The Power of Endowment

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to leave a legacy behind. As I grapple with end-of-life decisions in my own family and all the complications that ensue with aging, I’ve thought more and more about what it means to have a life well lived and a life well left.

We all have dreams, hopes and ambitions in our lives. We have causes that we care about and change that we want to see. We have hopes for the future that, for many of us, extend beyond our own lifetimes. But how do we accomplish this with the (relatively little) we have?

Let me put it in a different way: Most of us want to be remembered.

But what do we want to be remembered for?

For those of us who care about our community, who are dedicated to giving back of what we have – be it time, money, talent, or other resources – it is inevitable to question the next step: how can I prepare today to impact the future after I am gone?

Enter the power of endowments.

The Council on Foundations has made this fantastic graphic to show the power of endowed funds over the long term. Using a plant for their illustration, they show how a relatively small gift, if invested, can produce nearly nine times its original value in gifts over the next fifty years, and its capacity just keeps growing. It’s fascinating that a small investment, a drop in the bucket, can create ripples that last lifetimes thereafter.

Endowment Council on Foundations

Projected Growth of an Endowed Fund


At their most basic level, this is what community foundations do. This is what The Alaska Community Foundation does for our state. We leverage your capacity. We take your goals, your hopes, your causes and your cares. We preserve them and we grow them for exponential impact in the years to come. We convene funds, we convene causes, and we convene people. We serve the community and we serve you.

Are you considering how you can make an impact for Alaska’s future? Consider an endowment at The Alaska Community Foundation.