An investment fund comprised of donated money. These investments are capital and earmarked for development. Sometimes the funds are in the form of smaller donations. Other funds are granted from large philanthropic (planned giving) organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The latter and many other philanthropic organizations are large endowments that in turn disburse funds to other endowments. Endowments are often tax-free or lower-tax investments.
Endowments are often associated with universities. Other endowed organizations include public television and radio, museums, theaters, hospitals, and non governmental organizations (NGOs).