The Evanston Community Foundation reports it achieved an 12.3 return on its investments last year and that the value of its endowment grew to $16.4 million.

That’s slightly below the 13.4 percent return achieved by the widely-watched Standard & Poors 500 stock index for the year.

The foundation’s average investment return over its 23 year history is 9.2 percent.

At a recent forum for foundation donors, ECF Investment Committee Chair Ralph Segall said the foundation’s investment and spending policy is designed to address the tension between saving and spending to provide for the community’s current and long-term needs.

Segall, the managing director of Segall, Bryant & Hamill, said the policy is designed to permit the foundation to draw 5 percent of its endowment value each year to fund community programs, initiatives and grants, while preserving the rest of the funds to grow, through investments, at a rate higher than the rate of inflation to help meet the community’s needs in perpetuity.

Segall said the Evanston Community Foundation “is doing very well” compared to its community foundation peers.

Last year’s performance was substantially better than that achieved in 2011. As a result of poor market conditions in recent years, the foundation’s five-year investment return now stands at just 4.0 percent per year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Evanston Community Foundation Investment Forum

    Good question Anonymous. ECF's eleven member  Financial Advisory Committee is probono, representing a cost savings of approximately $50,000 per year. See the Foundation's website for more info or pick up a copy of the annual report from the ECF office.

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