Investing in the future for GAC

Greater Atlanta Christian School’s endowment is a perpetual source of support for the school and its mission of raising children as Jesus did; in wisdom, and stature, and in favor with God and men. The endowment remains one of the largest sources of revenue supporting GAC’s operating budget. Endowment funds support nearly every aspect of GAC’s operation. 

The GAC Endowment is made up of six major categories of funds; Christian Life Fund, Financial Aid Fund, Student and Teachers Excellence Fund, Academic Support, Sustaining Fund, and Facility Care Fund. The current value of GAC’s Endowment is approximately $56 million in the fiscal year ending 2017.

Endowment Priorities

List of 6 items.

All About Endowments

List of 4 items.

  • Who manages GAC's endowment?

    Greater Atlanta Christian School Foundation – a nonprofit, wholly owned subsidiary of GAC - has managed GAC’s endowment portfolio for decades now. The GAC Foundation has a singular mission of producing strong investment results to support the educational and missional goals of GAC, Governed by the GAC Foundation Board of Directors.  The GAC Foundation works to manage the endowment in a sustainable way so that it can provide capital to support the long-term goals of Greater Atlanta Christian School. 

    Each year, a portion of the endowment is paid out as an annual distribution to support GAC’s budget, while any appreciation in excess of this annual distribution is retained in the endowment so it can grow and support future generations. As a result, the endowment can continue to bless students in perpetuity in specific areas designated by you, the donor, or if the gift is undesignated, the Board of Trustees will determine the most needed project. These endowments are managed by the GAC Foundation whose current policy allows for the annual distribution of 4% of the fund.
  • How does GAC determine its endowment payout?

    GAC’s spending practice has to balance two competing goals: the need to fund the operating budget with a stable and predictable distribution, and the obligation to maintain the long-term value of endowment assets after accounting for inflation.
    GAC determines the annual endowment distribution after considering a variety of factors, including guidance from a payout formula that provides a steady stream of income to support current needs while preserving the endowment’s future purchasing power. This process is similar to those of many other independents schools and universities.
    As a general rule, GAC targets a maximum annual endowment payout rate of 4.0 percent of market value based on a three-year rolling average.
    The utilization of a payout formula means that the annual payout rate is generally lower following years of relatively high investment returns and higher following years of lower investment returns. Adjustments can be made in succeeding years, keeping in mind the long-term payout goals of balancing budgetary stability with the preservation of the endowment’s purchasing power. Each year the GAC Foundation approves the final distribution amount. 
  • Why can’t GAC use more of its endowment in order to cover additional expenses or reduce tuition costs?

    Returns from the endowment foster Financial Aid, Christian Life enrichment programs, Teachers and Student Excellence projects, Academic Support, as well as provide for campus Facility Care and sustainability.
    However, there is a common misconception that endowments, including GAC’s, can be accessed like bank accounts, used for anything at any time as long as funds are available. In reality, GAC’s flexibility in spending from the endowment is limited by the fact that it must be maintained in perpetuity and that it is largely restricted (some permanently, some temporarily).
    Endowment gifts are intended by their donors to benefit both current and future generations of students.  As a result, GAC is obligated to preserve the purchasing power of these gifts by spending only a small fraction of their value each year. Spending significantly more than that over time, for whatever reason, would privilege the present over the future in a manner inconsistent with an endowment’s fundamental purpose of maintaining intergenerational equity.
    In addition, many faithful donors designate a specific purpose for which their fund can be spent. GAC is also blessed by endowment gifts that are undesignated, leaving the opportunity for GAC to use those funds where they are most needed. 
  • How can I make a gift to GAC’s endowment and leave a legacy?

    There are three main sources for supporting and growing our endowments: periodical capital campaigns, planned giving, and an individual or family gift.  Any amount of a gift can support your preference of the already established funds, or you may make an unrestricted gift.  As of 2011, GAC requires a minimum principal amount of $100,000 to establish a permanent, named endowment fund.
    If you are interested in establishing a named endowment for your family in one of these areas, or another area of Christian life, please contact Heni Jordan, Leadership and Planned Giving or Katherine White, Vice President of Advancement. 
    Planned Giving is a way to integrate your personal, financial, and estate planning goals. For more information, please visit our Planned Giving webpage. The right planned gift may provide you with tax income benefits while helping GAC further its mission: to help children grow like Jesus did; in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. 
Heni Jordan
Leadership & Planned Giving Officer