishing a new fund here or building up an existing endowment can quality for a Kirkpatrick Family Fund matching grant to boost their efforts.

This all came to our attention because OCCF’s charitable organization endowment program has been cranking out quite a bit of money lately. In October, the funder announced $8 million in grants distributed to 360 charitable organizations. But what really stood out to us about this commitment was the number of local arts and culture groups receiving support. With a total commitment of $3,779,457, arts and culture was the largest charitable interest area supported in central Oklahoma through this program. The next most funded category was education, followed by civic organizations, social services, health, youth and religion.

These types of endowment funds are helping local nonprofits, such as the Oklahoma City Ballet and Jesus House, sustain their operations during slow fundraising months and establish stability in uncertain times. It takes a minimum of $40,000 to join OCCF’s nonprofit endowment program, but that money can come from the nonprofit itself or from outside donors. It’s a system that has been working well for groups in the area, thanks to the investment strategies of OCCF and its growing pool of capital. The minimum annual fee for a charitable organization endowment fund is $300, and these fees are assessed quarterly based on the market value at the end of the quarter.

Managing nonprofit endowments certainly isn’t unique on the community foundation scene. Learn more about the OCCF program here.