Board Policies

Endowment Investment Policy

UU Rowe Camp and Conference Center

 (8/6/06) 

Purpose and Scope 

This document provides a set of investment policies to guide and direct those charged by the UU Rowe Camp and Conference Center (Rowe) Board of Trustees (Board) to execute investments in the endowment account to protect and grow the monies in special-purpose funds managed by Rowe.  Investment refers to investment in non-capital assets, further defined in the section Authorized Suitable Investments. Fund refers to monies designated to achieve a particular purpose over time.

The endowment account invests the moneys of the following funds: Capital Endowment, Garden, Woodside Diversity Program, and Lauriat.  These funds are described below. 

The Capital Endowment was established by the Board of Trustees in 1999 for the purpose of building a fund that would generate income to be used for maintenance and capital improvement projects on the Rowe campus.  The fund would support Rowe’s mission to maintain and operate a camp and conference center, including the Preserved Smith Memorial Church, where people of all ages can participate in camp life, conferences, and spiritual development consistent with Unitarian Universalist views.

At that time, the Board determined that the amount of assets above $50,000 in the Emergency Fund would be used to initially fund the Endowment Fund. In addition, the Board established a policy that $5.00 of every camp and conference fee, which had been going into the Emergency Fund, would be reallocated to the Capital Endowment Fund. If assets of the Emergency Fund are used for any reason, the $5.00 per attendee will then be used to replenish the Emergency Fund to its previous value. Only after the Emergency Fund has been replenished will the $5.00 per attendee again be added to the Endowment Fund. In addition, all non-restricted bequests would be placed in the Capital Endowment Fund.  In 2002, by vote of the Board, the $5.00 per youth camp fee was reallocated to the Woodside Endowment Fund.

The Garden Fund was established in 1999 through a restricted donation designated to create an endowment to maintain a reliable source of funding for landscaping and ongoing maintenance of the “gardens, sanctuaries and sacred spaces.” at Rowe.

The Woodside Diversity Program is an endowment fund established in 2002 to provide money to be used for scholarships for youth who might otherwise not be able to attend Rowe’s summer camps. Its purpose is to create a diverse camp community that more closely reflects the world community. The scholarships are to be used to increase diversity and are not for our regular campership fund, which would fall into scholarships for youth who might otherwise not be able to attend Rowe’s summer camps.

Additional funding is obtained by earmarking the $5.00 endowment from youth campers to the Woodside Endowment rather than the Capital Endowment. Since this money was originally set aside for the Emergency Fund, the $5.00 per camper could revert back to the emergency fund, as specified in the Capital Endowment Fund above.

The Lauriat Fund was established within the Capital Endowment in 2004, through a restricted bequest designated for the specific purpose of maintaining the Peggy Lauriat Meditation House.

Responsibility and Authority 

All Rowe Funds are to be approved and reviewed by the Board of Trustees, administered by Rowe’s Director, and supervised by the Rowe Investment Committee (hereafter known as The Committee).  The Committee receives its charge from the Board of Trustees.  

Board of Trustees:

The Board of Trustees will approve the creation of any new funds and the dissolution of existing funds.  At least annually, the Board will review the performance of the funds and the investment decisions made by the Investment Committee.  

When the Board meets to discuss Rowe’s next fiscal year budget, a projection of cash withdrawals needed from investment funds for the next two fiscal years will be made to help guide investment decisions.

Rowe Director:

The Rowe Director administers the monies invested in funds by setting up the necessary procedures to track and account for all monies invested in funds.  The Rowe Director, with the assistance of the Treasurer, shall establish a system of internal controls and written operational procedures that shall be documented and filed for review.  The controls shall be designed to prevent the loss of Rowe funds arising from fraud, employee error, misrepresentation by third parties, or imprudent actions by authorized investment officers.

The Director is also responsible for investing new monies, shifting asset allocations, and making any necessary withdrawals as authorized by the investment policies established by the Investment Committee.  The Director will assure a quarterly statement of fund performance is available to the Treasurer within 30 days of receipt from providers.

Investment Committee:

The Committee is comprised of the Treasurer of the Board and three additional appointees who are nominated by the Treasurer and approved by the Board for a term of three years.  The Committee is chaired by the Treasurer or another Trustee of the Board designated by the Treasurer.

The Committee will provide the expertise needed to select investment instruments to address the  “charge received” from the Board of Trustees. “Supervise” refers to selection of investment instruments and investment methods to be used.  The Investment Committee will meet twice a year, in person or electronically, to review and work through the portfolio of investments, recommend changes in investments, and provide an Annual Report on performance. 

The Committee is charged with choosing appropriate tools and benchmarks, and monitoring investment performance.  The Committee is also charged with establishing an asset allocation policy and risk allocation policy to guide investment.  The Committee will propose a nominal return policy to the Board and review it annually. 

Annually before April 15, the Investment Committee will provide the Board of Trustees an investment brief which will state the purpose, acceptable risk, and investment objectives for each Fund and identify any changes in investment strategy and asset allocations that have been made in the prior year.  In addition, the Treasurer will include previous year performance results of investments as part of the Treasurer’s Report (on or before April 15) to be presented at the next Board of Trustees meeting following receipt of the Investment Report.

The Investment Committee is empowered to retain a consultant to help it decide, implement, and/or monitor its investment policy.  The annual compensation of a consultant may not exceed .25% of invested monies unless approved by Board. The consultant could assist in identifying, enumerating, and tailoring investment policies and strategies to meet Rowe’s goals and objectives. The investment consultant could also: review the overall soundness of the investment objectives and recommend any necessary changes related to investment policy; provide a quarterly performance measurement system and quarterly review, which includes risk and performance analysis; provide asset allocation or other studies as required by the Investment Committee; provide general information relevant to the responsibilities of the Investment Committee, including economic outlook and market activity.

Investment Practices 

Investment Objectives

Our investment objectives flow from our values.  At Rowe, we honor and celebrate Unitarian Universalist principles.  We have a vision of realizing a world where peace, justice, and love prevail.  Our goal is to nurture the best in each of us, reward generosity and caring, foster hope and vision, and offer support for love and peace.  Funds will be invested in financial instruments that are consistent with these values and with the financial objectives unique to each fund.

The investment portfolio shall be designed to obtain the highest available return consistent with goals established for each fund.  The rate of return achieved on the portfolio will be measured at regular intervals against relevant industry benchmarks to determine the effectiveness of investment decisions in meeting investment goals. 

Investment Transactions 

The custody and safekeeping of collateral will be handled by designated financial institutions.  A list shall be created and maintained by the Investment Committee of approved financial institutions, which shall be utilized by the Director in selecting institutions to provide investment services.  The amount and duration of deposits shall be in accordance with guidelines established by the Finance Committee.

All investment accounts for each fund shall be consolidated with a single financial institution selected for its ability to move assets quickly and efficiently among an array of suitable investments.

Authorized Suitable Investments:

All Rowe funds must be placed in socially responsible investments.  In addition, funds classified as hedge funds are specifically prohibited.  This policy specifically authorizes the following types of investments:

a)  Mutual Funds categorized as “socially conscious” by Morningstar.

b)  Securities guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.

c)   Interest-bearing savings accounts, certificates of deposit, interest-bearing time deposits provided by banks, brokerages, or savings and loan associations incorporated in the United States.

d)  Money market mutual funds registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The Investment Committee may submit additional investment types for Board approval.

 

Standards of Care 

No person appointed to the Investment Committee or the Finance Committee shall remain on that committee if the committee’s deliberations are likely to result in a recommendation or decision that could be of personal financial benefit to the member. In the event of a dispute resulting from this rule, the full Board shall act as arbiter.  The final decision shall be a 2/3 vote of the Board. If the individual is a member of the Board, he or she shall abstain from voting on the matter.