What is an Endowment?
At just about every private college or university in America, the endowment is the bedrock, aimed to support the school’s educational mission in perpetuity.
An endowment is an aggregation of cash and assets invested by the school. It often contains individual endowments designated to support various university goals, such as designated scholarship funds, faculty retirement funds, and so forth.
For donors, an endowment allows them to transfer their private dollars to public purposes with the assurance that their gifts will serve these purposes for as long as the institution continues to exist. An endowment is a contract between a donor and an institution, linking past, current, and future generations.
For the school, an endowment allows leaders to plan far into the future, knowing the resources to meet those commitments will continue to be available.
What are the different types of endowments?
Term endowments usually stipulate that the principal can be expended only after a certain time or event.
Unrestricted endowments are assets that can be spent, saved, invested, and distributed at the discretion of the institution with the understanding that this is a cash resource of last resort.
Quasi endowments are donations by an individual or institution given for a specific purpose. The principal is typically retained while the earnings are spent as the donor specifies.
Restricted endowments hold their principal in perpetuity, while earnings from the invested assets are expended as the donor specifies. To protect the endowment from the corrosive effects of inflation, restricted endowments often require that half the earnings be added to principal each year to offset inflation, leaving the remaining earnings to support the institution.
How does an endowment serve Maharishi International University?
Our revenues fluctuate over time with changes in enrollment, donations, state and federal support, and — especially important to us — visa issuance rates for our international students.
The 2008 recession seriously challenged our cash flow. An adequate endowment will be essential to weather the next one.
Although endowment earnings vary with changes in financial markets and investment strategies, most institutions follow prudent guidelines to buffer economic fluctuations and ensure a relatively stable income stream from the interest generated by earnings.
Endowments frequently support student aid, faculty positions, academic programs, research, and infrastructure — activities that can’t easily be started and stopped and that would suffer if support were to fluctuate. That’s why stable support from an endowment is so important.
We need the flexibility to adapt to the fluctuating economy. For example, we may need to increase student aid to respond to changing demographics and families’ financial need. We may have to occasionally draw upon our endowment income to provide the same high-quality service even though tuition revenues are temporarily lower.
Without endowments or other private gifts, private schools sometimes have to cut back on essential programs, further increase tuition, or borrow or raise more money to maintain programs at current prices.
Transitioning to a traditional endowment
For nearly fifty years, lacking a significant endowment, MIU has been sustained by a human endowment. Foregoing traditional salaries, our talented faculty and staff have come to work here because of their commitment to our mission.
The resulting payroll savings have produced the same result as a traditional endowment, enabling us to use a major portion of our revenue for operations.
Without this gift from many hundreds of dedicated people over nearly five decades, MIU would not be here today.
Over the past six years, made possible due to higher tuition revenues, we have increased payroll by 150%. This critical strategic decision to move toward market salaries is vital for attracting and retaining the talent we need to ensure MIU’s strength and stability.
A Golden Opportunity
With exciting new academic programs, students from 88 countries this year, new partnerships in other countries, and a campus being transformed through the generosity of our donors, the stage is set for MIU to transition from dependence on its human endowment to the security of a traditional cash/asset endowment — the kind of endowment that sustains the majority of colleges and universities in America.
The timing couldn’t be better. A visionary donor has offered to match, dollar for dollar, donations up to $1 million to establish a permanent endowment for MIU.
We have a six-month window starting January 1, 2020, to raise $1 million in matching funds.
As we prepare to celebrate our golden anniversary in 2021, we have a golden opportunity to create a $2 million endowment for MIU by June 30, 2020 — a springboard to long-term financial stability.
Please join us in this vital next step to help secure MIU’s next fifty years and beyond.
Giving by Mail
Make a check payable to MIU and mail to:
Maharishi International University
1000 North 4th Street
Fairfield, IA 52557
Giving By Bank Wire
Send a wire from your bank to:
First National Bank
100 East Burlington
Fairfield, Iowa 52556 USA
Routing # (also referred to as ABN #) 073901877
Maharishi International University
1000 North Fourth St.
Fairfield, IA 52557 USA
Account # 14-9825-8
Include your name, the word “donation" and the purpose of your donation.
Talk to us
You can call our office during regularly scheduled hours from 10:15 am to 4:30 pm each day at 641-472-1180
Or contact one of our gift officers:
641-472-1180 (call or text )
641-209-5478 (call or text)
Development Office ♦ Maharishi International University ♦ 1000 North 4th Street ♦ Fairfield, IA 52557
firstname.lastname@example.org ♦ 641-472-1180 Monday-Friday, 10:15-4:30 CST
Maharishi International University, a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation since 1988, is designated to receive charitable gifts.