Perpetuity is a Long Time
“Perpetuity” is one of those five-dollar words you don’t run across every day. Chances are you’ll never hear it on the six o’clock news or read it in the evening paper. It’s not something you’ll see on a theater marquee.
But “perpetuity” is a word that’s used at community foundations all the time. Perpetuity perfectly describes endowments, which are the bedrock of all community foundation endeavors. The phrase “in perpetuity” means “forever.” And the definition of an endowment is that it is a “forever gift.” If properly managed, an endowment will always be in existence, generating an unending income stream for charitable causes, year in and year out.
By way of example, George and Martha Perpetuson established an endowment for their favorite charity. They set up the endowment at their local community foundation, which is well-equipped to handle endowment investments. They started the endowment rather modestly, but plan to enlarge it with a bequest from their estate. For now, they can at least see how the Perpetuson Endowment works and what they can expect from it when they are gone.
The Columbus Jewish Foundation has 776 endowments in its portfolio. All are managed by investment professionals. The goal, like at all community foundations, is to obtain both annual income and long-term growth. The Foundation’s investment objective is to preserve endowment principal and its purchasing power over time. Earnings are available annually to charitable beneficiaries. The endowment funds will last, in perpetuity. And every name associated with every endowment will endure as well.
Would you like to do something lasting for the community and your favorite charity? You need look no further than an endowment. This is the ideal way to create a legacy for yourself and your family.
You can start an endowment during your lifetime, or you can activate one later through a deferred gift. Or, like the hypothetical Perpetusons above, you can do both. Contact me with no obligation at 614-338-2365 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Article appears as originally published in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, Thursday, April 6, 2017.
Jackie Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, the Central Ohio Jewish community’s planned giving and endowment headquarters.