FAQs

If Innovative Endowments works so well, why haven’t I heard of it?

First of all, the program was recently brought to the non-profit community by a team of professionals. The Innovative Endowments endowment program was designed by business leaders and an attorney with substantial expertise. It uses sound business principles used consistently in business for years (many partnership models leverage this concept). The idea is new to most development people working in non-profits. Standard practices, used for years by development officers at non-profits, rely on charitable gifts of cash, gift annuities, gifts of life insurance, several charitable remainder techniques and charitable allocations created through wills and estates.

Our program uses a new approach which collateralizes one’s resources to produce a much larger philanthropic gift for one’s favorite charity. It helps create a large endowment in a shorter period compared to long established institutions that developed large endowments over decades of time. Because the idea comes from business people rather than the normal development or the academic community, it is understandable that the concept is relatively new and unknown. However, because it has been used in many business situations for years.  Therefore Innovative Endowments is looking for “Champions” willing to think outside the norm, to advance new and creative ideas that can benefit non-profits. Several best selling authors have shared the importance of new ideas and how these ideas can lead to significant breakthroughs and advancements. Here are a couple of quotes to consider:

“Economists have been financial cheerleaders. They are rewarded by academics and receive several perks. Because of this, the status quo has been very good for them and most people don’t want to threaten it. People in that position don’t want to see the status quo changed and have an inherent bias against ideas that threaten the status quo. The result is that economists have become cheerleaders, and when you are a cheerleader there is no hope of making a breakthrough. (with new ideas).”
~From the book, “Aftershock” by Robert Wiedemer, Dr. David Wiedemer and Cindy Spitzer.

Christian author, Pastor Bill Johnson says this about the church in his book, “When Heaven Invades earth.” “Creativity is the nature of God’s people in finding new and better ways to do things. It is a shame for the church to fall into the rut of predictability and call it tradition. The church is often guilty of avoiding creativity because it requires change. God’s gifts to people will bring about new inventions, breakthroughs in modern medicine and science, and novel ideas for business and education. The list is endless.”

 

Why don’t you have details of the program on the website?

As stated previously, the Innovative Endowments program has been developed through tried and true practices that have been used in business for years. The team at Innovative endowments has completed the necessary work to adapt these techniques for the non-profit community.

This work was developed through legal counsel and a team of professionals which is the difference between Innovative Endowments and other familiar programs in the marketplace. The program has some complexities, but Innovative Endowments has made the execution of the program easy for non-profits to participate.

Because of research and time invested to combine several strategies into one we do not expose the technique behind the program on the web. However, for interested parties, we can quickly set up a time to walk you through the program to determine if it would benefit your organization.

However, for an overview of the program, please go to:

http://youtu.be/mqKu5vanVZY

 

Does this take the place of current fundraising?

Large colleges and universities did build their endowments over-night. It took time to build them. Creating a sustainable endowment program for smaller non-profits or schools also takes time. For the non-profit, our program is designed to create a sustainable long-term endowment in a reasonable time period.

Many schools we have worked with mention that if they do not meet the operating budget from current fund raising, they are left with only a few options: a) increase the cost to attend b) reduce services c) borrow from next year’s budget in the hopes that the necessary funds will become available.

Unfortunately none of the aforementioned options are sustainable. The goal is to use long-term endowments to insure the solvency of your organization. A self-sustaining $25-$500 endowment program reduces the urgency of fund raising and provided another option for your current donors to participate in charitable giving.

Strategic endowments are done not done in lieu of current fund raising, but rather as a long-term option. We see too many good schools and not-for-profits struggle every year to make ends meet. Innovative Endowments can reduce this risk along-side your current short term programs.

I have heard of other programs which had problems. What makes Innovative Endowments’ program different?

Our experience with other programs, we have been reviewed, is that they lack or omit some necessary and important steps. Legal ramifications and certain devastating techniques may lead to problems and unsuccessful conclusions to these programs.

We have built in a number of safeguards and tools which can be utilized in the program to minimize any risks associated with it. It is our expectation that a non-profit may potentially want to work with us to have an institution provide oversight of the program throughout the years to manage its effectiveness. We are here to instruct on these safeguards and to provide guidance in management of the ongoing maintenance process.