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Understanding the MBEF Endowment

By April 16, 2014eNews

The MBEF Endowment

Have you ever wondered how MBEF and its Endowment are different? MBEF exists to support quality public education here in Manhattan Beach today, while our Endowment works to ensure that students in our community will benefit from high quality educational programs for years to come. Though the Endowment is a subsidiary of MBEF with a separate board and 501c3 status, we share the same mission and vision for our students – “Great Schools Today” and “Great Schools Forever.”

Year after year, as budget cuts in Sacramento have lowered education funding in California (California ranks 49th of the 50 states in per pupil funding), MBEF’s leadership recognized the importance of establishing a permanent fund to provide a sustainable and stable investment in our community’s educational system. Patterned after university endowments, MBEF established its Endowment in 1986 with just $10,000 and has grown it into a vibrant force with nearly $12M in assets.

At last year’s Manhattan Wine Auction, the Endowment Fund successfully reached its $10M initial funding threshold. Reaching $10 million meant, according to its bylaws, the Endowment Fund can now make its first disbursement’s to MBEF.

This spring, the Endowment will disburse $116,000 to MBEF for its grant-making for next year.

“Reaching our goal of $10 million was exhilarating, but it just motivated us to achieve more,” shares Sheri Lietzow, President of MBEF Endowment. “We are thrilled to be making our first transfer to MBEF for its grantmaking in June.” Over time, with MBEF Endowment’s continued success, the Endowment’s contributions to MBEF each year will certainly grow. MBEF Endowment is able to disburse a portion of its return on investment each year, as per the Endowment Fund’s spending policy.

Donors should keep in mind, however, that the Endowment is a longer term solution for our schools. MBEF’s main fundraising vehicle – its Annual Appeal – will still contribute over 98% of grant money our schools are set to receive for the 2014-15 school year. Thanks to your generous support, this year’s Annual Appeal engaged over 3,000 donors and raised a record $5.1 million for our schools. These funds will be granted to MBUSD to cover 70+ teacher salaries, small Humanities classes, science, technology, music and counseling programs…and much more.

Raising $5 million-plus each year is a team effort, and one that VP of Fundraising Carolyn Robb has led with grace over the last three years. “We have an outstanding team of site representatives, board members, parent volunteers and staff that supports our Annual Appeal goal each year,” shares Carolyn.

So, when you see those banners around town, now you know how MBEF and the MBEF Endowment support Great Schools Today, and Great Schools Forever.


For additional information on the MBEF Endowment Fund, please review the
Endowment’s Annual Report, Investment Policies, or visit their website:
Click here to see a list of MBEFEF’s Board of Directors.
Click here to see MBEFEF’s Endowment Investment Committee.
Click here to see MBEFEF’s Professional Advisory Council.


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