Duke’s endowment posts more than 20% return in 2014

We are often asked the question: “Can I invest alongside Duke?” The answer is yes!

Duke is one of only a handful of universities that has been given permission by the IRS to invest charitable remainder unitrusts (CRTs) in a way that mirrors the university’s endowment investment. 

And 2014 was a great year for Duke’s endowment!  This is separate from The Duke Endowment, a charitable foundation in Charlotte.  As of June 30, 2014, the university endowment reached a record high of $7 billion and posted a 20.1% annual return.  This was the second highest rate of return among university endowments throughout the country, with Duke missing out on the top spot by only 0.1%.

Pretty great, right?

If you’re interested in making gift that pays you back, a life income gift like a CRT is a smart option.  A CRT provides an income to the donor (either for life or a period of years) based on a percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets determined annually.  Thus, if the trust principal (your original investment) increases, so does your income.  These life income gifts may provide a hedge against inflation for the donors as the income can increase over time.

Duke’s endowment is managed by DUMAC, Inc., a professionally staffed investment organization regulated by the university.  DUMAC has 45 employees and works with the assistance of more than 250 investment advisory firms to manage Duke’s endowment collectively and to meet its investment goals.

While the most recent growth is tremendous and pushes the endowment to its highest level since the financial crisis, it’s important to note that returns will vary annually.  For instance, last year’s return was 13.5%.   See a snapshot of Duke’s 2013-14 performance.

Learn more about how you can invest alongside Duke through charitable remainder trusts and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

TAGS: legacy charitable remainder unitrust DUMAC

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Gift Planning


Duke University’s Office of Gift Planning specializes in charitable gift planning for estates, charitable trusts and annuities, and other complex current and future gift plans.

For more information, please contact the Duke University Office of Gift Planning at 919-681-0464 or giftplanning@duke.edu.