The LCFEF Endowment story begins in 1991, when, after watching La Cañada school parents raise money every year to fund our public schools, a forward thinking group of parents decided to launch an endowment to begin saving for the long term. The thought was that money invested prudently over time would compound in value and be an increasingly vital contributor to the health of our schools.
The endowment has frequently been the single largest contributor to the LCFEF annual fund. In fact, during the financial crisis of 2008/2009, the endowment played a critical role in stabilizing the funding of our schools by making significant gifts to LCEFF.
Today, the LCFEF board and the endowment trustees are focused on building the endowment capital so that it can play an even more significant role in funding our excellent schools in the future.
In June, 1991, Gene Stein, a Director of the Educational Foundation, volunteered to lead the effort to establish a permanent Endowment Fund. An endowment committee held meetings during the summer and autumn of 1991 with community leaders, individuals with experience regarding endowment funds, the Administration of the school district and the Educational Foundation board.
The establishment of by-laws for the Endowment Fund, approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors
The Fund made its first disbursement in January 1994 to the Educational Foundation’s annual gift to La Cañada’s public schools. That first gift was $1,224, which was 5% of the Fund’s total value on January 1, 1993. Disbursements increased steadily during the decade of the 1990’s, reaching $47,438 paid in January, 2001. To date the Endowment Fund has contributed over $1.25 million to the LCFEF’s annual fund and La Cañada schools and its corpus sits at just over $7 million.
The Trustees and the Foundation established a goal of $1,000,000 in Endowment Fund assets by year-end 2000. A campaign was announced to reach this goal, encouraging donors to contribute $7,500 over 5 years. At December 31, 2000, the Fund’s assets were $1,118,922.
During the 2008 and beyond recession the Endowment made the “max gift” allowable to help support the district. These large gifts were instrumental in allowing our excellent schools continue operations with far fewer cuts then other districts around the country.
The Trustees and the Foundation established a goal to significantly increase Endowment Fund assets. A campaign was announced to reach this goal, encouraging donors to contribute $50,000/$25,000 over 5 years. Over the course of two and a half years, $1,500,000 was raised.