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_________________________________________________  endowments  ___________________________________________________



financial endowment is a proper transfer of money and/or property donated to an institution. The total value of an institution's investments is often referred to as the institution's endowment and is typically organized as a public charity, private foundation, or trust.

Among the institutions that commonly manage an endowment are academic institutions (e.g., colleges, universities, private schools), cultural institutions (e.g., museums, libraries, theaters, hospitals), and religious establishments.

An endowment may come with stipulations regarding its usage. In some circumstances an endowment may be required to be spent in a certain way or alternatively invested, with the principal to remain intact in perpetuity or for a defined time period. This allows for the donation to have an impact over a longer period of time than if it were spent all at once.

Academic institutions, such as colleges and universities, will frequently control an endowment fund that finances a portion of the operating or capital requirements of the institution. In addition to a general endowment fund, each university may also control a number of restricted endowments that are intended to fund specific areas within the institution. The most common examples are endowed professorships (also known as named chairs), and endowed scholarships or fellowships.

In the United States, the endowment is often integral to the financial health of educational institutions. Alumni or friends of institution sometimes contribute capital to the endowment. The endowment funding culture is strong in the United States and Canada but less pronounced overseas, with the exceptions of Cambridge and Oxford universities. Endowment funds have also been created to support secondary and elementary school districts in several states in the United States.