Why it’s important to us
Our only revenue source is the investment income from our endowment — the funds left to us by Archie Bush. We don’t fundraise and we don’t sell things. Our ability to make grants is wholly dependent on our investment returns so it’s imperative that we manage those investments as well as possible.
Archie intended the Bush Foundation to be around to benefit communities in perpetuity. To keep providing at least the same level of benefit to communities over time, we have to earn enough money from our investments to cover what we pay out plus the cost of inflation.
How we’re doing
In the current high-inflation environment, meeting our return goal is difficult. Like most investors, we lost money in 2022. Our endowment went down by 24% — from $1.7 billion to $1.3 billion — which is certainly bad news. Because we are a long-term investor, we don’t react too strongly to results in any given year. And since we use a multi-year smoothing formula to set our payout, we can have a bad year in investments without cutting our grantmaking budget.
We have a long-term strategy for our investments and so won’t be making major shifts based on 2022 results. We will continue to make adjustments based on market conditions and investment manager performance.