View Information about Columbia University Endowments

About Endowments

An endowment is a fund where the principal is invested and an annual distribution (payout), funded by income and appreciation on the investments, is utilized by the University for purposes in support of our mission.

Endowment funds are an important part of the University’s operations and play an integral role in helping the University achieve its goals. Endowments provide Columbia with a permanent source of funding to support professorships, financial aid, research, capital projects, schools, departments, institutes, centers and more.

Giving to Columbia

An endowment gift is a donation that is given with the intent to preserve the original value of the gift, and to grow it over time. The funds are held in perpetuity and invested, and the accumulated appreciation and income on the investment is used to fund an annual distribution. The annual distribution is spent according to the donor’s wishes. Through this dedicated stream of income, an endowment gift ensures the stability of a scholarship, professorship, or program. Endowed gifts provide a stable income stream to ensure Columbia’s continued excellence in teaching, research and patient care. 

Columbia Investment Management Company (IMC)

In 2002, the University Trustees established the IMC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University, to manage the endowed funds. The IMC is staffed by a team of talented investment professionals and advised by a board that is made up of Columbia Trustees and former Trustees, as well as a small number of non-Trustees, who are investment experts.