New Hanover Community Endowment presents updates and changes at commissioners' meeting
At Monday night’s New Hanover County Commissioners meeting, commissioners heard an update on the community endowment.
Spence Broadhurst, outgoing chair of the New Hanover Community Endowment, gave a presentation to commissioners about some big updates. Broadhurst noted that Bill Cameron, currently heading up the Endowment's investment committee, will take over as chair when the current terms expire (Broadhurst is expected to remain on the board).
Top of mind for many people is the stock market; the endowment was initially expected to produce around $50 million annually through investments, without touching the $1.25 billion principle created by the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health.
The Endowment had officially announced a few weeks ago that they had partnered with Black Rock Investments, to handle the account.
“We’ve been very deliberate in our process, deliberate and conservative in our investments, and deliberate and conservative, but thoughtful in how we choose our investment partner, our investment manager," Broadhurst said.
It’s no secret that the markets have taken a hit this year. And it’s being felt by the endowment as well. To make up for the lower revenue from investments, the Endowment has tweaked its bylaws so it can reach into the principal fund. This was originally not allowed under the Endowment structure created by the county as part of the NHRMC sale agreement; Broadhurst confirmed that, essentially, state law means the endowment can put money away in good years, and take some out for a rainy day fund when the markets aren’t doing as well.
Endowment President and CEO William Buster also announced he hopes to do two grant cycles a year, instead of just one. Each grant cycle will have different priorities, which could include issues like the housing crisis, or food deserts.
“One of the things our plan calls for, is for us to me more intentional about achieving some of the goals and transformations… We have some significant issues facing our community… so, moving [to] 2023 and beyond, we’ll continue to do opportunities and needs [grants], but we will spend most of our time doing these transformational opportunities," Buster said.
The date of this year’s grant rollout announcement will be December 9th.