Endowment Investment

The Winston-Salem Foundation is a unique financial steward. It’s critical that the charitable dollars entrusted to us be available in perpetuity, which requires sound, long-term investment strategies.  

At the same time, we work to maximize dollars available today so that these resources can be distributed right back into the community.  

Our close collaboration with investment partners helps make both of these goals possible.

Spending Policy for Endowments

The Foundation applies a total return spending policy for its endowments.  Endowed funds are invested for maximum total return (within acceptable risk parameters), without distinction between income and capital gains.

The market value of the fund is measured over the past 12 quarters, and in 2019, 4.0% of the average of those values is being made available for grants. If a fund is too new to have been invested for 12 quarters, calculations are made based on the history of the fund.  

This method puts the focus on the long-term growth of the endowment principal.  This in turn encourages the appropriate use of equities in the fund, helping the fund grow faster than inflation.  It also has a "smoothing effect" by creating a more predictable grant stream than an income-only approach.

Investment Options

The Foundation's Finance and Investment Committee is responsible for all aspects of investment activities, including investment policy, asset allocation, and performance review.  This committee holds our approved investment managers to the highest standards of ethical behavior and professional performance, and they also must conform to the Foundation's Investment Manager Policy.  

  1. The Winston-Salem Foundation Investment Pool, managed by Global Endowment Management, offers a diversified investment portfolio option. This portfolio is actively managed with strategic asset allocation decisions and follows the Investment Policy Statement set by the Foundation's Finance and Investment Committee.
  2. The Winston-Salem Foundation Socially Responsible Investment Pool, managed by FEG Investment Advisors, incorporates environmental, social, and governance criteria into stock selection.  This portfolio expresses an interest for firms with innovative approaches to the environmental and social challenges faced by industry, society, and the world.
  3. Endowment fundholders may also select from the Foundation’s list of approved investment managers.
Approved investment Managers
  • Arbor Investment Advisors
  • BB&T
  • Bowen, Hanes and Company (Charitable Remainder Trusts only)
  • CornerCap Investment Counsel
  • Alex. Brown, a division of Raymond James
  • Diversified Trust Company
  • First Citizens
  • Keys Wealth Management
  • Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
  • Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
  • Mosaic Capital Management
  • Parsec Financial
  • Salem Investment Counselors
  • Scott & Stringfellow (Charlotte office)
  • Sheets Smith Wealth Management
  • Stephens, Inc.
  • Trust Company of the South
  • UBS
  • U.S. Trust/Bank of America
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
  • Wells Fargo Wealth Management - The Private Bank
  • Winston-Salem Foundation Investment Pool (currently managed by Global Endowment Management)
  • Winston-Salem Foundation Socially Responsible Investment Pool (currently managed by FEG Investment Advisors)

    * Managers holding funds as of January 15, 2019
  1. In certain cases, the Foundation will consider donors’ requests to add an investment manager to the approved list, subject to these parameters:
  • Fund must be larger than $500,000.
  • Fund will bear its own expenses (the general fund will not underwrite additional costs of having a separate manager).
  • Investment manager must be registered with the SEC, under the Registered Investment Advisor Act of 1940.
  • Manager must have at least $100 million under management and have been in business for five years.
  • The Winston-Salem Foundation, Inc. will serve as trustee of the fund, and it is preferred that the fund be custodied by The Winston-Salem Foundation.  This allows the Foundation to provide quarterly statements to the donor or recipient organization.
  • Investment manager will be benchmarked against the Foundation's asset allocation model and will be monitored by its investment consultant.
  • Investment fees will be netted out of the fund's performance by the investment manager.  Investment manager fees are not controlled by the Foundation.