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George Suttles

Diversity and Inclusion on Nonprofit Boards is Effective Stewardship

Posted by George Suttles on Oct 10, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

Many institutions recognize the need for diversity and inclusion on their boards and investment committees. Diverse and inclusive boards can make more effective decisions, design and deliver appropriate services and initiatives for diverse individuals and communities, and are better able to compete in an era of scarce resources when an increasing number of donors care about diversity within organizations seeking their support. Most recently...

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Higher Education: Philanthropy is an Adjunct, Sensible Public Policy Deserves Tenure

Posted by George Suttles on Jul 8, 2019

Topic: Governance and Policy

Colleges and universities are straining to identify revenue streams apart from raising tuition to sustain their business model, but these strategies, including philanthropy, cannot substitute for public policy that adequately funds the higher education system. The ethical consideration here is that flawed policy continues to

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The Case for Using the Higher Education Price Index® (HEPI) to Define Inflation for Colleges

Posted by George Suttles on Jun 24, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

When calculating return targets for an endowment portfolio, a conventional piece of the equation is often the Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI plus 5% is...

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Nonprofit Hospitals –
Big Business in Nonprofit Clothing?

Posted by George Suttles on Jun 17, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

Studies have shown that some nonprofit hospitals do not act like nonprofits, especially when the economy is doing poorly. As nonprofit hospital’s finances get more challenging, they may not be willing to offer services that are less profitable but greatly needed. This is Part Two in our three-part series of thought pieces, in which the Commonfund Institute will contemplate ever evolving ethical considerations among nonprofit institutions pulled right from current events.

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Museums and Cultural Institutions

Posted by George Suttles on Jun 5, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

Recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it would no longer take donations from members of the Sackler family, the ultra-high net worth family that owns the large pharmaceutical company responsible for Oxycontin. Although public scrutiny of trustees and politically driven protests of museums are not new, a mainstream museum or cultural institution outright refusing to accept a gift that is deemed misaligned with its values is exceptional. The current socio-political climate have magnified scrutiny and increased the importance of ethical considerations of stewardship..

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Donor Advised Funds: Changing the Philanthropic Landscape for Higher Education

Posted by George Suttles on Apr 24, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are the fastest growing giving vehicle in philanthropy. A DAF is like an investment account dedicated to the purpose of supporting charitable organizations. Cash, securities, and/or other assets can be contributed to a public charity, otherwise known as the sponsoring organization. This allows the donor to be eligible for an immediate tax deduction. Those funds can then be invested for tax-free growth while the donor retains the right to ...

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Applying the Endowment Model to Diversity and Inclusion

Posted by George Suttles on Nov 29, 2018

Topic: Responsible Investing

Commonfund recently launched a Diversity Office, a formal, cross departmental effort focused on diversity and inclusion. The mission of the Commonfund Diversity Office is to intentionally promote and foster institutional racial and gender equity through our investment processes, thought leadership, and professional and organizational development. As a new Managing Director at the Commonfund Institute, and a member of the Diversity Office, I have been thinking about how our firm can effectively develop and implement strategies focused on fostering diversity and inclusion...

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