Charitable organizations have a mission, which is their reason for existence. How successful they are in accomplishing their mission, and how well they communicate its importance, will determine how much passion they generate. The more excitement they generate and the more opportunities they offer to participate in their cause, the more volunteers and donors the charity will attract.
To preserve public support and to maintain goodwill, charitable organizations must be as committed to their financial responsibilities as they are to their mission. Financial mistakes or failure to follow legally prescribed practices could inadvertently destroy an organization's reputation.
The Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) "...provides guidance and authority to charitable organizations concerning the management and investment of funds held by those organizations..." By following this guidance, charitable organizations can provide protection for themselves (and their boards) and also protect the interests of donors who want to see their contributions used wisely.
Prudent Portfolio Management
"The preservation of the endowment fund" is an expressly enumerated standard under UPMIFA. It is accomplished by following a prudent process that requires:
- Good faith and care
- Incurring only reasonable costs
- Investigating all relevant facts
- Making investment decisions in the context of an overall portfolio strategy
- Diversification (not withstanding special circumstances)
- Disposing of unsuitable assets.