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Endowment Performance

Donor-funded Endowments

Updated endowment performance data available soon.

Endowed gifts allow our donors to invest in the future of MSU. They provide a vehicle to ensure that the donors philanthropic goals are met for generations to come.

The endowment is carefully managed to ensure funds are available in perpetuity; the endowment spending policy allows for only a small percentage (4.4 percent for fiscal year 2022) of the market value to be spent each year, so that the endowment—and legacy of our donors—endures for the life of the university.

Donor-funded endowments at the university work much like a mutual fund—each new endowment gift buys shares, or units, in the university’s Common Investment Fund (CIF). When an endowment is established for a specific purpose (such as scholarships, program assistance, etc.), the spending distribution is directed to that purpose. The spending distribution to each endowment is based on the number of units the endowment owns and is distributed according to the university’s endowment spending policy.

Here is an example on how the endowment and policy work together to make a difference:

Based on historical investment returns, a $100,000 endowment established July 1, 2002, for scholarships, would have had a market value of approximately $229,896 as of June 30, 2022, after having provided scholarships totaling $126,973 over the 20-year period.

Reasonable and appropriate investment fees are charged against the endowment. The MSU Board of Trustees approves these fees based on the recommendations of the Investment Advisory Subcommittee.

For more information on MSU’s investment policies, please visit the MSU Board of Trustees Investment Policy page.

Endowment value over time

Chart of total endowment market value

Investment Objectives of the MSU CIF

  1. Achieve a total rate of return sufficient to generate the amount annually made available for spending by the university’s programs supported by endowment funds and still provide a modest increase in the inflation-adjusted value.
  2. Achieve the desired return while assuming only moderate risk.

MSU CIF Performance

Over the last 5 years, the MSU CIF has grown from $2.7 billion to $3.9 billion as of the end of the 2022 fiscal year.  Over that time, it has also generated more than $600 million that was used to support scholarships, endowed professor support, program support and other annual university expenses. The CIF is composed primarily of assets held for long-term investments.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, despite the loss of 3.4 percent, our long-term performance has allowed us to continue to meet funding obligations to the university and beat all relevant benchmarks.

Common Investment Fund (CIF) Average Annual Returns as of June 30, 2022
  1-year 3-years 5-years 10-years
MSU CIF Returns -3.4% 12.9% 11.5% 10.0%
CCPI-U 9.1% 5.0% 3.9% 2.6%
CIF Policy -8.7% 6.8% 7.1% 7.4%
Simple (70% MSCI ACWI/30% BBG BC Agg) 1 -14.0% 4.3% 5.4% 6.7%
Simple (80% MSCI ACWI/20% BBG BC Agg) 2 -14.6% 5.0% 6.0% 7.4%

For more information about MSU’s CIF performance, please visit the Investment Office.

Asset Allocation

MSU seeks to achieve its investment objectives by diversifying across major asset classes as well as within each asset class. The investment policy, approved by MSU’s Board of Trustees, outlines the target asset allocation.

Chart of endowment CIF asset allocation

For more information, please visit the list of investments.

For More Information

For more information on the investment performance of MSU’s CIF and related endowments, please contact Lyndsay Cook, associate director of campaign development, at or (517) 884-4098.

If you would like more information on establishing a new endowment through a gift to MSU, please contact Sarah Blom, senior executive director of Individual Giving for University Advancement, at (517) 884-1000 or contact the development officer in the unit you wish to support.

View the MSU annual philanthropy report.

Download the Common Investment Fund report.

Visit My MSU Giving to see your lifetime and annual giving to Michigan State University.


70% Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index / 30% BBG Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index
2 80% Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index / 20% BBG Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index