Investing Charitable Assets

At Adirondack Foundation, our goal is to serve as a prudent steward of the gifts entrusted to us by donors past, present, and future. Every dollar we steward is an investment in people and communities. Our strategy focuses on maximizing returns within an acceptable risk tolerance to generate grant dollars for today while also preserving resources to fund future needs. We use a well-diversified asset allocation strategy, executed through highly capable investment managers. If you have questions about our investment policies, please contact us at (518) 523-9904 or

Through our investment policy, the Board of Trustees delegates investment management decisions to the Finance Committee. The Committee seeks counsel from Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services to manage our investment portfolio. Vanguard’s approach is simple, transparent, and low-cost, and they offer a full range of services to the Foundation. Our objective is to have 65% of our assets in index or index-like investments, with the balance in actively managed funds and with an overall asset allocation of 70% equity and 30% fixed income for funds invested for the long-term. We have sought further diversification by including multi-asset classes as well as global investments which we believe will help manage risk. We believe this portfolio construction will best help us fulfill our objective.

As a community foundation, our overarching goal is to ensure that charitable dollars entrusted to us are well stewarded and being put to work – year after year – for the betterment of Adirondack communities. We are dedicated to an investment philosophy that earns market-level returns and emphasizes superior long-term performance, which at times may cause our returns to experience short-term volatility. We continually look for ways to control volatility; we're in this for the long-term to strengthen the Adirondack region.


Adirondack Foundation, along with its investment consultant and committee, continually reviews its asset allocation targets, select managers, and review performance. To see a list of our current Investment Committee members, please contact us directly.

Spending Policy/Grantmaking

Adirondack Foundation’s spending policy relates to the amount available for grant distribution from individual funds. Adirondack Foundation works on a total return spending policy that is designed to maintain and, over time, increase the purchasing power of funds, providing a relatively steady and predictable level of grantmaking.

The Foundation's current annual spending policy is set by the Board at 4.5% of the average market value of the 12 trailing quarters ending market value. This rate may be adjusted from time to time depending on investment performance or economic conditions. Our spending level is based on long-term performance trends, to avoid major fluctuations.

Unless otherwise restricted, we prudently and consistently administer all funds within the requirements of New York Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (NYPMIFA). Our spending level is based on long-term performance trends, thus avoiding major fluctuations. For certain funds the Board may approve a different rate, depending on donor objectives.