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Major Gift FAQ's

What is an endowment and what is an endowed fund?

An endowment is simply an investment in the future. When charitable gifts are used to establish an endowment, the gift is invested with two goals in consideration: making the principal grow faster than inflation and providing expendable income for the donor's specified purpose. The principal remains untouched, and any income earned above the annual spending amount is reinvested into the fund to keep it healthy and growing.

How much of the endowment does Siena College spend?

To determine an endowment fund’s distribution, the Board of Trustees multiplies the annual payout percentage by the fund’s average fair-market value over a 3-year period. As of December 17, 2009, the payout rate is 5 percent. By restricting the use to 5 percent, the principal can be expected to grow over time.

How does market volatility affect Siena’s endowment payout?

Siena College invests for the long term and protects the budget from year-to-year volatility in the financial markets. It does so in at least a couple of ways. First, the college’s investments are diversified to minimize risk. Second, Siena applies a formula to the endowment payout, which factors in the prior three years' actual performance.

What investment is required to establish an endowed fund or an endowed scholarship?

The amount required to establish an endowed fund or scholarship varies depending on the fund’s purpose. To inquire about establishing an endowed fund or scholarship, please contact Siena College Development Office, St. Francis House, 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211; telephone  (518) 782-6921 email development@siena.edu .