Something people have asked me about for a while, and that I’ve been wanting to get going for a while, is finally becoming reality. We’re starting an endowment that will sustain Newton Pens Scholarships indefinitely, or as far into the future as we can.
What we’ve done every year is raise money and given it all away, and so far we’ve given away $26,000. Those 26 students who have benefited from our scholarships have you to thank. What I want to do, in conjunction with what we’ve been doing, is to have an endowment that earns interest that we can give scholarships from. If we have a slow year fundraising, at least we’ll still have money earned from interest to be able to give away.
To start the endowment we need $10,000. We can start it with $1,000, but the fees are 2% and it doesn’t earn interest until it hits 10. So we’re going to leave money raised in the bank until we have enough to get started earning interest. We already have $2,000 to set aside for this and I’ve been told to expect another $1,000 to go into this endowment fund. For every $25,000 we have in the endowment we can give away 1 $1,000 scholarship.
To help the endowment along, we’re going to move 25% of our monthly income from postcard and notebook sales, and general contributions, into this new endowment fund. That way we can reach $10,000 a little quicker, and to continue building it up month by month, so that after a few years we’ll have more to give each year.
We’ll be working with Arkansas Community Foundation to build this endowment. This will be a Legacy endowment that requires $10,000 minimum to start earning interest. The fee is 1% annually, and we get 4% spendable each year.
We’ll be labelled an organizational endowment rather than scholarship so that we have more freedom to send money to colleges all over the country, rather than just one that we’ve selected. ACF is 40 years old and has $285 million in assets, and has given more than $156 million in grants in that time.
We’re able to accept stock, real estate, or timber as gifts as well. Not sure how that will work but they’ll help us figure it out.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to help out, let me know.