Investment Strategies For Nonprofit Organizations

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Opening & Funding A Brokerage Account As A Nonprofit

Effective Nonprofit Financial Management Using StrongNonprofits.org

Once you have created a sound investment plan, the next step is to address the logistical aspect of managing an investment portfolio, which focuses on the opening and funding of a brokerage account. Setting up an investment account for a nonprofit is a bit different than a standard investment account that many individual investors are familiar with.

Helping Nonprofits Allocate Their Investments To Match Their Goals

Do you wish you had a trusted advisor to help you ensure your endowments are wisely invested? Someone who will take this day-to-day burden off of your shoulders? Do you have ethical or environmental concerns with the investments your organization currently holds?

Were as passionate about you as you are about your cause.

Your organization does important work. At JSA, we strive to understand why you do what you do in order to match your investment strategy to your mission and goals.

Our team of advisors can free you and your staff from managing your endowments, allowing you to focus on fulfilling your organizations mission and serving your community.

When you work with JSA, your organization gains these advantages:

Tailored Endowment Investments

Find investment strategies best tailored to meet your specific investment objectives and spending needs.

Conscious Investing

We select companies that not only are poised for potential and performance, but those that contribute to the betterment of society. In short, we invest in companies you can be proud to own.

Personal Service from Your Investment Team

Unlike large investment firms, JSA will work with your organization one-on-one to deliver the first-rate personal service it deserves.

Featured Case Study

Types Of Investment Accounts To Consider Establishing

The first step is to determine the proper account structure for the accumulated assets so that they match the organizationâs needs and objectives.

  • Operating Reserves AccountLiquid funds that are readily available to cover emergency spending requirementsA reserve fund is also known as a ârainy day fund.â Operating reserves should be unrestricted funds. Rather than expected to cover a long-term or permanent income shortfall, these reserves are meant to provide a cushion against unexpected events , losses of income/grants, fundraising shortfalls, or large unbudgeted expenses. The appropriate operating reserve balance depends on a variety of factors including stability of revenue and expenses, the maturity of the organization, and its future plans. A rule of thumb is that the reserve fund should have a minimum of 3 months of an organizationâs annual operating expenses1 while some experts advise 6 months or more. Consider developing a âReserves Policyâ that outlines the purpose and use of operating reserves.
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    Write An Investment Policy Statement

    As you are no doubt aware, nonprofits have a legal and moral responsibility to maintain accurate accounts and bookkeeping to ensure transparency in regards to all incoming assets and outgoing expenditures.

    Non-for-profit financial statements have been under heavy scrutiny as a result of some organizations using their net assets for their own gain, so there are strict mandates in disclosures and general accountability.

    When planning investments, your primary responsibility is writing an Investment Policy Statement . This is essentially a document that outlines precisely how your organization intends to invest its funds or assets.

    This document is considered a living document, which means that you will constantly have to update and revise it as your investment practices evolve. Because its a significant governance tool, you will need to ensure that it is comprehensive and accurate, detailing all information in an easily readable and well-organized fashion.

    Matt is drafting an investment policy statement for his organization.

    Here are some aspects you will want to keep up-to-date to better manage your IPS:

    • Any incoming or outgoing asset transfers

    • Changes in time frames or end dates on goals

    • Legal provisions or regulations that change during the course of your portfolio

    • Alterations in spending needs

    • Position changes in investment portfolio managers

    Construct A Strong Portfolio

    Financial Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

    Do you have a suitable strategic asset allocation that matches with your needs and goals? Appropriately investing short-term working capital can help preserve financial flexibility while maximizing resources. If your group has an infusion of cash that wont be spent immediately, such as a contribution for a capital spending project, consider alternatives for putting at least some of it to work rather than letting it sit idle.

    Does your portfolio reflect broad diversification across equity and fixed-income markets? Investing with an eye to the long term is particularly important with stocks. Historically, equities have typically outperformed bonds, cash, and inflation, though past performance is no guarantee of future results and those returns also have involved higher volatility. Your strategy should take into account that the market will not go in one direction forever either up or down. However, its instructive to look at various holding periods for equities over the years. Historically, the shorter your holding period, the greater the chance of experiencing a loss.

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    What Purposes Does An Ips Serve

    The IPS is a crucial tool not only for documenting investments but also for use by the board in decision-making processes. Boards often have a variety of financial considerations and need to evaluate various trends. The IPS impacts this process because it:

    • Allows analysis for objective decisions regarding asset investment

    • Outlines and demonstrates the nonprofit investment strategies and benchmarks

    • Rationalizes how investment correlates with the nonprofits mission

    • Sets a standard atmosphere inviting continued best practices in transparent, accurate, and detailed documentation

    • Establishes progress towards goals and allows monitoring during periods of instability

    • Provides a standard, which can facilitate easy transition during management or key employee overturn

    Build And Optimize Your Portfolio

    Using general principles rooted in Modern Portfolio Theory , we will build and optimize your nonprofit organizations investment portfolio so that it is tailored to your unique risk tolerance and goals. We assess and analyze how the position weightings of each recommended investment will impact the tradeoff between risk and return, and then choose a final weighting mix that helps optimize the entire portfolio.

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    How Should Nonprofits Invest Key Investment Considerations For Non

    Every nonprofit is different and thus their investment objectives will differ. However, there are a few characteristics inherent to nonprofits that make them unique compared to an individual or taxable investor, which can alter how the non-profit investment portfolio is managed. A few considerations for how nonprofits should invest are discussed ahead.

    Time Horizon: The investing time horizon is typically defined in a nonprofits IPS. A nonprofits time horizon may vary greatly from a traditional individual investor. While many individual investors are investing to save and fund for a specific, time-constrained goal such as retirement, nonprofits generally display a much longer time horizon and aspire to invest in perpetuity with no tangible end point. This dramatically changes a nonprofits investment approach.

    Investing in perpetuity may sound abstract, but a long-term investment horizon produces a few valuable benefits. First, investing with a long-term perspective allows nonprofits the ability to take on more risk to achieve enhanced returns, as it makes them better able to weather short-term volatility or temporary market impairments. Additionally, with a long-term investment horizon, nonprofits are presented with a broader array of investment options and the opportunity to invest a portion of the portfolio in more illiquid, alternative investment strategies that typically offer higher return potential than traditional investment products.

    Record Investment Income At The End Of Each Month

    Endowments for Nonprofits: Mission-Aligned Investing

    As soon as you receive your monthly summary at the end of a given month, that is the best time to record your investment income, while it is still fresh. This statement will provide everything you need to begin your reporting process.

    Updating your records immediately also allows your board the maximum time frame to evaluate your information and make decisions based on the results.

    Peter is feeling zen now that all his investment income is recorded!

    However, your chosen method of accounting may factor into the specific time in which you decide to actually record any investment income, especially taking into account interest revenue.

    Interest revenue is how much your organization either spends or earns based on interest on assets and expenditures. In terms of investing, this usually indicates what you have managed to accrue from dividends or interest rates on the stock itself.

    Your accounting method could also impact when you need to report. For example, if your organization abides by the accrual method of accounting, any interest should be reported even if it has not yet been paid. Having earned it is sufficient for this style of accounting.

    Alternatively, accounting methods relying on a cash basis should only record the interest once it has been paid.

    To clarify, while you should record your investment revenue at the end of each month, the subtle nuances of your accounting style may impact the month in which your organization will record the income.

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    Investing Alongside The Mission And Values Of The Organization

    Nonprofits provide immense assistance and welfare to society, guided by their stated mission and a defined set of values. Given the evolution of the investing landscape over the last decade, it is now possible to invest capital in accordance with those values and align the investment portfolio with the mission of the organization.

    The emergence of Sustainable, Responsible and Impact investment strategies, commonly referred to as SRI investing, can provide nonprofits the opportunity to achieve their financial goals while continuing to do good through their investment approach as well. SRI investing is a broad investing discipline and is inclusive of a wide array of investment approaches that balance both the social impact of the investment and the financial return potential. Below are the most commonly employed SRI investment strategies.

    How Are Nonprofits Building Their Current Portfolios To Potentially Provide The Needed Returns

    Mean Asset Allocations:

    • Fixed Income 21%
    • Short-term securities / Cash 8%

    The asset allocations discussed above are designed to drive expected investment returns. As nonprofit organizations face extreme pressure to do more with less, investment returns and funding the organizations mission continues to be paramount to the organizations success. While equity market performance over the past three years should have provided gains for many nonprofits, return objectives have remained stable and reasonable.

    Return objectives for nonprofits surveyed ranged from as low as 2% to as high as 10%.

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    Opening A Nonprofit Investment Account

    In order to open a nonprofit investment account, youâll need the following documents to prove your nonprofit status:

    • An account application
    • A copy of your Articles of Incorporation
    • A copy of your 501 IRS Determination Letter

    Gather these documents ahead of time, so that you can get up and running quickly. Depending on the method you use, the application process can be completed in minutes or take weeks.

    Traditional Investing Strategies Serve Nonprofits Poorly Report Finds

    Wiley Nonprofit Authority: Nonprofit Asset Management : Effective ...

    Date publishedCategories

    Nonprofit organisations can use goals-based strategies to adapt to new market realities: an era of lower returns, ongoing market volatility, higher inter-asset class correlations and increasing fiduciary responsibilities with greater scrutiny from regulators, government agencies and donors, claims a report.

    Entitled The Endowment Challenge, the report is issued by US Trusts institutional investments and philanthropic solutions group, which is ultimately part of Bank of America . It outlines how, with donor funding in stress, increasing needs of beneficiaries, and rising costs, nonprofits are increasingly relying on investment returns to fund their operations and spending mandates.

    The analysis finds that it will be challenging to generate sufficient returns to support historical spending levels if organizations continue to invest as they have in the past.

    For the first time in years, perhaps decades, foundations, endowments and other nonprofit organizations question whether they will have the financial resources to continue to fulfill their missions, said Keith Banks, president of US Trust.

    To meet current and future needs, nonprofit organizations are urged to reach beyond traditional strategies and realign their approach to investing, spending and governance around the distinct mission and goals of their organisation.

    Goals-based strategies

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    Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies And Ideas That Actually Work To Expand Your Budget

    It is no secret that the Covid pandemic, technology innovation, and the rise of remote work and social media has made lasting effects on the way that we fundraise. Modernly, annual giving, telemarketing, phone campaigns, and direct marketing approaches continue to trend down in effectiveness and return. Conversely, organizations implementing new fundraising approaches and investing in technology have found new fundraising opportunities in social media fundraising, online events, merchandising, corporate/community partnerships, video engagement, and web marketing tactics.

    If you find yourself, and your organization, in an absolute need to find a revolutionary way to bring in new income, the following ideas could help you to start the creative ideas flowing. However, before we discuss specific nonprofit fundraising strategies and ideas, it is imperative we set the stage for the mindset your organization will need to embrace in order to charge forward successfully into the future!

    Step One:

    Step Two:

    Step Three:

    Step four:

    Commit and execute. Choose a plan or strategy and stick to it. Realize your goals through completion. Do not be swayed off course and do not allow the organization to invest less than the amount of funds and resources that would bring success. Be smart and see your strategy through to completion.

    Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies

    Matching Your Organizations Money To Its Mission

    Every organization has unique financial needs, challenges and opportunities. Through our disciplined investment process, we provide customized solutions tailored to your situation, helping to ensure your noble work continues into perpetuity.

    • Step 1: Create Your Investment Policy Statement

    Before making any recommendations, we sit down with your board and investment committee to learn about your organization, your goals and funding needs. Then we draft your IPS, making sure it encompasses and addresses everything we have learned.

    • Step 2: Identify Strategic and Tactical Asset Allocations

    Building your investment portfolio starts by determining the mix of asset classes that offer the most potential return for your desired level of risk. Using your IPS as our guide, we conduct extensive research to create an asset allocation model that outlines how your endowment will be put to work in the financial markets.

    • Step 3: Select and Oversee Investments

    From there, we begin purchasing assets in the defined categories. Purchases occur over time to be mindful of market volatility and tax issues. They consist only of investment vehicles that have passed our rigorous screening process.

    • Step 4: Monitor and Benchmark Your Portfolio

    Building diversified investment portfolios that endure, so your mission can do the same.

    David Jumper

    Partner

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    A Guide To Investing For Non

    For a non-profit board or investment committee of a nonprofit, creating a sound investment policy and managing an investment portfolio with a fiduciary responsibility is complex and time consuming. Without the proper attention or expertise, a 501 nonprofit can run into legal issues or substandard investment results. However, with the appropriate advice and management, a nonprofit can create a successful investment plan that achieves their financial goals and grows the assets of the organization. This comprehensive non-profit investing guide provides a resource for non-profit organizations looking to establish and prudently manage an investment portfolio. It addresses the following topics:

    Develop Nonprofit Investment Governance Policies

    FAST 15 Basic Investment Strategies for Non-Profit Organizations

    Before nonprofits invest their money, they need clear governance policies that address their investment account strategies and management policies. Nonprofits collect these policies in a document called a nonprofit investment policy statement, which is a roadmap for how an organization wants to invest its money.

    Your policy statement should include the following details:

  • Roles of Investment Committee. Summarize the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of stakeholders accountable for overseeing and managing a nonprofitâs investment portfolio.â
  • Investment Objectives. Define the primary goals for the investment portfolio, the long-term target rate of return, and the potential risk allowed. â
  • Investment Policies. List the types of investments allowed/prohibited and the target percentages of funds allocated to each type.
  • âPerformance Measurements and Reporting Standards. Outline the standards and frequency by which the Board of Directors will measure and report on fund performance. â
  • Spending Policies. State all uses, benefits, purposes, and factors relevant to spending the nonprofitâs investment funds. Include guidelines for how, why, and when funds can be added to, withdrawn from, and reallocated in the investment account.â
  • Donor Restrictions. Clearly state that the investment committee agrees to all stipulations made by donors for how their funds are used and invested.
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    Investment Needs Of Nonprofits

    Just like households, charities and other groups need wealth-building strategies.

    As non-profit organizations grow, they also need to grow and preserve wealth. In accepting donations to fund their operations and programs, they realize they cannot rely on fundraising alone. They decide to invest, and they turn to financial professionals for input.

    Because non-profits exist to carry out particular missions, their investment preferences may differ from those of individuals. A non-profit may shy away from investing in certain companies because of what they represent. Additionally, some types of investment vehicles may clash with a non-profit organizations image.

    Like businesses, non-profits constantly need cash. Unlike businesses, however, non-profits cannot rely on sales for revenue or promise third parties a quantifiable return on investment.

    While some non-profits, associations, and charities fail on leadership, many more fail because of insufficient revenue and the lack of an investment strategy. Investing will not solve short-term cash flow issues, but it may help a non-profit grow into a larger, more impactful organization with greater stability.

    An investment strategy is part of a non-profits evolution. While not every non-profit is ready to have an endowment, many want to invest for organizational sustainability. A commitment to investing is part of a long-term vision for success.

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