Endowment Fund

Our Endowment Fund, a permanently restricted fund that helps ensure the Foundation’s long-term sustainability, offers another way to give. Since its inception in 2017, the fund’s value has grown to the point that it provides meaningful operating support. We are thankful for the generous gifts contributed by our Endowment Founders’ Circle, a group of more than 108 members, and to those who continue to make the endowment a giving priority.

 

Endowment Fund Q & A

What is the purpose of the Wood River Women’s Endowment Fund?

The Wood River Women’s Endowment Fund (the “Endowment”) was established by the Board of Directors in March 2017. It is a permanently restricted fund with the goal of ensuring the long-term sustainability of the WRWF.
The Endowment’s principal balance is to be set aside in perpetuity, and a portion of the fund’s annual investment performance will be utilized to help cover the foundation’s general operating expenses.

Why would I want to support the Endowment?

We are proud of what we have accomplished and our role as a major funding source for many needed programs in the Wood River Valley. In order to assure the WRWF’s long-term sustainability through prosperous and lean times the Endowment provides us with supplemental operating support. Because revenue from the administrative fee fluctuates from year to year based on variable membership numbers, it cannot serve as the lone basis for a solid financial plan that includes fixed costs including office rent, part-time employee costs, professional fees, etc.
Achieving our current size – with more than 300 members – comes with a responsibility. It is very important that we strive to assure our own sustainability to leave a lasting mark for the community we serve and for which we care so deeply.

Why did the WRWF decide to build an Endowment?

In 2016, the WRWF began operating as an independent nonprofit organization, with 501(c)(3) IRS designation. As a public charity, there are new demands we must meet that include outside professional support.
The Board concluded that our operating funding was insufficient to support the staff hours needed to manage an organization of our current size and scale effectively. Volunteer board and committee members have historically been over-burdened with administrative tasks. These women were too often dipping into their own pockets to cover WRWF expenses.
WRWF awards grants to nonprofits for capacity building (general operating support); we need to do the same for ourselves. Building an endowment for this purpose is a common practice among nonprofits, and we had reached the point that made sense for us to implement this model.

Isn’t the $100 per person administrative fee sufficient to support the WRWF annual operating budget?

Fifteen years ago when the WRWF was founded, and until the membership reached its current size, the answer to this question was ‘yes’. However, the costs of running a major nonprofit organization have increased significantly since 2005. Not surprisingly, despite a tight budget and diligence in adhering to it, the annual cost of operating a 300+-member organization now exceeds the $100 per member per year fee. On the plus side, the endowment, while only a few years old, is already contributing significantly to support general operating expenses. On the other hand, the amount individual members are underwriting for “out-of-pocket” expenses have still not been eliminated. In sum, the $100 per member fee will likely need to be increased to accurately reflect the true costs of running the WRWF.

Can annual withdrawals from the Endowment be used for grant making?

No. The spending policy limits the use of the endowment to support the operating costs of the WRWF. This is standard operating procedure by nonprofit organizations with endowments.
This means that 100% of the $1,000 membership fee will continue to be directed toward our grant-making function. No membership fees will be used to fund the endowment.

I would like to contribute to the WRWF endowment, what do I do?

Thank you! The first thing to do is click either the green “Endowment Gift  Form” button on this page or the link directly to the form here. Please fill out and submit the form; payment options include:
* By check payable to: Wood River Women’s Foundation Endowment Fund. Mail to: P.O. Box 3686, Ketchum, Idaho, 83340 or drop it by the WRWF office at Ketchum Works, 191 Sun Valley Rd East, Ketchum, ID 83340.
* By credit card or stocks, or to pay over multiple years, please contact the WRWF office at (208) 309-2530 or wrwcf1@gmail.com.

There are also various estate planning and tax efficient opportunities, which we encourage you to discuss with your financial advisors. For instance:
* Individuals who are over 70 1⁄2 and taking RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) from their IRAs can direct those to a not-for-profit organization
* A specific bequest may be made in your will – the WRWF Legacy Giving Fund welcomes gifts from members estate plans.

If you’d like to contribute to our Endowment Fund through a one-time gift or annual contribution, we’d be most grateful. Contributions can be made by check or cash. Currently, there is not an online pay option for Endowment Fund gifts.

Endowment Gift Form