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For a donor, creating an endowment that is representative of philanthropic goals and values is a powerful way to make a lasting impact on the issues he or she values most. Endowments are critically important to Florida International University to furnish consistent resource streams that support various initiatives and ensure the growing excellence and long-term stability of the institution.

An endowment is an investment in a shared future, because endowed funds support activities not just for one year, or even one generation, but forever. Endowments are created when donated money or other financial assets are invested in perpetuity by the university. The return on investment is used to fund opportunities such as scholarships, endowed faculty chairs and professorships, programs or other purposes that serve the donor’s wishes.

Endowment FAQs

  • How do endowments work?

    When a donor establishes an endowment through a charitable gift, the FIU Foundation then expends the funds into long-term investments. Annually, a portion of the market value from the endowment is transferred into a spending account. The principal remains intact in perpetuity, and only earned funds are spent in accordance with the donor’s intent.

    Typically, endowments earn about 4 percent per year. So, for example, once an endowment of $25,000 is fully established, after approximately three years it will begin yielding about $1,000 of spendable earnings annually. Earnings are spent based on restrictions set by you, the donor. You may also choose to provide university-wide support, allowing us to apply funds where they are most needed. Many donors also choose to give a non-endowed amount up front so support can begin immediately without having to wait for the endowment to return.

  • What is an endowed chair or professorship, and why are they so important?

    Endowed professorships and chairs are funded in perpetuity. The income from endowments provides continuous funding for faculty holding a professorship or chair and their teaching and research activities. As a result, these endowments help the university become more self-sufficient and achieve long-term financial stability. Endowed professorships and chairs help universities attract and retain nationally and internationally recognized leaders in academic disciplines; high-achieving, early-career faculty sought after by other institutions; and other accomplished scholars in higher education. These positions also elevate the stature of a college or school and signal its expertise in particular areas of research.

  • Why are endowed scholarships so important?

    Scholarships are transformational to FIU students, enabling them to not only begin their studies but also to complete them and receive their degree. Endowed scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds, opening the door to opportunities that would otherwise pass them by. More than two-thirds of FIU students receive financial aid, and more endowed scholarships are needed to provide students with the ability to come to FIU and succeed, helping to eliminate the financial barriers that keep students from achieving their academic and professional goals.

    They can be awarded based on financial need or academic achievement and be directed towards first-generation students*, students in a particular college, program, or major, or to support graduate students.

    *Your donation towards a first generation scholarship will create spendable earnings to award the scholarship that are currently matched 200% by the State of Florida as appropriated by the legislature.

  • Why are endowed programs so important?

    Endowments can support programs – ranging from medical research to food production labs – with nearly limitless additional possibilities.

  • Why should you consider an endowment?

    As the financial bedrock of FIU, endowments are vital to create and sustain important initiatives – scholarships, fellowships, faculty positions, research, and programs. When a donor invests in FIU to establish an endowment, it creates a legacy that will provide permanent income to support a meaningful project, thereby advancing the university’s excellence and ensuring and sustaining the donors’ priorities in perpetuity.

    Endowments raise the stature of an institution by demonstrating that philanthropists like yourself value our efforts.

Creating your Legacy

A named endowment permanently demonstrates your commitment to furthering causes that matter to you. Or you may consider choosing a business or individual you wish to honor or memorialize through a named endowment. A minimum of $25,000 is required to establish an endowment, with a minimum of $5,000 required as an initial deposit and the remainder to be received within a five-year pledge period.

For information on creating an endowment at FIU, please contact:

Joan Casanova Gonzalez, Executive Director 
Development Office for Student Success
305-348-3583 / 305-898-9225