Our financial management follows a disciplined process, focused on full market cycle performance and not short-term market fluctuations, to ensure the viability of the Community Foundation and the funds under our care.

We retain a fee-based investment consultant, Crewcial Partners, LLC, to advise us on manager selection and investment allocation. Our large investment pool allows a high-level diversification of assets that includes the use of hedge funds and private equity. We have a long-term, moderate approach using diversification consistent with our investment pool size. Contact us for more detailed information about our investment managers.

The responsibility for managing our investment portfolio is vested in the Board of Directors through our Finance Committee. This committee works closely with our investment consultant and staff to set policy, establish performance benchmarks and continually monitor the effectiveness and diversification of our portfolio.

Our investment policy allows donors to request individualized socially responsible investment (SRI) pools. In addition, a standard SRI pool is being developed and implementation is planned for 2021.

When investing assets for long-term growth, market fluctuations are expected. There is no potential for growth relative to inflation without acceptance of volatility risk. Our investment policy statement sets forth a growth approach that requires comprehensive diversification and ranges for asset allocation.

The risk tolerance used in our investment policy is driven by a long time horizon for the use of endowed funds. Our finance committee believes that investing in assets with higher return expectations outweighs short-term volatility risk. As a result, the majority of assets are invested in equity or equity-like securities. This is balanced with the use of low-correlated, lower volatility asset classes including fixed income and alternatives. This risk tolerance would be characterized as moderate growth or growth by most investment managers.

The Community Foundation spends from its endowment at a prudent rate that balances the community’s need for grant support with the responsibility we have to keep pace with inflation. Our spending policy also is designed to mute short-term market volatility. Each year the spendable amount from our endowed funds is calculated by using the prior 20 quarters and averaging the balance of the fund during that time. Then, our annual spending rate – which is around 4 to 5 percent – is applied to that average. This prevents overspending in periods when the market is up or underspending when the market is down.

We use benchmarks as guides to make sure that our portfolio performance is consistent with the investment allocation we have selected when compared to the market. Inherently, since our portfolio does not cover the entire diversified space of the assets we include, we will not always match the benchmark. Sometimes we will outperform and sometimes we will underperform the benchmark. Over time, it has shown that our selected holdings are performing within an acceptable range.

Our finance committee, with the guidance of our consultant, regularly reviews our investment allocations and the performance of particular investments. We periodically make changes in investment holdings or update our allocations as needed. The finance committee annually reviews our investment policy to ensure it provides for the needs of the community both now and in the future.

Financial and other information about Central New York Community Foundation’s purpose, programs and activities can be obtained by contacting Peter Dunn, president & CEO at 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202; 315.422.9538; cnycf.org. A recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website at charitiesnys.com or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005 or by calling 212.416.8401.

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