What is an endowment?
An endowment is a pool of invested assets created to provide a financial return to a nonprofit institution. By maintaining the investments over a long period of time, a portion of the financial returns provide a steady stream of cash income, called the endowment draw.
An institution’s Trustees set spending controls to ensure that the endowment draw is consistent and does not exceed the returns on the endowment’s assets, which allows income to accrue in perpetuity. The draw amount, often 5% of the principal amount, is what is available in any given year.