How We Invest
Our investment goal is to increase charitable assets while preserving capital.
Investments are selected to support a fund's grantmaking pattern. Because we are a philanthropy, not an investment firm, our financial staff is guided by seasoned, dedicated investment professionals who volunteer countless hours as members of our Investment Committee. The committee decides on asset allocation, selects asset managers, and monitors their performance. Funds in trust are managed by the trustee bank in which they were created. The investment vehicles are described below, please click on the name of the vehicle for detailed information.
Community Funds, Inc. and The New York Community Trust
The New York Community Trust is composed of two organizations, and the investment vehicles are different for each.
1. Community Funds, Inc. is a New York State not-for-profit corporation. Component funds are invested by money managers retained and overseen by our distinguished Investment Committee. Community Funds offers a choice of three main investment vehicles to accommodate donors' varied grantmaking patterns:
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund
For donors who anticipate making grants with a substantial portion of the funds they establish (i.e., spend principal).
Community Funds Investment Pool
For donors with a longer-term orientation, we offer an investment pool of managed accounts in several asset classes overseen by our Investment Committee.
Income Pool of Bond and Equity Mutual Funds
For donors who would like a relatively high level of current income, we offer an income-oriented fund of funds managed by Vanguard.
In addition to these three options, we offer a socially screened equity fund: Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund. Because the FTSE Social Index Fund is always fully invested in equities, it can be combined with an investment in a money market fund to reduce the overall volatility of the donor-advised fund's investments.
2. The New York Community Trust is an unincorporated association of charitable trusts. Each component fund is held in trust with a bank trustee that is a member of our Trustees Committee, and every gift instrument incorporates by reference The Resolution and Declaration of Trust creating "The New York Community Trust" (the R&D).
Funds established as trusts are invested by institutional trustees selected by the donor from our list of trustees that have adopted the R&D. The trustee has sole investment responsibility, although investment performance is monitored by our staff and reviewed by the Investment Committee. Most of our trustee banks require at least $500,000 in order to establish a charitable trust and many have minimums of $1 million or more. Investment fees are typically 1% to 1.25% of the first million.
Community Funds, Inc. and The New York Community Trust share a board and staff and operate as one. They file a combined Form 990 with the Internal Revenue Service.