2015-2016 Endowment Report
As one of the schools three major revenue sources, USM's Endowment provides a vital sources of financial support, crucial to the school's long-term viability. We are grateful to the many donors who support University School of Milwaukee through their contributions to the endowment. Beginning with our predecessor schools, these generous donors provide gifts to the endowment, either unrestricted or through the establishment of named, endowed funds in support of financial aid, professional development, and other program areas.
The school's endowment is an investment account that helps ensure a strong financial future for USM, while providing essential support for today's students. As of June 30, 2017, USM's Endowment value exceeded $70 million. The school's endowment policy stipulates an annual distribution of approximately 5% of the fund's value, using the average from the trailing eight quarters. This helps limit the impact of market fluctuations on the annual operating budget. Together with the administration, the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Board continually engage in prudent fiscal planning while remaining committed to providing an outstanding educational experience for all USM students.
With tuition covering only 75% of the cost of a USM education, income from the endowment is an essential revenue source, along with the USM Fund and income from auxiliary programs. During the 2016-17 school year, the endowment provided just over $3 million— 12.2 percent of the operating budget— for annual priorities including academic and co-curricular programs, faculty and staff compensation, financial aid, curriculum development, and building and campus maintenance. Currently, two-thirds of the endowment has specific designations within 77 named, endowed funds established by members of our school community, with many originating prior to the merger of our predecessor schools. The wished of these donors are represented in these endowed funds, which will continue in perpetuity, annually helping USM sustain its vision and tradition of excellence for future generations.
Since 1987, USM's Endowment has been invested with Commonfund, a non-profit investment management firm that serves over two thousand independent schools, universities, and non-profit organizations. The Endowment Board consists of former Board of Trustee members, and follows a long-term investment strategy, calling for a 75/25 equity to fixed income ratio with meaningful international exposure and a careful commitment to alternative investments such as private equity.