Pasadena Transfers Management of $1.8-Million Charitable Fund to Pasadena Community Foundation

By Williams, Janette | Pasadena Star-News, July 7, 2013 | Go to article overview

Pasadena Transfers Management of $1.8-Million Charitable Fund to Pasadena Community Foundation


Williams, Janette, Pasadena Star-News


PASADENA - Management of a $1.8-million charitable endowment that's been run by the city's housing department since 1992 has been transferred to the Pasadena Community Foundation in an effort to boost the fund's earned income.

The Housing Services Endowment Fund, which has annually given $110,000 to $115,000 to a variety of local non-profit social service agencies, was on track to run out of money to distribute in about a year, said William Huang, the city's housing department director.

Strict rules on how public agencies can invest charitable funds, which are imposed to stop "high risk" investments, have eroded the endowment's earnings, Huang said. The fund was running out of money so quickly it would have been unable to continue awarding grants without a change in strategy, he said.

Partnering with a long-established local non-profit foundation, with its greater investment muscle and flexibility, seemed like a "great fit" for the newly named Pasadena Assistance Fund, Huang said.

The city will retain an advisory role, and will still direct the grant-making, he said.

Jennifer DeVoll, the Pasadena Community Foundation's executive director, said they provide similar services in partnership with several local non-profits -- including, among others, the Pasadena Art Alliance and the Casita del Arroyo Foundation -- allowing them to pool their charitable funds with the foundation's portfolio.

"There are a couple of advantages to that, particularly for small to mid-size grassroots non-profits, where it would be hard for them to get the same level of diversification," DeVoll said, "We have $40 million in assets now, and we use Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services, and you have to have a minimum of $20 million to be in that group. …

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Pasadena Transfers Management of $1.8-Million Charitable Fund to Pasadena Community Foundation
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