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Understanding the MBEF Endowment

By April 19, 2016eNews

We often receive questions about our Endowment: Why does MBEF need to raise money when we have an Endowment? Where is my donation most needed – the Annual Appeal or Endowment? Why can’t we take funding from the Endowment to support this year’s Annual Appeal shortfall? While both MBEF and the MBEF Endowment support quality public education here in Manhattan Beach, each does so differently.

We say “MBEF supports our schools ‘today’, while our Endowment supports our schools both ‘now and for generations to come’.” This a simple way to view the two organizations.  MBEF is a community driven fund raising organization, which supplements state funding for programs that inspire learning, enrich teaching, and promote innovation and academic excellence in the public schools of Manhattan Beach. The Endowment, a separate 501c3 with its own governing board, provides continuing and sustainable funding for MBEF programs by distributing a portion of the returns generated from investing contributions which are raised on an ongoing basis. If done so prudently, the Endowment will be able to make these annual distributions “now and for generations to come”.

Modeled after the endowments of colleges and universities across the country, the MBEF Endowment was established in 1986 as a permanent fund to provide stable and continuing investment in our community’s educational system. Through the fundraising efforts of its founders and prudent investment management, the Endowment has grown to $13M in assets. Upon reaching the initial funding goal of $10,000,000 in 2014, the Endowment made its first disbursement of $119,000 to MBEF. This spring, the Endowment will disburse $300,000 to support MBEF programs for the 2016/17 school year!

Per the Disbursement Policy, the Endowment will distribute an increasing portion of its return on investment each year as it grows. “Our initial goal was to build the Endowment to $10M and begin making annual contributions to MBEF. Today, our goal is to grow the Endowment to $20M.  At this level, the Endowment will distribute approximately $1,000,000 every year to support MBEF and our schools. We are excited about the impact that the Endowment will have on MBEF’s ability to strengthen teaching and learning in our District,” shares Endowment President Mike Duckworth.

As state funding for education continues to fluctuate, MBUSD remains at the bottom of all funding in LA County, and is 4th from the bottom in the state of California. The MBEF Endowment is a long-term solution to this funding shortfall, and one of several ways in which our community is supplementing state funding for programs that inspire learning, enrich teaching, and promote innovation and academic excellence in the public schools of Manhattan Beach.

Our State Senator Ben Allen spoke of the importance of these giving models. At a time when it does not look like our state will be shifting funding for education, “The Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and Endowment are innovative models for community involvement in schools.  Donations ensure that our students receive a high quality education no matter what the economic or political climate in Sacramento is.  Thanks to the MBEF and the generosity of our community, our kids will be prepared for success in the 21st century workforce and become engaged citizens who give back.”

Both MBEF and the MBEF Endowment work together to support the schools in our community, ensuring Great Schools Today, and Great Schools Forever.

For additional information on the MBEF Endowment Fund, please review the
Endowment’s website at

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