Investment Insights
December 31 2022

Managing Sequence of Return Risk for Foundations and Endowments

20 min read

Cameron Stoddard CFA, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Institutional Asset Allocation

The charitable sector provides vital support to the communities we live in – support that would not be possible without the funding which assets held by charities, foundations and endowments generate. Good stewardship of these assets requires an understanding of the unique risks faced by the charitable sector. One key risk which can impair charitable organizations’ funding levels, striking at the heart of their very raison d’être, is sequence of return risk. To manage this risk, it’s important to understand how it interacts with the Disbursement Quota (DQ) - the minimum amount an endowment or foundation is required to spend annually on its programs or on gifts to qualified donees, such as other charities.