Endowment Funds

  • Providing stable, long term financial resources for Doernbecher Children's Hospital
  • Providing a legacy for donors, or someone they choose to honor
  • Funding critical priorities such as faculty support, research, educational scholarships and patient care


Endowed funds are critically important to Doernbecher’s goals of attracting and retaining the most talented people and supporting the types of programs that exemplify the institution’s mission of healing, teaching, discovery and outreach. The Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation is Doernbecher’s designated fundraising entity.


What is an endowed fund?

An endowed fund is a permanent fund established for a specific purpose by a donor. The assets of the fund are invested to provide earnings that are paid annually in perpetuity to benefit a Doernbecher program. Each year any remaining income, beyond the annual spending distribution to Doernbecher, is invested to preserve and grow the original gift to sustain a legacy for future generations. The management of endowed funds is governed by Oregon law. A quasi-endowed fund is one that the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation Board, rather than a donor, temporarily restricts or pools for investment purposes.

Who benefits from an endowed fund?

An endowed fund may support a specific OHSU school, department, research institute or program. It also may support specific people or purposes such as a faculty professorship or chair, scholarship or fellowship, research activity, visiting lecturer or patient care. An endowment established as a named fund (as designated by the donor) also may create a perpetual legacy for the donor or someone the donor wishes to honor.


Who administers Doernbecher’s endowed funds?

The Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation’s Department of Finance and Administration provides the day-to-day administration of Doernbecher’s endowed funds. The foundation’s investment committee, consisting primarily of Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation directors, provides policy oversight and strategic direction for the funds. The board’s investment committee contracts with a professional investment consultant for additional expertise, and all investments are managed by professional fund managers.

Endowed funds are held and managed by the foundation to meet defined goals, policies and objectives. These policies are set by the board of directors based upon recommendations of the investment committee. (These policies are available on request.)

What portion of endowed funds goes toward management and operations? The foundation charges an annual endowment management fee to help pay for the cost of administration and stewardship of funds received. This fee is set by the foundation’s board of directors and is currently 1.6 percent of the entire endowment pool, although that percentage may be adjusted by the board as needed.


How are endowment funds distributed?

For investment purposes, endowed fundssupporting OHSU and Doernbecher aremanaged together in an endowment pool. The current spending distribution as set by thefoundation board is 4.5 percent of the three-yearrolling average.

Investment income is available for spending byaccountholders 12 months after the endowment'sfunding goal has been reached.

Why are distributions generated by endowed funds sometimes frozen?

Occasionally the difficult decision to freeze monthly distributions to Doernbecher accountholders is made. This is done in accordance with Oregon law to protect the endowment’s principal value and to ensure that the endowment fund is not reduced below the original amount donated. Taking this temporary measure ensures that Doernbecher will have a long-term viable endowment. The endowed fund is reactivated once it regains its original principal value and accrues an amount equal to its annual spending distribution.


What is the Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation doing to increase endowment gifts?

The Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation works closely with donors and potential donors to establish long-term endowment gifts that provide meaningful support for key Doernbecher programs. The foundation’s planned giving and development staff members collaborate with attorneys and financial advisers throughout Oregon to help inform potential donors about the benefits that endowments can provide both to Doernbecher and to donors.

How are Doernbecher’s endowed funds performing?

While the endowed funds for any institution fluctuate with economic and market conditions, over the long term the endowed funds for Doernbecher have performed extremely well. With continued prudent financial management and the generosity of Doernbecher supporters, endowed financial support provided for Doernbecher accountholders will continue to grow.


The Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation has designated the following guidelines for establishing endowment funds. These can be provided through current gifts or through planned gifts:

Endowment fund types:

Minimum required:

Leadership position (provost, academic dean, hospital CEO, etc.) $5 million
Chair $2.5 million
Professorship $1 million
Program Director $1 million
(depending on program size)

Early Career Professional



To support a student working toward an advanced degree in any graduate field.



Used for equipment, research and general laboratory support. May be used at the discretion of the laboratory director.


Departmental/Division Opportunity Fund

Used to support new or developing initiatives at the departmental or division level.


Faculty Support Fund

Used to support OHSU faculty in research or clinical development.


Scholarships, Program Support, or Awards

Used to support OHSU students or programs.


For more information, contact:

Carolanne Wipfli


503 220-8341