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What is an Endowment?

Let’s assume you establish a savings account that grows in value through interest income and you decide to only spend a portion of the interest each year. That is how an endowment works. Endowment funds are invested in the market and will grow depending upon the investment assets.


The Endowment is a permanent fund; donations to the endowment are invested in perpetuity. Only a portion of the endowment fund is spent each year. As the endowment grows in value, annual contributions from the LCFEF Endowment to the school district may grow as well. Invested wisely, the income provided by the Endowment will grow to keep pace with inflation and will support the schools in times of hardship. A group of Trustees has fiduciary oversight over these investments and determines how much the Endowment will donate to the schools each year


History of the Endowment

The LCFEF Endowment story begins in 1991. After watching La Cañada school parents raise money every year to fund our public schools, a forward-thinking group of parents decided to launch an endowment to begin saving for the long term.  The thought was that money invested prudently over time would compound in value and be an increasingly vital contributor to the health of our schools.

The Endowment has frequently been the single largest contributor to the LCFEF Annual Fund and is the cornerstone of the Foundation’s funding strategy. During the U.S. fiscal crisis of 2008-2009, annual gifts from individuals to the Educational Foundation dropped off at the same time that the bottom fell out of public school funding from the State of California. In response, the Endowment Fund played a critical role in stabilizing the funding of our schools by making significant gifts to LCEFF by gifting the MAXIMUM allowed by its bylaws. Their bylaws were even revised to allow the Endowment to make the gift, given the significant drop in value of the Endowment’s own assets. Subject to certain restrictions, the Endowment can contribute up to 5% of the 16-quarter rolling average of its assets to the Annual Campaign each year. As the Endowment grows, larger contributions can be made each year to the Annual Campaign.


While public funding for education in California is never great (especially for more affluent school districts like La Cañada), the LCFEF Board and the Endowment trustees are focused on building the endowment capital so that it can play an even more significant role in funding our National Blue Ribbon Award schools in the future and preparing for the next inevitable “rainy day.” Simply put, the LCFEF Endowment Fund is the safety net for our schools in times of financial contraction.


Our Mission

The Endowment Fund of the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation is committed to enhancing the educational standards and reputation of the La Cañada Unified School District, one of the country’s most highly regarded public school systems. Annual gifts to LCUSD provide the means to achieve this. The Endowment Fund’s mission is to increase and stabilize the long-term growth of gifts to LCUSD by pooling together the donations and investing to create a perpetual source of income for our schools.

While gifts to the LCFEF Annual Fund improve our schools today, funds donated to the LCFEF Endowment Fund are an investment in the future. Gifts to the Endowment ensure the ongoing health and vitality of our schools, and by extension, our community.






In June 1991, Gene Stein, a Director of the Educational Foundation, volunteered to lead the effort to establish a permanent Endowment Fund. An endowment committee held meetings during the Summer and Autumn of 1991 with community leaders, individuals with experience regarding endowment funds, the administration of the school district and the Educational Foundation board.


The Fund made its first disbursement in January 1994 to the Educational Foundation’s annual gift to La Cañada’s public schools. That first gift was $1,224, which was 5% of the Fund’s total value on January 1, 1993. Disbursements increased steadily during the 1990’s, reaching $47,438 paid in January 2001. To date, the Endowment Fund has contributed over $1.25 million to the LCFEF’s annual fund and La Cañada schools and its corpus sits at just over $7 million.




The establishment of by-laws for the Endowment Fund, approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors


$1,000,000 GOAL



The Trustees and the Foundation established a goal of $1,000,000 in endowment fund assets by year-end 2000. A campaign was announced to reach this goal, encouraging donors to contribute $7,500 over 5 years. At December 31, 2000, the Fund’s assets were $1,118,922.



The Trustees and the Foundation established a goal to significantly increase endowment fund assets. A campaign was announced to reach this goal, encouraging donors to contribute $50,000/$25,000 over a 5 year span. $1,500,000 was raised over the course of 2.5 years.



During the 2008 and beyond recession, the Endowment made the “max gift” allowable to help support the district. These large gifts were instrumental in allowing our excellent schools to continue operations with far fewer cuts then other districts around the country.


LCF Wine Auction

The annual LCF Wine Auction is the only fundraiser that LCFEF holds specifically for the benefit of the LCFEF’s Endowment Fund, which functions like a traditional endowment fund for the benefit of our school district.


Rose Harrington Award

The Rose Harrington Educator of the Year Award, which comes with a cash prize of over $7,000, was established in 2002 by a bequest made in the estate of local resident Rose Harrington, who herself was an educator.

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Senior Class Gift

These gifts are in appreciation of the excellent public education received by the graduates and in recognition of the role played by the LCFEF Endowment Fund in ensuring excellence for past, current and future students.

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Leaving A Legacy

Planned Giving and the LCFEF Endowment

Making a gift to the Endowment Fund often appeals to individuals who understand the power of investing for the future. Since its inception in 1992, hundreds* of forward-thinking individuals have contributed to this vision. This is an on-going campaign, seeking like-minded investors in our community’s future.


Simple ways to make a planned gift to the Endowment Fund includes gifts of cash, appreciated assets and life insurance. Charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder trusts are other ways you can contribute to the LCFEF Endowment while concurrently improving your own and/or your family’s financial situation.

Endowment Trustees

Ara Aslanian

Leslie Chang

Eric Grey

Joyce Mayne

Melissa Mazin

Rob Olson

John Ricci

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