In conjunction with the release of the 2023 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of NACUBO’s endowment study, NACUBO will again offer a biweekly series exploring endowment fundamentals in 2024—tackling tough questions about asset management and sharing the latest information on key issues that affect endowment investing, spending, and management. Over the course of this six-session series, thought leaders from leading investment companies, the higher education sector, and other stakeholders will share their expertise on current trends and challenging topics.
Registration for this series includes the following sessions. Session descriptions are in the schedule below.
Please note you can only earn credit for attending the program live. Each individual must register and attend separately to earn credit.
NACUBO is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website www.nasbaregistry.org.
Fundamentals of College and Nonprofit Endowments
February 8, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Finance
Even among those with years of higher education experience, endowments and how they work can be challenging to describe. Experts will explain the legal and governing structure of endowment funds and how they are managed to provide colleges, universities, and other nonprofit organizations with a steady and reliable source of funding over the long term. This session explores the basic structure of endowments and covers how they are managed to support current operations without shortchanging the future.
Describe the importance of endowment funds for scholarships, faculty, research, public service, and campus infrastructure
Recognize the long-term objectives of investment practices and policies
Identify pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced investment management
Explore current issues impacting endowments such as socially conscious investing
William Jarvis, managing director and philanthropic executive, Bank of America
Liz Clark, vice president, policy and research, NACUBO
Results From the 2023 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments
February 22, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Specialized Knowledge
This session provides an overview of the results of the 2023 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, the most comprehensive analysis of endowment investment returns, asset allocations, and governance policies and practices at U.S. higher education institutions and affiliated foundations.
The 2023 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, the 50th anniversary of NACUBO’s endowment study series, is expected to show that college and university endowments posted below average returns in fiscal year 2023. These lower returns, and the prospect for tough market conditions in the future, bring even more pressure for universities to spend more from their endowments to support students and faculty. The returns also come as campus leaders are facing rising inflation, lower enrollments, and increasing calls for controlling college costs.
College and university chief investment officers and other panelists will look back at the investment returns, asset allocations, and other factors that influenced performance in FY23. Panelists will address the challenges of the financial market conditions they are facing in 2024 and beyond. They will also share the major highlights endowments have seen over the past 50 years.
Ken Redd, senior director, research and policy analysis, NACUBO
Nuts and Bolts of Endowment Management
March 7, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Finance
Institutions with endowments must have strong relationships between business, academic, investment, development, and governance functions. This session touches on how many moving institutional parts work together and why. Topics include donor reporting, endowed faculty positions, accounting, and record keeping for individual funds, fiduciary responsibility, funds functioning as endowments, public policy and perception, understanding the giving pipeline, and the importance of communicating endowment spending benefits internally and externally.
Understand the complexity of endowment nuts and bolts across campus
Explain differences in roles and objectives between business, academic, donor, investment, and fiduciary functions
Develop strategies for communicating internally and externally
RI, ESG, and Diversity: Defining Goals and Designing Strategies
March 21, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Finance
College and university investment offices have been responding to stakeholders’ social concerns for decades. Responsible investing (RI) involved responding to calls to divest from South Africa because of apartheid in the 1960s–1980s and now includes considering concerns about climate change and racial equity issues in terms of management and fund ownership. For example, data has shown that a lack of diversity in the asset management field, and a lack of diversity among college and university asset managers specifically, is an ongoing and persistent issue that some colleges and universities have begun to address. Others have made major new strategic investment decisions to stop investing in fossil fuels. Further, there is increasing interest from regulators and others to increase reporting on hard-to-define environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. During this session, explore strategies for investing with impact and with fiduciary duty.
Discover how colleges and universities are seeking high-impact solutions that deliver competitive returns and pursue ESG goals
Understand diverse asset management myths and opportunities
Endowment Spending Considerations
April 4, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Finance
Most institutional endowments have seen lower investment rates of return over the past two years. At the same time, there is pressure on campuses to spend more endowment dollars on student financial aid and other important functions. To deal with these pressures, some institutions made special spending appropriations, while others stayed the course in their spending dollars, resulting in modest spending increases over time due to the spending “smoothing” effect of multi-year trailing average returns. Can a single year of significant spending compromise intergenerational equity? Since returns can be unrealized, what will continued market volatility mean for institutions that significantly increase spending? What are the best strategies to ensure stability while increasing spending? This session’s experts will address such questions, especially given large swings in returns over the past two years. Panelists will also discuss the latest strategic investment practices that consider national and global economic policy decisions.
Evaluate trends in endowment spending rates and spending dollars by endowment size
Appraise the challenges and opportunities of spending when spending in the short-term diverges from policy
Assess spending rate policies and practices that can better meet institutionally specific resource needs
Benchmarking Investment Performance
April 18, 2024 • 2–3:15 pm ET • 1.5 CPE Credits in Finance
How can higher education endowments best compare their investment rates of return and other results against peer institutions? What are the best tools available for conducting effective, data-driven analysis of endowment performance? This session will discuss the critical topic of college and university peer-analysis benchmarking of endowment returns, asset allocations, and other key data. Panelists will provide advice on the tools and tips that can be used by investment managers and committees for evaluating performance against a variety of peer institutional sets.
Gain new insights into how to assess and implement tools that could help enhance your endowment performance
Learn how to implement the latest methodologies used for identifying and benchmarking the key indicators of endowment performance
Understand and implement benchmarking strategies that can drive more effective data-driven strategies to achieve long-term success
This highly attended online series is your opportunity to engage with higher education business leaders as they as they delve into the challenging issues surrounding endowment investing, spending and management. The series consist of six bi-weekly events and has opportunities for sponsors to be branded with the series and speak on specific endowment related topics. Additionally, sponsors can support the 2023 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. Your sponsorship provides you with recognition as a featured supporter and you will receive exposure to event attendees as well as the thousands who receive and read the study.