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Giving Through Endowments

Establishing An Endowment

The process to establish a new endowment begins with a conversation between the donor and SMU regarding the donor’s vision and wishes for the gift.

Perhaps a scholarship for promising young students is a priority or a research fund in an area of personal interest. Together the University and the donor determine the greatest need and the greatest opportunity for the gift.

A named fund may be established with a gift of $100,000 or more. The University and donor agree on the amount of the gift, the name of the fund, the detailed purpose of the gift, and stipulations regarding management and stewardship of the gift. A gift may be made now with an outright payment of cash or securities, paid out over a period of years, or deferred through a planned gift, such as a bequest in a will. More information on planned gifts can be found here.

Such gifts establish a permanent fund that is invested as one part of the pool of funds constituting the SMU Endowment. A portion of the interest and capital gains from the fund is spent annually for the purpose designated, while the remainder is added back to the fund’s principal to protect its value against inflation. The original value of the fund, plus any additional gifts, is preserved and invested, while the earnings support the fund’s purpose.