Audits, investments and managing assets

We carefully manage our assets with three key goals in mind:

  1. maximize grant dollars for current needs
  2. limit the impact of the ups and downs of the market on our fundholders and nonprofits, and
  3. ensure that all endowments here will last and grow forever.

The community foundation's spending policy and asset investment assure that we accomplish these goals.

Spending policy: we follow a consistent formula

Before the 1980s, many universities and foundations spent most of their endowment investment returns each year. If the market was good, so was their spending. If the market was bearish, the institution suffered or ate into principal.

In the late 1980s, financial researchers, reviewing the equities market back before the Great Depression, created the "Spending Rule," which promises a steady flow of money through good times and bad. It also strives for growth in real dollars through a balanced and well-invested portfolio.

With that in mind, Hampton Roads Community Foundation restricts our annual distributions to 4-1/2% of a fund's average balance over the previous 12 trailing quarters. Additional investment returns are put back into to the fund.

The fundholder knows his or her fund will last forever and that the grants will far outreach the original donation. Nonprofits can count on steady grants, especially during tough times, when they need them most. Students and their families know their scholarships will be there for them.

Investment is a key to our work and your goals

Our board of directors and its investment committee oversee our investments.

The community foundation's dedicated investment manager is Spider Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Richmond. Thirty nonprofits, including ours, co-invest assets with Spider Management.

Asset Allocation
Geographic Allocation

Affiliating with Spider and the University of Richmond has two major advantages:

  1. Spider manages approximately $4.5 billion in assets and provides us access to a mature, well-diversified investment portfolio managed by a professional staff with an excellent performance record.
  2. The University of Richmond's endowment has an investment return historically ranked in the top quartile of its peers, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

For information about our investment program, contact Rick Matthews, chief financial officer, at (757) 622-7951 or

Financial and legal documents