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Microlearning: Endowment Fundamentals

A self-paced course on endowment fundamentals you can complete in five short segments.

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Economic Sustainability Leadership
College and university endowments are collections of funds that support students and faculty, as well as the institution’s teaching, research, and public service missions. Endowment funds are essential to an institution’s financial strength and are designed to be sustainable over the long term. Every contribution to an endowment creates a new fiduciary relationship between the donor and the institution, making an endowment a complex investment mechanism that requires detailed record keeping and management.This self-paced course will explore the roles and responsibilities related to endowments, growing endowments through fundraising, and fiduciary and policy responsibilities.
This course includes the following episodes—
  1. How Endowments Work
  2. Asset Allocations
  3. Spending Policies and Practices
  4. Fundraising
  5. Governance
Each episode is about ten minutes and features college and university endowment experts sharing their knowledge on each respective topic. Complete the course however it fits into your busy schedule—one episode at a time or in one sitting. Either way, you’ll earn 1 CPE credit for completing the whole course and gain wisdom that will help you along your higher education journey.
Note: the videos used in this course were recorded prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviewee titles are listed as they were at the time of the recording and may have since changed.

How to Access the Course

After you register, you will navigate to your NACUBO classroom to access the course. 

Endowment Management

Meet the Presenters

  • Tom Heck, chief investment officer, Ball State University Foundation
  • Ann E. Kaplan, senior director, Voluntary Support of Education, Council for Aid and Support of Education
  • Michelle Matis, chief financial officer, Northern Arizona University Foundation 
  • Maeesha Merchant, senior vice president, finance and operations, chief financial officer, chief innovation officer, California Institute of the Arts
  • Cathleen Rittereiser, executive director, Commonfund Institute
Note: Interviewee titles are listed as they were at the time of the recording and may have since changed.

What You Will Learn

NACUBO’s professional development programs are designed to deliver the skills, concepts, and best practices for success to individuals in the business of higher education. After participating in this program, you will be able to—

  • Discuss how asset allocation and spending policies can support an institution's mission
  • Explain the fundamentals of and uses for college and university endowments
  • Identify key strategies for endowment fundraising and governance

Who Should Attend

  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Controllers
  • Development Officers
  • Endowment Chief Investment Officers
  • Governing Board Members
  • Institutional Treasurers
  • Investment and Finance Committee Board members
  • Professional Endowment Fund Managers

CPE Information

Estimated 1 CPE Credit

CPE Category: Finance (Note: each individual must register to earn CPE 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


Registration assistance: 877.797.7698 or

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