Building Your Agency Endowment

Madison Community Foundation encourages and facilitates long-term, sustainable philanthropy by offering a variety of endowment building strategies to area nonprofits.

Photo by Emma Cassidy, courtesy of Clean Wisconsin, which holds an agency endowment fund at MCF.

Building an endowment fund is critically important to the current and future stability of your nonprofit’s work. Creating a fund can be the first step in achieving your goal. 

Key Benefits of An Agency Endowment Fund:

  • Broaden a nonprofit’s financial base and attract donors who wish to support its work long-term.
  • Provide a forever stream of income to support general operations or a specific program of the organization.
  • Nonprofit agencies can start a fund with a minimum balance of $50,000.
  • Anyone can donate to the agency endowment fund.
  • MCF manages the endowments of 275 nonprofit agencies.
  • Individual donors can start a donor designated fund to support their favorite agencies.
  • Low administrative fees of 1 percent each year with a sliding scale reduction for funds over $2.5 million.
  • MCF staff are here to help you form a strategy for growing your designated endowment.
  • A new fund can be created in a matter of minutes.

Clean Wisconsin chose Madison Community Foundation to manage our endowment funds because they make good financial choices and just as importantly, they invest in a community that we believe in; through leadership, grant making, and investments, Madison Community Foundation works to make Dane County and our state a better place to live, work and play.”

–Mark Redsten, Clean Wisconsin

What is a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA)?

A CGA is a simple agreement between the donor and Madison Community Foundation to benefit charitable organizations. Licensed by the State of Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to administer CGAs as a tool to help charities build their endowment funds, MCF takes on all fiduciary obligations with respect to the payment of the annuity to the donor for their lifetime. Upon the death of the donor, the remainder of the annuity is added to an existing endowment fund or used to start a new fund. Donors who are at least 60 years of age can establish a CGA, which may be created for one or two life beneficiaries.

What types of nonprofits benefit most from CGA giving?

  • Nonprofits that are not licensed to manage gift annuities but have donors interested in life-income programs.

  • Nonprofits with small constituencies that may produce too few annuities to justify investing in a license.

  • Nonprofits with a a governing board or finance department not currently equipped to manage fiduciary responsibilities resulting from gift annuities.

CGA programs can also increase donor interest in other bequest and planned giving options.

For questions or more information on CGAs, please email Ann Casey  or call her at (608) 232-1763.