The GWG Endowment

Endowment funds are financial assets donated to support an organization’s mission and objectives, providing long-term financial stability and support through income generation and growth of the fund’s investments. They are crucial for the sustainability of many institutions, including universities, hospitals, museums and other nonprofit organizations.

On the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 2016, the GWG Board voted unanimously to create an endowment to ensure a robust level of philanthropic engagement in perpetuity, and to allow GWG to be opportunistic in contributing to community needs that don’t fall into its traditional grant cycle. The endowment is managed by the investment committee of the Community Foundation of Greenville. All CFG requirements for donations apply. View the endowment brochure.

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Frequently asked questions:

Why did GWG create an endowment?

GWG is an important part of the philanthropic fabric of Greenville County. The endowment was created in 2016 for two main reasons: (1) to help ensure that we can continue our current level of community support in perpetuity, and (2) to allow us flexibility in responding to community needs that may not fall into our grant cycle. Examples might be a natural disaster or a health crisis, as we already experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

How large will the endowment be, and will its proceeds be spent immediately?

There is no limit to the endowment’s potential size. Our endowment bylaws state that no money will be distributed until the fund reaches at least $500,000. The principal, or “corpus,” is to remain intact. Investment earnings above that amount may be distributed following the Community Foundation of Greenville’s spending policy, but there is no requirement to make distributions in a given year. The endowment fund can continue to grow until needs emerge.

Will endowment proceeds benefit Greenville County nonprofits?

Yes, endowment funds will provide charitable contributions to qualified organizations providing services in Greenville County.

How will endowment funds be spent?

The GWG Board must approve each expenditure, and it can review spending guidelines on an annual basis. The GWG Endowment Committee (five to nine Board appointed members which include the GWG Treasurer, the Community Foundation liaison, and one GWG Co-Chair) will make recommendations to the Board, which will make the final decision.

Is there regular reporting on the endowment status and its uses?

Yes, GWG bylaws require that an annual report is made to the full GWG Membership.

How does GWG raise money for the endowment?

The primary way is through voluntary member donations and bequests. Also, the Board approved policy is that any undesignated gift GWG receives (for example, donations “In Honor of” or “In Memory of”) will go into the endowment. The annual SHEro campaign has also raised endowment funds.

Who manages the GWG endowment investments?

The assets of the endowment are invested by the Community Foundation of Greenville which oversees and manages the assets. Our endowment joins those of other local nonprofit organizations that the CFG currently
manages, such as the United Way of Greenville County, Public Education Partners, and The Warehouse Theatre.

Is there a minimum donation?

No, gifts of all sizes are welcome.

If I make an extra donation to GWG does it go into the endowment?

How your extra donation is used is up to you. If you make a specific request (e.g., place in the current year’s grant pool) it will be honored. However, if you do not specify, it will be put into the endowment.

Can I donate stock to the endowment?

Yes, the process is the same one used for stock donations to fulfill your annual membership commitment. Contact the Community Foundation (864-233-5925) and they will facilitate the process.

My employer has a matching gift program. Can it be used for the endowment?

Your endowment gift may be eligible for a match in accordance with your company’s policy. If you let us know, we will work with you to provide the information your company needs.

How can I plan for a bequest to be made to GWG?

The Community Foundation can help you with the appropriate wording for the bequest. Then you should work with your personal attorney, accountant or financial advisor.

I like that my money is granted in the year I make a donation. Do I have to contribute to the endowment?

No. Contributions to the endowment are completely voluntary. GWG’s primary focus remains our annual grant cycle that immediately returns member donations into grants for worthy causes. The endowment is our means of ensuring that GWG continues its community-building work into the future.

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