Investment Management

The Idaho Community Foundation endowment is invested for the long term because we are focused on endowment funds that will forever support Idaho. Like most long-term investors, we believe in accepting the risks of investing in equities in order to benefit from the rewards which usually result over time. The assets are diversified so that no single security or asset class has a disproportionate affect. Assets are pooled, which provides all donors with maximum investment opportunities.

Investment Objectives

  • Outperform the fund’s benchmark index return, net of all expenses, fees and transaction costs, over a complete market cycle.
  • Rank in at least the 50th percentile of a database of foundation and endowment funds with similar objectives over complete market cycles.
  • Preserve long-term purchasing power of the fund’s assets.

How We Invest

ICF Investment Subcommittee

  • Includes volunteer financial experts from around the state
  • Determines asset allocation, recommends annual distribution level, works with professional consultant to hire investment managers and monitor their performance
  • Meets quarterly with consultant and annually with investment managers

ICF Endowed Investment Managers

  • Real Estate Securities – Dimensional Fund Advisors
  • Domestic Equities – Dimensional Fund Advisors, State Street Global Advisors and The Vanguard Group
  • International Equities – Dimensional Fund Advisors and Walter Scott
  • Domestic Fixed Income – State Street Global Advisors
Endowment Pie Chart

Investment Consultant

  • Verus Advisory, Inc.
  • Provides performance measurement services and investment and advisory consultation.
  • Participates in quarterly Investment Subcommittee meetings and meets annually with the Investment Subcommittee and Investment Managers.


Annual Return Rank  
  Return Rank


1 year 19.0% 7
3 year 9.1% 3
5 year 10.9% 4
10 year 6.7% 18
1=highest, 100= lowest
Total fund is ranked against the investorforce universes
Annual Rate of Return
Rate of Return 2017



Annual Return Rate Compared to Policy Index

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Actual Return Rate -32.4% 27.6% 16.8% -2.7% 16.4% 21.0% 6.6% -1.6% 11.0% 19.0%
Policy Index Rate -31.4% 25.9% 15.1% -0.5% 14.9% 18.7% 7.7% -0.6% 8.4% 18.8%

Determining Annual Distributions

ICF uses the Total Return Concept to determine endowment distributions. The amount available for grants is calculated by multiplying the distribution level and the fund’s average value over the past two to 20 quarters. The distribution level is approved annually by the ICF Board of Directors and is 4.5% for 2018.

The Total Return Concept smooths market volatility and allows for consistent grant making, even in years following poor market returns, while maintaining the purchasing power and grant making capacity of the endowment for the future.

Non-Endowed Investments

We offer non-endowed funds invested for shorter term growth with maximum flexibility in annual distributions. The entire fund balance is available for grants.

Non-Endowed Investment Managers

  • Washington Trust
  • The Vanguard Group

ICF offers five investment options for non-endowed donor advised funds, depending on how long donors intend to keep the fund open. Donors may change their investment strategy annually.

Non-Endowed Investment Performance Summary (as of 2017)

    Average Annual Returns
Fund Duration Investment Strategy 1 year 3 year 5 year 10 year
Short-term (less than 1 year) 100% money market 0.8%      
Short- to Mid-term (1-2 years) 20% equity, 80% bonds 7.0%      
Mid-term (2-5 years) 40% equity, 60% bonds 10.9% 5.6%    
Mid- to Long-term (5-7 years) 60% equity, 40% bonds 15.0%   8.7%  
Long-Term (7+ years) 80% equity, 20% bonds 19.2%     7.3%