THE HIGH NOON ROTARY SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT FUND (aka The Community Foundation)
This fund is supported by our club members alone, either through individual contributions or through our club’s supplemental funding should surplus funds warrant it. It’s founding began in 2005, when members then decided to start an endowment fund that might one day support most of our annual scholarships granted to graduating high school seniors, a primary focus of our club. Our club members have continued to support the fund on a regular basis, either through our bi-monthly billing process, or periodic checks written in recognition of Birthdays or Anniversaries, the latter being done as the occasion arises at our regular meetings.
While the first donation to this fund was a $10,500 club donation in 2005, it has grown to over $225,000 (mid-2017) primarily through regular club member donations and general market returns, including interest earned and dividends. The year 2017 marks a watershed moment in this Endowment Fund’s tenure. Beginning with the summer of 2017, we will be making our first distribution from this fund for graduating high school seniors, supplementing our club’s normal scholarship budget, allowing for enhanced scholarships for our local youth.
This fund is appropriately managed in two ways. First, it is held in custodianship by the Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. This is where club member checks are written to with “Rotary Scholarship” in the memo line. Funds received are placed into a cash account. Second, the Fund’s assets are managed by the Scholarship Investment Advisory Committee established by the High Noon Rotary Club Board of Directors. This Committee meets regularly and in accordance with the Investment Policy Statement (IPS), also approved by the Board. The IPS serves as a guide, in order to appropriately invest the Fund’s assets and periodically re-balance them. As the cash balance builds, funds are re-directed into either the equities, or a laddered bond portfolio, or both. The bond portfolio is laddered in a way that allows for an annual maturity of bonds in late Spring/early Summer that will support our summer distribution for scholarships. Equities are diversified into US and international holdings.
The intent of maintaining this Endowment Fund is to continually increase it’s value through club member contributions, the occasional contribution of surplus club funds, and of course return on the funds invested. It is hoped that interest and dividends earned through the year will cover the expected scholarship distributions, and as the Fund grows so will distributions for scholarships.