governance and policy | Articles

Aligning Endowments & Investments with Foundation Values

Reflections from the Council on Foundations' webinar The 2020 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations (CCSF) is the field’s most...
governance and policy | Articles

Diversifying Foundation Boards

The call for private and community foundation boards to embrace and demonstrate diversity at the senior leadership and board level has never been more urgent. Yet, with a growing base...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint | The Ever-Evolving 80/20

On average over the past decade, independent schools participating in the Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools have maintained an asset allocation that stays within a few percentage...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint | Meeting the Moment

Some foundations have responded to the call of mission by increasing spending in response to exceptional needs created by COVID-19. But there is a trade-off: the potential erosion of endowment value...
governance and policy | Articles

Resource Management for College and Universities

William Massy has spent his entire career at the intersection of academia and administration, as a microeconomist; professor, dean and CFO at Stanford University; author; and now, an independent...
governance and policy | Articles

How Can Trustees Achieve Intergenerational Equity in the Face of Rising Costs?

The Commonfund Higher Education Price Index® (HEPI) is an inflation index for colleges and universities. It has been calculated since 1983 and includes inflation data going back to 1961. Commonfund...
governance and policy | Articles

Nonprofit Board Diversity = Effective Stewardship

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...
governance and policy | Articles

Outsourcing: Writing Your RFP

Once an institution decides to pursue the outsourced CIO or investment office option, it usually leads to the creation of a request for proposal, or RFP.  Considering that the outsourced model is a...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint: The Long of It

Endowments, like the organizations they support, are generally intended to operate in perpetuity. To accomplish this goal, those responsible for endowments—trustees or directors—make decisions based...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint: The Gift of (Relative) Calm

The calamities known as the financial crisis and Great Recession are now a decade in the past. But far from fading into history, the memories remain fresh. And we are reminded of those days regularly...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint: Being Objective

Every year, the NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments® (NCSE) reports new data—on investment returns, asset allocation, risk management, donations and gifts, and much more. But some data points are...
governance and policy | Articles

Nonprofit Board Governance Best Practices

Since our founding in 1971, a core element of the Commonfund mission has been to provide insights on a broad range of governance, policy and investment challenges. An engaged governing board is...
governance and policy | Articles

Not So Free: Implications of New York’s Excelsior Scholarships

Key Insights While opening opportunity to many New York families, the recently enacted Excelsior Scholarship Program will likely stress the financial resources of small private colleges and...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint: A Firmer Foundation

How long is the long term? A year ago, private and community foundations appeared to many observers to have recovered from the losses suffered in the 2008–09 global financial crisis. Double-digit...
governance and policy | Articles

Top Five Questions of Nonprofit Fiduciaries

The turbulent start to the New Year has led governing boards, investment committees and staff to question what’s next for the markets and what they should do about it.  Below are the top five...
governance and policy | Articles

Viewpoint: Changing Our Minds

It is often said that we live in a world of change, but it is surprising how slowly that change can occur. Seven years after the onset of the Great Recession, many business school students are still...
governance and policy | Articles

Evolving Challenges in Nonprofit Governance

Commonfund recently convened an expert panel moderated by Myra Drucker (standing, left), Chair of the Board, TrustedPeer Inc. and former chair of the Commonfund Board of Trustees. The roundtable...
governance and policy | Articles

10-Point Fiduciary Checklist: Get Governance Right

Follow this checklist and you'll be on your way…  For nonprofit organizations of all kinds, the regulatory and legislative landscape continues to become more rigorous—which should not come as a...