Oracle Endowment Fund
July 2015, Oracle launched its endowment fund and, for the very first time in the UK charity sector, the fund was based on loans, rather than gifts, from Oracle’s benefactors. With the support of a Founder Group of eight Trustees and supporters, each providing a loan amount of over £25,000, Oracle was able to place an amount of capital of over £400,000 with Sarasin & Partners, a leading Investment Fund Manager in the charity sector, to be invested in two of their charity Common Investment Funds.
Each lender within the Founder Group has made an interest-free, five year loan to the charity and Oracle is able to draw 4% of the fund each year to meet part of its research costs. Oracle will report to the lenders each year on the progress of the research that is being enabled by the endowment fund as well as the performance of the Sarasin managed portfolio
At the end of the five-year term of the loan – or earlier, if the lender requires an early repayment – the lender will receive back the then value of his loan, or will have the option to renew the loan, or to convert it into an outright gift.
What is the benefit for Oracle?
Research projects are carried out over a number of years and Oracle needs to commit itself to funding those costs from day one. The loans, and the potential of the endowment fund, will progressively enable Oracle to match its financial commitments with the predictable return generated by the endowment fund.
What is the benefit for Oracle supporters?
Some of our supporters have access to funds which they would like to use to fund important research but they are unwilling or unable to donate the money outright. The Endowment Loan provides supporters with a means of financially supporting Oracle’s projects, following their progress over the life of the loan and receiving loan capital back at the end of the period.
Why is this an important development for Oracle and the charity sector?
We believe that this loan based endowment initiative will appeal to a wider group of supporters who will enjoy the flexibility of the scheme. The lenders have the power to call for early repayment, to renew the loan at the end of the first five years, or to convert it into a gift.
We also strongly believe that charities, in general, need to be more disciplined and accountable in the way that they utilise donations, and more responsive to their supporters in terms of reporting back on the use they are making of supporters’ funding.
Will you help us?
Oracle needs your support to grow its Fund. Could you consider joining the Founder Group of lenders and providing a loan to Oracle?
If so, please contact our voluntary CEO, Jamie Newall who will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Bob Howes, Founder Lender
“I will always be grateful to Professor Chris Nutting and all of his colleagues at The Royal Marsden Hospital for the treatment I received which has given me a quality of life that would have been only dreamt of thirty years ago. If my resources can help to fund research that can drive the continuing progress of the treatment of head and neck cancer in the years ahead, I am delighted to do what I can.
This new endowment fund being set up by Oracle enables me to provide essential financial support to the charity without my having to make the immediately irrevocable commitment of an outright gift. I can track the performance of the research projects as well as the investment fund, and am looking forward to being more engaged in the work of the charity and empowered in its performance.
Well done to the Trustees at Oracle for launching this important first-time initiative!”