A banner year for giving

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Online extra: Honor roll: University of Nevada School of Medicine supporters

In 2009, $14.3 million was committed to the future of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, making it the most successful year for capital campaign giving in the school's history. In the honor roll, we recognize those who supported student and faculty programs, the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building fund and the University of Nevada School of Medicine Alumni Association from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009.

Endowments: The perpetual gift

Support from outside resources is critical to the success and growth of the medical school and its future can be strengthened through the stability of endowments.

The school has established more than 100 endowed or perpetual funds, of which about 56 percent support scholarships and 44 percent are program endowments.

The threshold for establishing an endowed fund is $10,000. After the endowment has been invested and earned interest, 5 percent of earnings realized are distributed annually to an expendable fund and the earnings remainder is added to the principle, allowing for perpetual growth.

For example, an endowment that was established in the mid-1980s with $1 million now has a principle value of $4.6 million, even with the economic downturn.

Scholarship support is always welcome, and the School of Medicine benefits from endowed faculty positions.

Position thresholds at the School of Medicine are $500,000 for a professorship, $1 million for a research professorship and $2.5 million for a endowed chair.

Investment earnings support the research and teaching of the position holder and are a powerful recruitment tool for departments seeking distinguished researchers and clinicians.

Long term endowments provide a stable revenue stream for much-needed faculty and student support and are a perpetual legacy to the donor.