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Investing for good, forever

April 16, 2009

The slogan, “for good, forever,” is a good summary of the work of community foundations. The idea is, first, that the community foundation always uses its assets for the greatest good of the community. Second, because the endowment is invested for the long term, those assets will always be there for a future that no one can predict.

Over the hard economic times of the last 18 months, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has proved the value of this kind of long view. Under the direction of our investment committee, headed by Corbin Day, we changed the percentage of endowment held in equities and fixed assets from 60-40 to the current 30-70. Thanks to this careful management, we suffered only a loss of about 20 percent in our assets by year-end 2008.

Who knows what is in store for the rest of 2009? All we do know is that our board and our investment managers are dedicated to protecting the endowment of the Community Foundation so we can continue to do good forever.

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