2021 Financial Results
The Foundation ended 2021 with $33.5 million in assets and $2.9 million of portfolio earnings, a 11.2% return on assets. Total expenses were $259,000. We distributed $1.46 million in 119 grants.
Our ten-year history of grants made exceeded $12 million, almost all to Adirondack not-for-profits. During that period our return on assets was 9.8%.
Assets in 2021
Portfolio Earnings in 2021
Return on Assets in 2021
Expenses in 2021
Distributed in 2021
Grants Awarded in 2021
10 Year Portfolio Earning
10 Year Return on Assets
Legal Filings & Governance
The primary purpose of the foundation is to improve the environment, both physical and cultural, in the Adirondacks and to make life easier, healthier and more rewarding for the people who live here.
While over 70% of the Foundation’s grants go to institutions in the Adirondacks, targeted grants are available for organizations dedicated to protecting civil liberties, humanitarian causes, and to promoting art and education.
- Up to 5 trustees:
- Staggered 2 and 3 year terms
- Super-majority (3 out of 4 or 5, or 2 if less than 4) to elect or re-elect Trustees or to hire or remove an Executive Director
- Any number of qualified advisors can be appointed to an Advisory Committee. Advisors will provide guidance on, and help evaluate grants and grant applicants. Advisors will not be compensated but all of their reasonable expenses to support their advisory role will be reimbursed.
- Trustee and Advisor qualifications:
- Knowledge of the Adirondacks, its communities, its institutions, its needs
- Experience working with not-for-profits
- Ability and willingness to assess grants, comment formally in writing
- Ability and willingness to attend two grant review and award meetings in person each year
- Four formal meetings per year to assess grant applications and make awards.
- Strict guidelines for selecting, paying, and if needed replacing an Executive Director, who will not also be a Trustee
- No more than 30% of any year’s awards to charities not focused on the Adirondacks, mainly for those with emphasis on:
- Civil liberties
- Humanitarian causes
- Adirondack grants awarded based on:
- Potential impact on the well-being, education, and health of residents of the Park
- Potential impact on the future of the Park, especially its protected lands, infrastructure, and ecology
- Project chances for success, replication, and congruity with other organizations having similar objectives
- Standing (repetitive annual) grants of less than $5,000 can be awarded without grant applications to known Adirondack institutions that meet the above criteria, e.g., libraries, healthcare facilities, municipal improvement societies, arts institutions, and the like. List to be pre-approved annually.
- A majority vote of trustees is required to award grants, with or without a grant application, with the following exception: Grants of up to $10,000 can be made by a trustee at his or her discretion but only to an Adirondack not-for-profit organization on whose board the trustee serves or has served in the past.
- The Foundation Investment Policy applies (see separate document). In general, fund corpus can only be invested in money market & index funds and Exchange Traded Funds:
- 10% in money market funds with ready access to cash (check writing, etc.)
- 60% in a total U.S. market index funds and ETFs with expense ratios <0.2%
- 30% in a developed world (non-U.S.) index funds with expense ratios of <0.4%
- Annual rebalancing to meet the foregoing
- A professional index-fund manager (e.g., Schwab, Vanguard, Fidelity) may be retained to perform the management and rebalancing so long as the all-in fees do not exceed 0.4% of average fund balance
- Changes to 3.a through 3.c will require a unanimous vote of the Trustees
- Grant checks over $10,000 must be signed by two Trustees or the Executive Director and one Trustee
- Annual Foundation portfolio management expenses must be limited to .075% of the average fund balance including any fees incurred
View our bylaws investment policy statement and guidelines.
The Investment Policy Statement was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Cloudplitter Foundation (the “Board”) to direct the prudent management of its investment portfolio (the “Portfolio”) in a manner consistent with the investment objectives. The Board has delegated financial oversight of the Portfolio to the Investment Committee (the “Committee”), which initially shall be made up of the entire Board. The Investment Policy Statement is subject to all federal and state laws and regulations governing the management of institutional funds.
The Investment Policy Statement shall be used by the Committee in its duties to review, monitor, and report on the investment portfolio. Also, it shall be the basis of any other investment programs offered by the Foundation.
This Policy applies to all assets that are included in the Foundation’s investment portfolio for which the Committee has been given investment authority.
C. GENERAL STANDARDS
In seeking to attain the investment objectives set forth in the Policy, the members of the Committee must act in good faith, with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances and in a manner reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the Foundation. Members of the Committee must provide full and fair disclosure to the Committee of all material facts regarding any potential conflicts of interests.
D. DEFINITIONS OF DUTIES
Board of Directors
The Board has the final responsibility for overseeing the investment of the Portfolio. The Board must ensure that appropriate policies governing the management of the Portfolio are in place and that these policies are being effectively implemented. To implement these responsibilities, the Board enforces the Investment Policy Statement and delegates responsibility to the Investment Committee for implementation and ongoing monitoring.
The authorities and duties of the Committee regarding the Foundation’s investments include the following:
- Reviewing, no less frequently than semi-annually, the Foundation’s investment accounts.
- Reviewing and revising, as necessary, the funds that meet the Foundation’s investment guidelines.
- Performing the administration and accounting for all the investments held by the Foundation.
Objectives and Strategies for Endowed Funds
Our primary objectives are to achieve a reasonable total return on endowed funds that will optimize annual distributions of the Foundation while allowing for the long-term growth of the endowment net of management fees. Total return is defined as the aggregate investment return, which includes a combination of current income plus the net impact of price changes. Income return is defined as the actual dividends and interest earned. The objective is to generate a return, after inflation, that will at least equal the Foundation’s granting requirements plus the costs of administering these funds.
- A majority of the assets will be invested in equity or equity-like securities. Included are index funds and Exchange Traded Securities (ETFs).
- Cash is a residual of the investment process and used to meet short-term liquidity needs.
- Other than the starting portfolio, defined to be those investments held in the Foundation’s accounts as of 1/1/2014, new investments will be limited to index funds and ETFs. No investments may be made in individual stocks, fixed instruments, or alternative investments of any kind.
- At each rebalancing the portfolio will maintain a balance as follows:
- Equity Index Funds, 80% or more of total portfolio value
- Bond Index, Money Market Funds, and cash, 20% or less of total portfolio value
- International allocation, 33% or less of total portfolio value
- Cash or money market funds, no less than 5% and no more than 10% of the total portfolio value
- All-in fees including fund expenses may not exceed 0.4% of average fund balance
- The Committee retains full discretion to manage all or any portion of the Foundation’s portfolio within the foregoing guidelines.
C. Asset Allocation
- At least 2/3 of the non-cash or cash-equivalent portfolio shall be invested in one or more domestic equity index fund that mimics the broad U.S. market, e.g., Vanguard’s Total Stock Market fund, VTSAX, Fidelity’s Spartan Total Market Index Fund, FSTMX, or Schwab’s Total Stock Market Index SWTSX.
- Up to 1/3 of the non-cash or cash-equivalent portfolio shall be invested in one or more international equity index fund that mimics the broad non-U.S. developed world stock indices, e.g., Vanguard International Explorer Inv Fund (VINEX), European Stock Index Admiral Shares (VEUSX), FTSE All-World ex-US Index Admiral (VFWAX).
- 5% to 10% of the total portfolio shall be maintained in one or more money market funds or in cash
The Committee will monitor the asset allocation of the investment pool at the end of each year and will rebalance as necessary to stay within the ranges for each category of investment.
View our tax filings by fiscal year.