Sometimes it helps to think about an institution’s finances in terms of how an individual might manage their own money. The school’s operating account is like a checking account, and this money pays for the college’s expenses and professors’ salaries. The school’s endowment is like a savings account – this money is invested, and the returns on those investments are mostly reinvested, although a small percent of the returns are placed in the school’s operating account.
Smith College’s endowment is externally managed by the firm Investure. The endowment is pooled with those of other institutions and redistributed to various investment managers. Each manager then divides their share of the pool among funds, stocks, and other investments.
Currently, 7.6% of Smith College’s 1.8 billion dollar endowment is exposed to the fossil fuel industry. This means that Smith has invested approximately 137 million dollars in the fossil fuel industry.
To view Smith College’s official page about fossil fuel investments, click here.