Nonprofit hospitals should re-think endowment management

Nonprofit hospitals and other organizations with foundation endowments can learn some lessons from the recession and other past fiscal crises, according to "Rethinking the Management of Foundation Endowments." This new report from The Commonwealth Fund analyzes the different management models available to foundations, looking at their strengths and weaknesses.

Foundations should "take a hard look at their basic structure for managing their endowment," suggests John Craig Jr., executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Commonwealth Fund. "In doing so, they should aim for accountability on the part of each major player sharing responsibility for the endow­ment, and for a management model likely to make the most of their resources while protecting against major risks."

Foundations need to pay more attention to who serves on their investment committee, as well as the skills and time priorities of those members, he adds. "They should also reassess the extent to which their investment committee is adequately staffed to do its job, and whether external resources need to be tapped to ensure strong endow­ment management."

To learn more about foundation management issues:
- read the report