How can I create a Lifesaving Fund?
Depending on funding levels, a named endowed fund may be created to support general operations of the Idaho Humane Society, or a selection of specific programs. Endowment assets are invested, and each year, a portion of the value of the fund is paid out to support the fund’s purpose, and any earnings in excess of this distribution are used to build the fund’s market value. In this way, an endowment fund can grow and provide support for its designated purpose in perpetuity.
To establish a named endowment fund, there is a minimum outright commitment level of $25,000. This amount can be paid over a period of up to 5 years. Direct gifts of cash or other property with a value of $25,000 or more may be used to create a named endowment. Lesser amounts are generally accepted and will be fully endowed, providing the donor intends to attain the $25,000 level within five years. (Examples of property gifts include appreciated stocks, bonds, or real estate).
If a donor has established a planned gift, for example through a bequest. valued at $25,000 or higher, then the minimum outright commitment level is $500. This amount can be paid over a period of up to 2 years. A named endowment fund may be arranged through a variety of deferred giving opportunities. Even though the gift comes to the Idaho Humane Society in the future, all of the necessary agreements are prepared today. Deferred gifts include will provisions, life estates, charitable life income arrangements, retirement plans and life insurance.
How much funding will IHS distribute from my Lifesaving Fund?
There are two options available to determine the annual spendable portion of the fund. The method may be selected by the donor:
- Percent of total value (including principle) distribution. Annually, the Idaho Humane Society approves a distribution from the fund within a range that is provided in the donor agreement (typically between 2.5 and 5 %). This allows a potential greater impact on programs in the near term, but risks dilution of the principle of the fund. As a safeguard to ensure the fund lives in perpetuity, a threshold is designated so that if the total fund value falls below the threshold no distributions are approved until the fund gains a value exceeding the threshold value.
- Percent of annual appreciation, principle preserved. The principal funds in the named fund are never spent. Only a percentage of the interest and appreciation earned from the endowment is used to support current programs and services, the remainder is reinvested back into the endowment fund. This ensures that the endowment fund lives at Idaho Humane Society forever, helping us meet the long-term needs of our community and region.
How do I define my Lifesaving Fund's Purpose?
An endowment agreement between the donor and the Idaho Humane Society permanently defines the purpose of the fund. The agreement also outlines the Idaho Humane Society’s standard procedures for managing endowment funds.
The endowment can be named for a pet, the donor, the donor’s family, a friend, a company, etc. – the choice is the donors.
The endowment will be recorded as “The [Name of Donor’s Choice] Endowment Fund.”
The Idaho Humane Society uses standard language for endowment agreements to ensure consistency in management of the funds and to minimize expensive administrative burdens. However, higher funding levels provide us the opportunity to customize fund agreements. As we work with the donor to establish the endowment, we will discuss the donor’s preferences and suggestions with them.
If a donor wishes to donate to an existing endowment that reflects their interests a donor agreement is not necessary.
Donors who have established an endowment fund in the past, may continue to make gifts to them over time. The larger a fund is, the more impact it can have each year.
Once an endowment reaches the minimum funding level and starts generating spendable income, the Idaho Humane Society will begin sending the donor annual reports detailing the value and use of your endowment fund. The purpose of the endowment will dictate the news updates that will be included in the reporting document.
Endowment Funding Levels
Customized $150,000 (or more): Donors meeting this funding level may work with the Idaho Humane Society to create a named endowment fund that is customized to support the donor’s funding priorities. Areas of focus include veterinary care, humane education of children, legislative advocacy, behavioral therapy of shelter pets, etc.
General Support $25,000 to $150,000. Donors meeting this funding level can create an endowment fund that supports the general operations of the Idaho Humane Society, or up to two specific program areas. The distributions will be expended based on a standardized protocol.
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