Skip to main content
Select Source:

Endowment

ENDOWMENT

A transfer, generally as a gift, of money or property to an institution for a particular purpose. The bestowal of money as a permanent fund, the income of which is to be used for the benefit of a charity, college, or other institution.

A classic example of an endowment is money collected in a fund by a college. The college invests the endowment so that a regular amount of income is earned for the school. Typically, the monies for the endowment are derived from donations by alumni of the college.

Often, an endowment is designed to support a particular activity, such as the construction of a new wing by a hospital. Each donor sets up an endowment fund sufficiently large to earn income to pay the expenses of one room or a different part of the wing, such as a library.

The Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act (7A U.L.A. 233 [West Supp. 1992]), which was first created in 1972 and has since been adopted as law in many states, regulates spending and investment decisions related to such endowments.

The term endowment is also used to describe the act of putting aside the amount of property that a wife is lawfully due to inherit from her spouse. At common law, a woman was "endowed at the church door," upon marriage, when she acquired her dower right—the right to use one-third of her husband's land upon his death for the remainder of her life.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Endowment." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Endowment." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/endowment

"Endowment." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved June 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/endowment

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

endowment

en·dow·ment / enˈdoumənt/ • n. the action of endowing something or someone: he tried to promote the endowment of a Chair of Psychiatry. ∎  an income or form of property given or bequeathed to someone. ∎  (usu. endowments) a quality or ability possessed or inherited by someone. ∎  [usu. as adj.] a form of life insurance involving payment of a fixed sum to the insured person on a specified date, or to their estate should they die before this date: an endowment policy.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"endowment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jun. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"endowment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/endowment

"endowment." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/endowment

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.