Anatomy of an Endowed Fund

Join the Makanas – a fictional family – as they explore how to establish an endowed fund at Punahou. Along the way, we will see the steps and the value of our endowment to both donors and students.


Mr. and Mrs. Makana are moved by the story of a graduating senior – the first in his family to go to college – who was able to attend Punahou with the help of financial aid.They decide to make a gift to the School in order to open this experience to more of Hawai‘i’s children.  


After speaking with the Advancement Office, they maximize their gift’s impact through an endowed financial aid fund to ensure that their contribution continues to support students in perpetuity (rather than being limited to a one-time use).They also make their decision in time to take advantage of the Changing Lives Challenge, which matches their gift, dollar for dollar, increasing the fund’s starting value from $25,000 to $50,000. Donors may establish a named fund through a gift of $25,000 or more that may be paid over five years. Each fund is tracked individually and while the principal is invested in perpetuity, a percentage of the market value is directed annually to Punahou to be used as intended by the donor – in the Makana family’s case, for financial aid.
Financial Aid Funds enable Punahou to build a diverse student body. Program Funds support faculty and staff, curriculum development, and specific areas of study. Legacy Funds are named endowed funds that generate income for the School’s areas of highest priority.


Endowed funds can be named and often honor someone of importance to the donors. The Makanas choose to name their endowed financial aid fund in honor of Mr. Makana’s late mother. The Makanas, like all other endowed fund donors, receive an annual report on the book and market values of their fund.They also receive regular thank-you letters from the students supported by their fund. Four and a half percent of the fund’s average market value over the previous 20 rolling quarters is available each year for support of the fund’s designated purpose at Punahou.


Other members of the Makana family are inspired by the story of the fund and the opportunity to help future students at Punahou. The Makana’s daughter, who is celebrating her 20th Reunion, chooses to make a contribution to the fund – it will also count toward her Class Gift. Over the years, various family members continue to direct their gifts to the fund. Punahou’s endowment currently consists of over 600 separate restricted and unrestricted funds established to fulfill a wide variety of purposes, with a total market value of $247.3 million as of June 30, 2016.