Our Insights

August 2016

Keeping Underwater Endowments Afloat (and the Programs They Support)

Tracy Filosa


When endowment funds slip “underwater” (below the historic dollar value of the original gift), institutions face a tradeoff between distributing anticipated budget support and restoring the endowment to its original value. Ultimately, the choice of underwater policy depends on the situation and needs of each institution in balancing endowment preservation with program support.