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ERIC Number: ED559306
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Case History: The Spelman College Endowment
Commonfund Institute
This white paper presents a case history of the Spelman College endowment and how good financial management and alternative strategies for the growth of the endowment has made Spelman's one of the largest among U.S. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). How has Spelman College been able to grow its endowment funds to this level? A review shows that over the past three decades, Spelman's financial officers have applied five factors that can be emulated by other institutions for the objective of growing their own endowments. They are: (1) developing and maintaining relationships with donors; (2) recognizing that alternative strategies offer the potential to add value beyond traditional equities and fixed income; (3) being open and opportunistic; (4) setting high standards of governance and actively promoting trustee involvement; and (5) learning how to make use of an effective fund-raising infrastructure. Spelman has also benefitted from a succession of strong presidents and the careful marshalling of its resources. These leaders have provided Spelman with continuity, skill, and a passion for building the financial resources of this flagship HBCU. This paper takes a closer look at the factors that have been behind the endowment's growth over the years and weaves in closely related historical points and topics, such as Spelman's spending policy.
Commonfund Institute. 15 Old Danbury Road, Wilton, CT 06897. Tel: 203-563-5000; Tel: 888-823-6246; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Commonfund Institute
Identifiers - Location: Georgia