How an Endowment Gift Works

The UAB School of Nursing is one of the country's preeminent research schools. As state assistance shrinks and the costs of higher education rise, private support becomes critical to the School's growth and ability to maintain its standards of excellence. The generosity of our donors nourishes the School and makes possible extraordinary achievements in teaching, research and public service.

Your endowment is a long-term investment in the School, held in perpetuity. It will provide scholarships, support funds and other benefits to students and faculty year after year, generation after generation. It also gives you the opportunity to have your name or the name of a loved one linked to an area of nursing in which you have a special interest. By creating an endowed gift, you can be confident that it will grow and continue to support the UAB School of Nursing in the years to come.

This step-by-step illustration outlines how an endowment gift works and the benefits that accrue to the UAB School of Nursing, our students and the donor.
  1. UAB School of Nursing alum makes a $25,000 gift (the minimum amount required for an endowed scholarship) to the school to establish and name an endowed scholarship in memory of their father.
  2. A gift agreement is drafted between UAB and the donor, guaranteeing that their gift will be added to the University’s Pooled Endowment Fund (PEF) and used solely for its stated purpose.
  3. The donor’s named scholarship fund buys units in the PEF, much as one buys shares in a mutual fund.
  4. The Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee prudently invests the donor’s gift across major asset classes in the portfolio to maximize long-term total return, within acceptable levels of risk.
  5. A predetermined portion of the annual return (currently calculated as 5% of the average market value during the previous three fiscal years) is used to provide a financial award for nursing students each year.  The fund’s principal remains intact.
  6. The remainder of the annual return is held with the named fund’s principal as a hedge against inflation, to generate growth and to offer protection during years with less than favorable or negative returns.
  7. The named fund continues to grow, ensuring future scholarship support. 
As you can see, the advantages of an endowed fund are many. A deserving nursing student receives financial support. The UAB School of Nursing is able to use the scholarship to recruit and retain top students. A steady revenue stream allows the School to plan for future needs. And the donor has created a living legacy.

The example here is just one of the many ways endowment gifts can have an impact. In addition to scholarships, donors can endow faculty chairs or professorships, graduate fellowships, and research funds or support academic programs, student activities, the School archives, and other programs or initiatives. Minimum endowment-gift-levels are established by The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System (BOT).  All endowment gifts are individually and formally presented to the BOT, and upon approval, are officially and permanently established.