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Winthrop Foundation

Financial Outlook

Thank you for your interest in the Winthrop University Foundation. It is through the gifts of alumni, parents, friends, and businesses that we get the greatest endorsement of our work. Please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions!

To learn more about the practices which govern spending from the funds entrusted with us, you can review our Operating Policies.  If you have additional questions about the policies and practices of the Winthrop University Foundation, please contact Amanda Stewart, Director of Program Administration for the Foundation, at 803/323-2229 or

Overview of Investments

2016 Financial Year (January 1-December 31, 2016)

Together with the management firm of The Vanguard Group, the goals of the Investment Committee of the Winthrop University Foundation Board of Directors are:

  1. To appreciate the Foundation’s assets above the rate of inflation for preservation of capital value;
  2. Provide funds from the Foundation to meet annual commitments that provide financial aid to students and the University;
  3. Obtain new and expanded capital gifts to further expand our asset base and provide more financial assistance;
  4. Hire professional Investment Managers who demonstrate an ability to maximize the total return on the Foundation’s capital while limiting risk.

 Winthrop invests the majority of its endowments through a consolidated investment pool (CIP). The Investment Committee is a standing committee of the Winthrop University Foundation Board of Directors whose purpose is to develop and maintain the investment policy to ensure maximum possible return on Foundation assets. The committee is comprised of the Foundation’s chairman and treasurer, Winthrop University Alumni Association treasurer, and other Foundation directors appointed by the Foundation Chair.

Prudent Investment Practices

To achieve its goals and maintain its focus, the endowment is allocated among various asset classes which serves to ensure the proper level of diversification with the endowment. Additionally, the Foundation Board and the Investment Committee adhere to other prudent investment practices that ensure the proper management of funds.

Recently, the Foundation Spending Policy was changed to accommodate the challenging economic environment post-2008. Specifically, the spending policy for endowed scholarships, professorships, and other endowed funds is 4% of the 5-year rolling average, not to exceed interest earnings. All endowments at or above 85% of their corpus value will award based upon the balance and in keeping with the spending rule. Original gifts to an endowment are held in perpetuity as a permanently restricted net asset which also may be subject to donor-imposed stipulations.

In addition, the Foundation has a policy that all annual restricted funds and any funds identified as pre-endowment (funds intended to build over time to the endowment level – currently, our threshold for endowments is set at $25,000) are not subject to earnings or losses nor to a management fee. This practice is utilized for the purpose of minimizing risk for all funds and decreasing the influence of economic downturns on Foundation investments needed for immediate use or building to an investment level.

Endowed funds are subject to a management fee. This fee provides for the operations and long-term viability of the Foundation. The fee is set annually by the Board of Directors and is presently set at a rate of 2.25% for 2017. 


You can also view information about the 2016 financial year and the 2016-2017 academic year in our annual report, which is formatted as a 2017-2018 academic year calendar: 

2016-2017 Annual Report (pdf - 2.92 MB)

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