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Endowment Fund FAQ


From the Endowment Committee (Peter Webster and John Liebschutz)


Q.    What is an endowment fund?

A:    An endowment fund is a financial asset owned by a charity or non-profit (including Universities) that is invested to generate income and growth to support the organization’s present and future programs and operations.  Each year the University may use a portion of the New Horizon Endowment Fund to support Eastman Rochester New Horizons.

Q:   How much can be expended from the fund?

A:   Because Endowments are intended for the long term, New York Law requires charitable organizations like the University of Rochester to adopt a prudent spending policy. Generally, there are limits on the amount that can be expended in any year. The current spending rate for endowments of the University of Rochester is a range of four to six percent, and that applies to the New Horizon Endowment Fund.  Spending is tied to the value of the fund.   As the fund grows through investments and new donations, the dollar amount which can be spent each year also grows.

Q.   Where did the New Horizon Endowment Fund come from?

A:   In the years since Dr. Roy Ernst founded the New Horizons program, members and supporters have made contributions to ECMS to support its New Horizons program.  After advocating for many years, our members and ECMS succeeded in having the New Horizon Endowment Fund established by the University and dedicated to support the Eastman New Horizon Program.

Q.   How much is in the New Horizon Endowment Fund?

A:   The New Horizon Endowment Fund was established with an initial balance of $100,000.  Several donations have been received since its establishment including one from a charitable foundation in the sum of $10,000. The University announces the invested balances on its funds in the spring  each year.  The updated amount in the New Horizons Fund will be made available by the U of R Development Office in 2024.

Q.   How does the Endowment Fund support the Eastman New Horizons Program?

A:   The New Horizon fund will help to keep program tuition reasonable, provide scholarship assistance where needed, and is an investment in the long-term continuation of the program.  As a program within the Eastman Community Music School, funding for the New Horizon program is accounted for in the annual budget of the ECMS.  Rent for rehearsal space, compensation for our conductors, availability of mentors, administration and overhead expense are all paid through ECMS.  Our tuition does not cover the full program cost.  The Endowment Fund will help meet those expenses on a long-term and ongoing basis.

Q.   Is there a minimum donation amount?

A:   Not at all.  Donations of all sizes are welcome and important.  Because the fund is invested, even modest donations will help it grow and increase the amount available for expenditure each year.

Q.   How can I donate?

A:   The Eastman Rochester New Horizons endowment fund is administered through the ECMS Development Office.  Information on donating is available on our website at Support Us (; or directly on the ECMS website at Look for "Make a Gift."

As the University is recognized by the IRS as a public charity, donations are tax deductible to the donor.

Q.    Where can I get more information?

A:   Feel free to reach out to our Endowment Committee members:  John Liebschutz ( or Peter Webster (, or to Danielle Abramson at the ECMS Development office (

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