Q1. What is an Endowment Fund and Why Do We Need One for Prempeh?
A1. First, let’s start with what an endowment fund is not. An endowment fund is not just a bank account with folks contributing money to be used to fix the school’s problems. An endowment fund is set up with both the governance and legal framework that allows the school to adopt a best practice for giving through which it can raise funds and have constant annual flow of funds to address emerging challenges in a sustainable manner. The goal is to give the school a responsible, accountable tool to invest in educational programs and infrastructure. The Prempeh Endowment Fund (PEF) has been set up with the legal requirement to solely benefit Prempeh College.
Q2. How many endowment funds for the school are in existence at the moment?
A2. Besides the PEF, we are not aware of any formally registered endowment fund(s) in existence today with the legal construct as discussed above in response to Q1.
Q3. Is the PEF owned by or belongs to the Class of ‘79?
A3. No. There is no concept of individual ownership of the PEF and it certainly does not belong to the Class of 79. The PEF is an independent corporate entity established for all Amanfoo and operates as such under US laws. While the interest to establish an endowment fund has been an abstraction of many, a few committed individuals from that class, with relevant experience in such matters, spearheaded the formation of the PEF.
Q4. Why was the PEF set up as a fully independent corporate entity?
A4. After consulting with several educational funds, obtaining input from anticipated donors, and upon seeking legal advice, it became absolutely apparent that the endowment fund be legally separated from any association or membership organization in order to protect the fund from reputational, regulatory and other risks that may emanate from the operation of an association or may be associated with an individual outside of its scope.
Q5. What does PEF work on behalf of the school?
A5. The PEF requires the creation of a School Plan that includes a set of annual and multi-year plans to guide how we collectively fund the school’s priorities on top of what the government provides.
Q6. Is the PEF fully operational with a complete structure and plan for Amanfoo to get to work? In other words, can we be doing anything in the interim?
A6. While a great deal has been accomplished there remains a lot of work to do in order to get the PEF to the desired state. There is a lot that can be done in the interim. Since all the work is being done on voluntary basis, any Amanfoo or year group is more than welcome to assist by contacting the directors of PEF at email@example.com
Q7. Is the Fund limited only to Amanfoo in North America?
A7. No, there is no concept of limiting the fund to Amanfoo in North America or any one geographical area for that matter. Anyone, anywhere, who wants to donate to the fund is welcome to do so; we currently have donors from the US, UK and Ghana who have all given directly to the Endowment. The Endowment operates and is managed in the US where the laws governing educational funds are strong. The universal nature of the EF does not introduce any additional level of complexity. Anybody giving to the fund does not alter the intent of the fund or how the fund operates.
Q8. What role, if any, are the various Amanfoo Associations around the world expected to play?
A8. It is expected that all Amanfoo will work together to build up the size of the fund pool. The Amanfoo associations should be the forums for engaging alumni in all fund-raising activities. Thus, they become partner organizations to the PEF in order to execute on the school’s 1-year, medium and long term plans.
Q9. What is a 1-year plan for Prempeh College?
A9. The 1-year plan is nothing but the operating budget for the school year that captures the maintenance and the set of prioritized projects to be completed for the school year. This is a plan for the full year’s expenditures and sources of funds
Q10. In what ways can one invest or make a donation towards the mission of the School?
A10. One can definitely contribute their time to assist in putting together all the necessary structures to enable the desired state of the PEF. In addition, Amanfoo can make financial contributions to the fund. There are 4 contribution types:
1) Unrestricted donation — Allows the Fund to allocate funds where the need is greatest
2) Committed donation — Donate to the Fund towards a specific and defined prioritized project
3) Benefactor — A benefactor can stipulate in their will and bequeath assets to the Fund
4) Partner donors — External funds solicited from other private foundations
Q11 Will the fund be professionally managed at some point?
A11. Presently, the fund is professionally managed by Fidelity Investments, Inc. A first draft of an investment committee is being discussed now. Amanfoo with the required statutory background experience in line with the fund governance are invited to participate. This committee interfaces with the fund manager. Express your interest to serve by contacting the directors (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q12. Are year groups supposed to fund these short, medium and long term projects through contributions to a specific fund under the PEF?
A12. Not quite. The school plan will have short, medium and long-term plans. Each of those plans will have activities and projects in them. The PEF then goes out and raises funds for them. If a new source of funding comes in the form of a class fund, then the PEF works with that source to make sure there is a fit. For example, let’s say there is a donation that is committed to a specific project from a year group. The year group can then decide to set up the Class Fund and when they are ready, fund the project. They may choose to do a medium term or long term project.
Q13. Will the fund be housed in Ghana or in the US?
A13. Funds raised in GHS will be domiciled in Ghana; funds raised in other currencies will be invested with Fidelity Investments, Inc. in the USA.
Q14. Why is it registered as an NGO in Ghana or is it because it is a special purpose Fund?
A14. This was done for tax reasons and also to simplify interactions with external educational donors
Q15. Will Fidelity Investments, Inc. employ a local fund manager to invest the Ghana domiciled funds in local instruments?
A15. The PEF has had that discussion with Fidelity Investment. The advice we received was to focus GH domiciled funds on short-term projects and immediate needs of the school. PEF is working with Ecobank of Ghana to take on the responsibility of investing funds locally.