In 1991, world economies were beset by recessions, the savings and loan crisis raged in the United States, and the international banking system teetered as the BCCI scandal shook its very foundations. Into that tumult, a group of far-sighted and dedicated non-profit executives from places like the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund formally launched a project on which they had then been working for several years. On March 15, 1991, that group filed charter documents in the State of Delaware to create a non-profit corporation called “The Investment Fund for Foundations.” The idea behind TIFF was as simple as it was seminal — to create a cooperative-style organization where non-profit foundations lacking sufficient internal resources could pool endowment funds to access the innovative investment techniques being utilized by large foundations and universities. Within a few years, TIFF’s founders expanded the universe of eligible members to encompass 501(c)(3)’s of all stripes. And since 1991, TIFF has been managing investment portfolios exclusively for non-profit institutions.
Simply stated, our goals are aligned with those of the foundations and endowments we serve.
This video was produced in October 2019, in connection with TIFF’s 2019 Investment Forum, therefore the information in the video is as of that date.
TIFF was founded in 1991 by a network of foundations with the express purpose of
serving the investment needs of the non-profit community.
- to seek to enhance the investment returns of non-profit organizations
- to reduce the investment and administrative expenses of non-profit organizations
- to broaden the universe of investment choices available to non-profit organizations
- to assist non-profit organizations in deploying their assets in a manner that will support charitable expenditures while preserving the purchasing power of their assets
- to help non-profit organizations monitor and evaluate their investment performance
- to promote within the non-profit community an understanding of investment management
TIFF’s credo was created soon after TIFF’s founding in 1991 and has stood the test of time. It remains unchanged.
- TIFF requires complete honesty of its staff, board, and vendors
- No member of TIFF’s staff or board shall encourage an organization to purchase a product or service that it does not need
- TIFF shall be accountable for the actions of its board and staff in the performance of their authorized duties
- Each member of TIFF’s staff shall be accountable for his or her actions
- TIFF values candor and encourages staff, board, and vendors to disclose complaints, biases, and real or potential conflicts of interest at the earliest possible time
- Employment, promotion, and compensation decisions shall be based on merit alone
- The value of members of TIFF’s staff shall be measured by the enthusiasm and care with which they perform their assigned duties, not by the character of such duties
- No member of TIFF’s staff is too exalted to perform, when necessary, the duties of the least-senior or lowest-paid employee
- TIFF seeks to maintain a congenial work environment where patience and humor are the norms
If you would like more information about how TIFF can help your endowment or foundation, please complete and submit the form below. We look forward to hearing from you.