Foundation & Endowments
Follow the Steady Path
Towards Your Mission.
When mapping the plans for your foundation, you probably have a pretty clear outline of where you’d like to be. Wherever those goals take your foundation, it helps to have a partner who sets their sights on the long view too.
At Donaldson, our primary investment strategy was created to meet the needs of charitable organizations and, from there, grew our core investment philosophy. It’s why we focus on security, income and growth, in that order. And it’s how we know these principles can guide your foundation through tough financial climates with stability, while maintaining your granting responsibilities dependably. As your partner, we take this long-term approach to everything we do, so that you and your grantees are on a route to success.
Chart Your Journey Forward
On the path towards your foundation’s mission, there will be many firsts and new milestones. And we are here for guidance at every step. Click to navigate through some of the big questions your foundation may face as we get started together.
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WHAT can Donaldson further my organization’s mission?
When it comes to your mission, we take the long-term view. We know that while there are many milestones to hit along the way, ultimately, your goal is to make an impact that will last. With our rising dividend approach, we generate steady, increasing income your organization can rely on. And our priority of security first works to ensure that your foundation is on the right path for the long run.
HOW can Donaldson help minimize risk for my organization?
Risk is unpredictability. The less predictable something is, the more risk is involved. And while you can’t know for certain what the next economic downturn will bring, you can feel confident in our strategy, designed to forecast the income stream generated for your foundation. Our deep understanding of what it means to have less risk and a stable portfolio lets us guide your foundation to where it needs to be.
WHAT will happen to my organization’s portfolio in an economic downturn?
Economic downturns are inevitable. It’s not a matter of if they will happen, but when. Designing your portfolio to combat tough financial climates is critical, especially since no investment is completely immune to market drops. That’s why we choose some of the most financially strong companies that exist. Many of these companies have lived through recessions and, even in the worst of it, continue to pay dividends. By minimizing risk, your portfolio will hold value more than the average company, regardless of what the economy brings next.
WHEN the next recession comes, will my organization still be able to meet our philanthropic obligations?
Not knowing what lies ahead is tough, especially when you have annual grant obligations. You have to continue your mission and meet the needs of your grantees, regardless of what is going on with the economy. That’s why our first priority is security, so you can feel confident in your investment, no matter what the market’s doing. Our rising dividend approach produces dependable and increasing income, so that you can keep your mission and granting requirements on track for the long run.
WHAT size clients are typically served by Donaldson?
Our clients come to us from all sizes, backgrounds and priorities. Since our founding in 1995, we have served foundations and endowments anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars, all the way to tens of millions. The investment strategy is scalable to serve the smallest to the largest and everything in between. We currently serve over 50 endowment and foundation clients, totaling over $130 million.
WILL our portfolio be managed by sub-managers?
The entire responsibility for investing our portfolios lies with your advisor and the DCM Investment Policy Committee. We do not outsource the management of any of our portfolios or investment strategies. Your investment advisor is your ultimate decision maker and is fully responsible for the success of your investment. None of the management is delegated to other firms, sub-managers or mutual fund companies.
HOW often should I expect to see or hear from our advisor?
Once we get started together, we are on hand for the entire journey. Some of our clients like to meet quarterly with their entire board, some prefer one-on-one calls every month. Based on your needs and preferences, we will keep up with you personally through customized reports and meetings, on a schedule defined by you.
The Donaldson Way
While most people think of financial planning as just for individuals, we take the same long-term approach with foundations and endowments as we do for our other clients. By founding our investment strategy on a dividend-based approach, we pursue security, income and growth, in every financial climate. If we work together, with steady, reliable results in place for the long term, you can set your sights on whatever path you choose.
What It’s Like Working With Us
Where You’ve Been
You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. And we don’t just mean a look through your bank statements. We want to understand where your foundation really stands—not only in terms of finances, but also its place in the community and in your life personally. With a closer look into every connection, we can work from a more grounded place before we really get started.
Where You’re Going
Next, we want to know where you and your foundation are headed, both realistically and aspirationally. By getting a better feel for the big peaks and smaller waypoints you envision for the short and long term, we can draft your plan that aligns with your mission for the long road.
Pen to Paper
Once we have a firm grasp on where you’ve been and where you want to go, it’s time for us to get to work. We’ll make every effort to help you feel covered and comfortable for every new milestone. And once we agree on the right plan for your foundation, it is by no means the end of the road. We will be on hand for feedback, adjustments, evaluations and anything you may need along the way.
DCM Up Close Brochure
Dive deeper into who we are and how we get things done for you.
Questions To Ask An Advisor
How can you know we are the right partner for your retirement plan? We’ve prepared some questions to help you find the best fit for your needs.