East Tennessee Foundation is entrusted with the investment management of its funds and with carrying out the grantmaking wishes of its donors in the best interests of East Tennessee communities. Because ETF expects to operate in perpetuity, wise stewardship of its funds is essential to ETF’s mission. To that end, the Board of Directors has adopted an investment policy and appoints an Investment Committee to oversee the process and select and monitor investment managers.
The Basics of Long-Term Investing at ETF
ETF seeks through its investment policy to maintain or increase the real value of the endowment principal and its distributions over the long-term while funding current needs at an appropriate level. To carry out this mission, the Investment Committee has established investment objectives and offensive and defensive market strategies employing equity, fixed income, cash and non-traditional investments as appropriate. ETF’s investment priorities are:
- Preservation of principal
- Moderate growth in principal to offset the effects of inflation
- Sufficient income commensurate with safety of principal and current program needs
ETF has adopted a policy of investing funds in commingled management accounts. This pooling of investments supports closer supervision of the investment portfolio and makes available to the ETF’s individual funds, regardless of size, the advantages of participation in a diversified portfolio of investments.
- Created and managed as a long-term investment option, ETF’s commingled fund is the default investment pool for endowed funds. It may also be an appropriate option for non-endowed funds with a time-horizon for grants that is longer than five years.
- The short-term fund is the default investment pool for non-endowed funds. Funds in this pool are in secure investments and are limited to bank accounts, overnight repos, and certificates of deposit.
Investment Alliance Program
In 2003, ETF created the Investment Alliance Program for approved investment firms. The purpose of this program is to increase charitable giving in East Tennessee through a cooperative partnership between ETF and selected investment management firms. Donors who wish to establish a charitable fund in excess of $250,000 are welcome to suggest to the ETF's Investment Committee that the assets be managed by the investment firm or manager they prefer. ETF would then begin a formal business relationship with qualified Investment Alliance partners.