Wellesley's large endowment is the result of generous donors and prudent management over many years.
The value of the endowment on June 30, 2021 was $3.2 billion. It is comprised of about 2,500 individual endowed funds, most of which carry donor restrictions on spending. Gifts to the endowment are generally made so that the annual income earned by the principal supports an activity such as financial aid or a professorship in perpetuity. The income may only be spent to support that activity and the principal cannot be spent.
In addition to donor-restricted funds, the endowment includes funds that have been designated to act as endowment by the Board of Trustees. Sources of these funds include unrestricted bequests, unrestricted mature planned giving assets, and operating surpluses. The Board may designate a spending purpose for this type of funds or leave spending completely unrestricted. The Board may change the spending designation of quasi-endowment funds at any time. The Trustees may also vote to spend the principal of quasi-endowment funds.
Endowment spending accounts for approximately 40% of the College’s net operating revenues.