A: The fee on gifts is our cost of administrative support to be accountable to you and our other donors. Gifts made to the College for the purpose of granting or endowing a scholarship are not assessed a gift fee.
Q: How much is the gift fee?
A: Each donation to the Three Rivers Endowment Trust is assessed a 4% one-time administrative fee. Endowed scholarships are excluded from the gift fees.
Q: Why does the Three Rivers Endowment Trust have a gift fee?
A: The gift fee allows the Endowment Trust to reduce its reliance on direct funding for its operations from Three Rivers College, thus freeing College funds for education. Gift fee revenue is directly related to the Endowment Trust's cost of doing business. Effective fundraising requires deployment of financial resources to cover direct costs of soliciting, processing, and accounting for donated funds. As gifts to benefit Three Rivers College increase, the costs of gift receipting, accounting, and investing/disbursing funds increase.
Q: How are the operations of the Three Rivers Endowment Trust funded?
A: Endowment Trust operations are funded through a combination of unrestricted gifts, gift fees, and direct support from Three Rivers College.
Q: Do other colleges and universities charge gift fees?
A: A gift fee of 3-6% is not uncommon at higher education foundations throughout the country. The University of Missouri currently charges a 3% fee.
We are a relatively young organization with a comparatively small endowment, and thus endowment management fees only partially cover our costs of doing business. However, even older organizations with much larger endowments frequently charge gift fees.
Q: The local non-profit organizations I support don't charge gift fees. What's the difference?
A: The difference is primarily one of terminology. All community organizations have operating costs. In general, revenue from contributions helps in part to support them, whether or not a formal gift fee is identified. United Way, for example, typically charges fees of 15% or more.
In the non-profit sector, best practice standards hold that operating costs in the range of 15-20% are considered to be excellent, assuring that approximately $0.80 of every dollar contributed goes to providing direct services. By comparison, $0.96 of each dollar you give to the Three Rivers Endowment Trust gets put to work by Three Rivers College for the specific purpose you choose to support.
Q: How often does the gift fee change?
A: The Three Rivers Endowment Trust's funding sources are recommended by our Finance Committee and approved by our Board. The Finance Committee reviews the gift fee on an annual basis. In order to assure budgetary and financial stability, it is changed only rarely.
Q: Does the Three Rivers Endowment Trust charge other fees?
A: Like the vast majority of other foundations and trusts, the Three Rivers Endowment Trust realizes an annual fee to manage endowed funds that are invested in perpetuity by our investment agency. Because we want to maximize our endowment's growth over time, we keep this annual management fee to a minimum, currently 1% of the market value of the endowment.