What is a Responsible Endowments Fund (REF)? What is its purpose?


The Responsible Endowments Fund is a creative and powerful way to escalate your campaign.  Similar to an escrow account, the REF collects donations from members of the college community (students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff) and holds the money through the Triskeles Foundation until the institution commits to your campaign’s demands.  An REF proves to campus administrators and trustees that the campaign’s supporters are willing to put their money where their mouth is - and the college should too!  You can view this as a financial petition of sorts.  Though the fund is not necessarily intended to divert money from the school’s endowment, the REF can be an especially powerful tactic when coupled with a commitment not to donate to the college directly.  

The fund can be powerful both by raising a significant amount of money, and gathering greater number of donors, strengthening the statement that both students and alumni will not support an institution invested in injustice.  The REF is also a great way to for alumni to engage in divestment campaigns, particularly because colleges are highly dependent on alumni support and donations. However, all members of the community can contribute to the growth of the fund.  

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