Investing for Charity
Altruistic though they may be, those managing funds for nonprofits have to keep a close eye on dollars and cents. Some of these money-minded professionals turn to nonprofit consultants for investment advice. Among those consultants who stand out from the crowd is Lori Van Dusen.
On Sept. 21, 2010, Foundation & Endowment Money Management named Van Dusen, executive director of Rockville, Md.-based Convergent Wealth Advisors, as the 2010 Nonprofit Consultant of the Year. She earned the honor for providing her clients with innovative thought leadership and strong returns. Van Dusen passes along some of her advice below.
FundRaising Success: Could you elaborate on what you and your company did for nonprofits in order to earn this award?
Lori Van Dusen: We have worked closely with our clients to help them better understand the role their investment pool plays within the larger organization. In this environment, it is important to educate clients of the linkage between organizational risk and investment risk. The recent Nonprofit Consultant of the Year award was very special to us as a significant weight was given to interviews within the industry and our client base. At the end of the day, we only succeed if our clients succeed, and that is the most gratifying honor we can receive.
FS: In providing investment advice to nonprofits, what's the main issue you've been suggesting organizations concentrate on this year?
LVD: We have worked closely with our clients this year to educate them on the importance of integrating all segments of the organization when making investment recommendations and decisions.
For example, the finance and investment committees should have periodic joint sessions to ensure that all parties understand the linkage between organizational and investment risk. The development office should keep the finance office appraised of major capital campaigns and expected inflows into the organization.