Endowments are money, or other financial assets, that are donated to colleges or universities. These donations are then invested so that the total asset value will yield an inflation-adjusted principal amount, as well as additional income which may be used for further investments and supplementary expenditures.
William Jewell College currently has an endowment valued at $72,837,210, as reported to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation at the beginning of the July 1, 2016 fiscal year. Clark Morris, the vice president for institutional advancement here at Jewell, stated that donations to this have been experiencing “nice growth”, a growth rate of between three to five percent each year.
Yet, Morris observes that “nationally, alumni giving percentages are decreasing” and that this is no different at Jewell. It is hoped that the current rebranding mission will encourage donations to Jewell and prevent this trend from affecting Jewell.
Money comprising the endowment comes solely from donations and investment revenue. Donations are received in the form of direct monetary contributions or physical assets, such as property and estates. Money received is invested into several different assets, from which Jewell attains the revenue required to continue operations. The current spending policy of Jewell is a capped five percent of the endowment value of that fiscal year.
Currently Jewell’s endowment is invested into securities, land and estates, and oil and gas rights from the Mallet Ranch in Texas. A portion of the endowment is also managed by an investment company, run by Commerce Bank. These investments are decided by the trustees of the college. However, donors are given the opportunity to specify how their contributions are allocated.
Many donors contribute specifically to the “Jewell Fund” which is specifically used to fund student scholarships and learning opportunities on and off campus. Aside from direct donations, revenue from the endowment is invested into endowed scholarships, departmental scholarships, chairs and professorships, the Harriman Jewell Series and athletic programs.
Larger on-campus projects, such as the construction of the Pryor Learning Commons (PLC) in 2013, are funded through donations attained through capital campaigns. The most recent capital campaign run out of Jewell was between 2008-2012, with gifts being accepted through 2014.
Susan Tideman, the Associate Vice President for Advancement at Jewell, stated that Jewell seeks donations by reaching out to alumni and potential donors, and “telling our [Jewell’s] story.” Donations are typically requested in the form of scholarships, initially valued at $25 thousand dollars. In the most recent fiscal year, 11 percent of Jewell alumni donated to the college.
Jewell recognizes donor contributions in a variety of ways, namely the John Priest Greene Giving Society which donors can join by committing to contribute over $1000 annually to Jewell. Members of this society are honored by having a named brick placed on the Quad, as well as being invited to a number of campus traditions and events, including the Hanging of the Green and Achievement Week.
Additionally, members of this society receive a quarterly newsletter, and an honors roll of Jewell donors is published online each year. A digital accountability report is also published annually detailing the donations received and publicly acknowledging the role that donors play in keeping Jewell’s doors open.