Building a Strong Endowment

Leading nonprofit organizations strive to build endowments that produce earnings equal to at least 10% of their annual operating budgets. The NLE is currently funding 0% of our annual operating budget. We are seeking to build the NLE to over $5 million by the year 2014.

We are confident we can achieve the necessary endowment growth over the next several years through prudent and professional investment management and through the partnership and generosity of our faithful Lions Club members, donors, families, and friends. Together, we will endow the future of the Northwest Lions Foundation and continue to provide the local community sight & hearing programs which serve the needs of men, women, and children for generations to come. Questions? Email today.

Sample Named Endowments


Kristi & Craig Vaughn Endowment

The Northwest Lions Endowment is pleased to announce the establishment of the Kristi & Craig Vaughn Endowment. NLF’s Rob Vatter, Vice President, Principal & Planned Giving, worked with Harold (Hal) and Lynn Vaughn to establish this endowment in honor of their children Kristi and Craig. Hal and Lynn are long time Lions Club Members, and have served in many leadership roles in their local clubs, District, and the Northwest Lions Foundation and Northwest Lions Endowment Boards. Their Named Endowment will benefit the ongoing operational budget of the Lions Health Screening Unit. The LHSU annually tests 28,000-30,000 children each year for sight and hearing related needs.


Wilberta Morris Endowment

The Northwest Lions Foundation was pleased to help establish the Wilberta Morris Endowment. NLF’s Vice President, Principal & Planned Giving, worked with Wilberta’s Investment Advisors at D.A. Davidson & Co. to establish this endowment to honor Wilberta and her passion for local sight programs which benefit the community and for corneal transplantation, since she received her cornea through the eye bank in 1988. Her endowment benefits all the general operations budget of the NLF.

Funding Your Endowment

With a minimum gift of $20,000 ($500 to begin), you may establish your own individual named endowment at the NLE. Your contribution may be funded with cash, securities (stocks), or real estate and may be pledged over a five-year period if desired. Endowments may also be created through a will or other type of deferred gift, such as those mentioned in our gift planning pages. As the funding for deferred endowments may not commence for many years, the minimum contribution for this type of endowment is $50,000. Once an endowment is established, you or your family members or friends may add to it at any time.

Naming Your Endowment

Endowments are named for the donor or someone the donor wishes to honor or remember. For instance, you may choose to name an endowment in honor of a child or grandchild. Or you may give your endowment a family name or the name of a fellow Lion Club Member so future generations may have the joy of participating in the growth of the family’s fund. Whatever name is chosen, an endowment is a meaningful way to create a permanent legacy and ensure that your own long-term philanthropic goals will be fulfilled in a designated way.

Selecting Your Endowment's Purpose

At the time you establish your endowment, you may decide how the earnings from your fund will be spent, as long as the endowment meets and supports the mission of the NLF. Some options include providing maintenance for the Lions Health Screening Unit, Patient Care Grants, Project Support Grants, lab equipment (specular microscopes, etc.) for the eye bank, scholarships for visiting eye surgeons, etc. Unrestricted endowments may also be established to help meet the NLE’s most pressing needs as determined annually.

Your Endowment Agreement

And our pledge to keep you informed.

Once you have determined the purpose for your endowment, we will prepare an endowment agreement for you and the Northwest Lions Endowment Chair to sign to govern the use of your fund in perpetuity. We will also keep you informed by sending you our Annual Report and advising you of the current balance in your fund.

Investment and Spending Policy

All endowment funds are professionally invested among diverse asset classes with a goal of producing above-average long term returns within acceptable risk limits. The NLE Board has investment management and oversight for the Endowment portfolio. The NLE has a policy of appropriating for distribution, over the long term, and annual average of five percent of its endowment fund’s rolling fiver year average fair value. Earnings above the five percent spending rate are reinvested so your endowment will grow and keep pace with inflation over time.

Recognizing Your Generosity

At the Northwest Lions Foundation, we deeply appreciate the caring and generosity of donors who support our mission. We especially recognize the key role endowment donors play in helping ensure a strong future for the NLF and those we serve. With gratitude, we honor endowment donors by listing their names in our Annual Report and on the Wall of Honor at the Foundation’s office. Of course, requests for anonymity are strictly observed.

For more information...

Please contact the Northwest Lions Foundation’s Planned Giving office at 206-838-4642 or toll-free 1(800)847-5786. You may also email the Planned Giving Department at