Distributions to Endowment Beneficiaries Remain Steady

Tuesday August 16, 2022

Boise, ID - The Idaho Board of Land Commissioners (Land Board) today approved distributing $100.3 million to endowment beneficiaries in Fiscal Year 2024. This distribution mirrors the amount distributed this fiscal year, which represented a new record.

The economy over the past year created challenges in the investment portfolio, due in part to the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates to slow inflation. The endowment fund investment portfolio lost 13.0% in Fiscal Year 2022 after gains of 29.7% in Fiscal Year 2021.

The Land Board was able to maintain the Fiscal Year 2024 distribution at record levels because of its strategy to hold investment reserves sufficient to weather periods of financial market volatility and because of strong earnings from timber sales on endowment land.  

“Market volatility is why it is so important to have both the endowment land portfolio and the financial investment portfolio generating returns for the beneficiaries,” said Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) Director Dustin Miller. “Endowment land helps protect total fund returns in bear markets.”

On the land side of the portfolio, timberland – selling sawlogs at auction to the highest bidders – generated nearly 99% of the total net income from endowment land in Fiscal Year 2022. Overall, the net income from endowment land was $56.5 million in Fiscal Year 2022 and $59.6 million in Fiscal Year 2021.

IDL manages nearly 2.5 million acres held in trust and deeded to Idaho at statehood for the financial support of endowment beneficiaries. Beneficiaries include Idaho’s public schools, colleges and universities, and veterans’ homes, among others. More than 1.1 million acres of this trust land is managed for timber production.

“Financial investments may experience volatility over the short-term but have provided strong returns for beneficiaries over the long-term,” said Endowment Fund Investment Board Manager (EFIB) Manager Chris Anton.  

“Maintaining stable distributions demonstrates the Land Board’s thoughtful planning is paying off for the beneficiaries,” he added.