The trustees of MSF annually review its strategic investment policy. Its finance committee monitors this policy with support from a team of investment advisors.
MSF funds are held in one portfolio within Fidelity Investments. Monthly dividends, interest, gains and losses are borne by the total portfolio and apportioned to each Fund (General or Endowment) by a means of units attributable to each Fund at inception. Goldlake Capital, a registered professional investment brokerage firm in the UK manages this portfolio.
The Foundation’s investment strategy is conservative. The goal is to hold investments long term and not carry out multiple short-term trades that may provide higher gains in the short term but also carry greater risk during a volatile market.
The Foundation sets parameters based on socially responsible investment (SRI) principles within the portfolio, including its cash. The aim is to realize an average annual return of 6.5% over a 5-10 year cycle. Of this percentage, 2% is retained in the Capital portion of the fund to cover inflation and 3.5% is distributable according to the objects of a specific Endowment Fund. The remaining 1% is used for brokerage fees.
The aims of MSF are the worldwide growth and long-term development of the Subud community. Towards that end the Foundations achieves its objective through its permanent endowments and its general fund that provides awards for the support of Subud houses, international helpers travel, and the international archives that includes the preservation of Bapak’s and Ibu’s talks.
The Foundation also accepts donations, bequests and legacies for its General Fund and if the amount from the benefactor is substantial a specific permanent endowment may be created.
The total funds held in the fidelity portfolio are over $3 million US dollars. This total does vary with fluctuation in the market.
Of course the percent that funds administration varies annually. It varies because MSF relies on bequests for its’ operation. When the Foundation receives a significant annual bequest then the percent used for administration is lower. Smaller annual bequests mean a higher percentage for administration. This is because as a Foundation there are fixed costs that must be performed annually. These include, accounting, annual audit, tax filing and professional management of the portfolio. These administrative expenses must be performed whether MSF receives large bequests or no bequests.
In addition, donors expect a Foundation to be administered professionally. MSF contracts part time staff to administer its grants, and manage donations, policies, communications, and its website.
Trustees are active volunteers that also perform administration. Trustees are not paid. MSF does not have a fixed office and it conducts all its board meetings via the Internet to reduce its expenses. Only one Annual General Meeting a year is paid for. This is required under its Articles of Incorporation.
As one can recognize these administrative expenses are not frivolous – they all contribute to the trust and confidence that a donor has with the expectation that his/her testament will be handled prudently.
Yes, the Foundation’s annual audit in part can be found in the Foundation’s Annual Report. This annual report is located under the ‘News’ tab on this website and is usually posted in early April.