Endowments make up the root system of a university, helping it stand through unpredictable times when other sources of revenue—such as research support or federal funding—may waver. Because they are invested perpetually, endowments help sustain vital educational, research, and service programs.

Here's how an endowment works: a portion of the return on the investment is used for allocated purposes, while the remaining portion of the return is reinvested into the principal sum to create market growth. In this way, an endowment serves immediate needs and serves to create financial security for the future.

An endowment can be designated to support specific work that is meaningful to the donor or can be unrestricted, making it a resource for timely or critical priorities and opportunities.

Establishing an endowment is a visionary and generous act that will benefit Emory, giving the institution a competitive edge now and far into the future. Donors who choose to establish endowed funds often do so in honor or memory of someone who has made a difference in their lives. In doing so, they also are making a difference, creating legacies of leadership and guiding Emory into the future.

To see endowment figures for individual schools and units, click here. From this page, click the photos, then click the gray link to take a closer look at Emory's Endowment.

The endowment fluctuates daily and is officially reported once a year; the figures above are from June 30, 2015.