Endowment Management Reports

The Western Foundation makes every effort to keep donors informed and maintain transparency of the funds we manage. Below are the links to our policies and results from our 2022 Annual Endowment Report.

Endowment Management

Investing to support long-term goals is important in our personal lives. Whether its building for a comfortable retirement, supporting children and grandchildren, travelling the world, or to provide philanthropic support to favorite causes, all are reasons we place such importance on saving and investing.

Similarly, the WWU Foundation invests to help support countless future generations of Western Washington University students achieve their goals of higher education. Each of our more than 600 endowments are designated to directly support either scholarships, professorships or programs, and the Foundation partners closely with our donors to ensure their investment makes their desired impact at Western.

The Foundation has partnered with Seattle-based Russell Investments since 2019. We invest primarily in institutional grade commingled funds that are proprietary to Russell. These funds represent a composition of money managers hired by Russell and given certain investment mandates. This diversified portfolio includes stocks, bonds, private capital and real estate.

As of June 30, 2022, the endowment assets of the Foundation sat at $109.8 million. Our distribution policy as established by our Board of Directors provides for an annual distribution of approximately 4.0% of the average endowment value over the past three years. This distribution also takes into consideration prior years’ distributions as part of the current calculation. This policy is designed to establish a more consistent year over year distribution in spite of short-term asset value fluctuations. Also per our policy, the endowment distributes a fee of 1.5% to the Foundation, providing key funding to continue our mission of support to the University.

Building for the future is important to not only our personal well-being, but for the success of Western Washington University. We are grateful for the trust and confidence you have placed in us. We make every effort to be good stewards of the resources you entrust to us. If you have any questions about this report, please contact Nicole Ebersole, Director of Donor Relations, at 360-650-2972 or eberson@wwu.edu.

Total Endowment Assets Under Management

Bar chart showing endowments from FY18-22 in millions of dollars. The values are $86.7 in FY18, $93.2M in FY19, $94.2 in FY20, $124.0 in FY21, $109.8 in FY22

Total Endowment Assets Under Management includes assets owned directly by the Foundation, as well as endowed assets managed by the Foundation on behalf of the University. The endowment experienced significant volatility in both the stock and bond markets during the final six months of the year, resulting in the reduction of total assets compared to the prior year. 

Endowment Fund Returns

Bar chart showing endowment fund returns in percentages from FY18-22. The values are: 8.1% in FY18, 6.6% in FY19, 0.9% in FY20, 28.4% in FY21, and -12.6% in FY22

Endowment fund returns for fiscal year 2022 reflect the significant volatility experienced in both the stock and bonds markets.  Annual distributions are calculated based on a formula using the prior years’ distribution and the three-year average of ending fund balances, thus reducing the impact of market fluctuations in any one year.

The Legacy of Your Impact

Endowments make vital resources available to ensure both the immediate and long-term success of Western Washington University. Investment returns provide critical annual support for Western students and faculty, and by existing in perpetuity, endowments guarantee countless generations are offered these same opportunities.  Western Washington University is better able to serve both teachers and learners because of your foresight and generosity. Thank you for making an impact today and into the future. 

Jeremy Caldeira

“Donor support gives me the ability to fully focus my energy on preparing for my career. It has also allowed me to get more involved in building up the Western community and supporting others. For these reasons and many more I am truly grateful!”

Jeremy Caldeira (‘22)
Sealey Raymond (‘23)

“As a small-town girl from Montana, I would not have been able to choose an out of state university with a program to fit my interests and career goals without the help of donors and scholarship opportunities. This has allowed me to fully immerse myself in Western’s community and passionately work to fulfill my dreams.”

Sealey Raymond (‘23)
Behavioral Neuroscience Pre-Major