Your Investment in Gonzaga's Future

How is the endowment used?

For the 2022-23 academic year, 97.5% of full-time undergraduate students received need and merit based financial aid directly from Gonzaga, with 29% of student aid awards funded in part by endowment spending.

Infographic detailing endowment spending in 2022-2023.

What are the endowment investment returns?

The Gonzaga pooled endowment annualized investment return (net of fees) for the one, five and ten-year periods (measured as of June 30, 2023) are included in the accompanying graph.

The endowment is designed to generate at least a 7% average annual return over a longer term, recognizing that performance can vary significantly from year to year.

A graph showing the 1, 5, and 10-year rate of return on the Gonzaga Endowment.

The strong investment returns over the past ten years helped the University to more than double endowment spending.

What if an endowment loses value?

Should an individual endowment suffer an investment loss that exceeds the historical gift amounts, the University funds the spending from unrestricted sources, thus ensuring the donor’s gift intent is fulfilled each year regardless of investment market conditions.

Who manages the investments?

The oversight of the endowment is delegated to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees and supported by Gonzaga University Finance staff and an investment consulting firm specializing in institutionally managed funds. Endowment gifts are pooled and invested on a portfolio basis. Gonzaga University’s goal for endowment assets is to provide a long-term annualized return equal to, or in excess of, annual spending plus inflation. The “spending power” of an endowment gift could diminish over time. Therefore, endowment gifts and any accumulated unspent earnings are invested in a manner intended to produce long-term growth while assuming a reasonable level of investment risk.

Investment decisions include an assessment of socially responsible investment criteria as part of the ongoing, comprehensive sustainable efforts at Gonzaga.

How have the investments performed over the long term?

The following table illustrates the growth of $1,000 over ten years (net of fees, prior to spending), as compared to Gonzaga’s policy index and target return.

A graph showing year over year investment performance.

What is the size of the Gonzaga endowment?

The endowment has grown through the generosity of donors and solid investment net returns, with the annualized 10-year return of 10.1%, ranking among the top 10% in the nation among other higher education institutions.*

* 2022 NACUBO-TIAA, Study of Endowments with results through June 30, 2022

As of May 31, 2023 (in millions)

NACUBO: Why does it matter?

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) is a membership organization providing leadership and sector-wide guidance on accounting, finance, and tax issues in higher education. (Source:

The NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments® is the most comprehensive study of the nation’s institutions of higher education with endowments, it is considered the preeminent analysis of the financial, investment and governance policies and practices of the nation’s endowed institutions for higher education. Over 675 institutions participated in the 2022 study, representing $807 billion in endowment assets.

The 2022 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments® released results in February 2023 covering return information for the one-, three-, five-, and ten-year periods ending June 30, 2022. Gonzaga participated in the study, and proudly reports that its annualized net investment returns were in the top 15% in the nation for each the three- and five-year annualized periods, and the top 10% in the nation for the ten-year annualized period. While Gonzaga's one-year return fell into the top two-thirds in the nation for 2022, it has been in the top 25% in the nation seven times in the past nine years.

This report marks the ninth consecutive year that Gonzaga’s net investment performance is in the top 15% in the nation for the three- and five-year annualized periods and the ninth consecutive year that Gonzaga's net investment performance is in at least the top one-third study of participants for each the three-, five- and ten-year annualized periods.

How is the annual endowment spending determined?

Each year the University spends approximately 4.5% of the fair market value of the pooled endowment measured on a trailing twelve quarter basis and adjusted for inflation.

While endowed funds provide stability and strength for the University now and into the future, annual funds like the Fund for Gonzaga and Zag Scholarship Fund can have immediate and flexible impacts where they are needed most.

Did you know?


Individually-named endowments comprise the overall Gonzaga endowment


of Gonzaga’s annual operating budget is supported by annual endowment spending


Spent in 2022-23 from the endowment per Gonzaga student


GU’s 10-year annualized net investment returns rank in the nation's top 10% ('22 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments)


Contact Kelsey Parker, Asst. Dir., Scholarship & Endowment Funds.