The Reviews Are In!

I am grateful for the wonderful reviews that I am receiving for my second book, The Sustainable Endowment. Please take a look at what people are saying…

“I read the previous book by James Demmert called The Journey to Wealth, which I thought was excellent, so when Sustainable Endowment was released, I previewed it and was immediately hooked after reading the introduction. WOW, not only is it a well-written, but it’s a guideline on how to start a non-profit and most importantly, the ability to maintain a successful non-profit so that one’s good intentions are realized. — Amazon Reviewer

The prosperity of a non-profit must have a strategic business plan to survive, and this book gives you ten principles for success. Interesting, informative and definitely worth reading.” — Amazon Reviewer

“So helpful! All the basics covered…” — Amazon Reviewer

“A pragmatic approach to nonprofit organizations & charities. James Demmert offers both a practical and compelling guide for foundation, nonprofit and charitable organizations of all varieties. His 10 principles serve as a roadmap for establishing and growing nonprofits.

“This book is filled with enjoyable, witty quotes, which weave together and describe a process to successfully navigate organizational pitfalls in the quest of giving. The most accomplished professional investors have a commonality of process, which James offers from his tenured and successful career.

Examples of individual stock selection and risk management tools provide a successful and pragmatic framework for his audience. A must read and excellent gift for any nonprofit organizational member.” — Amazon Reviewer

“Demmert’s book is a must-read for anyone associated with the management of a foundation or endowment’s assets. The nature of ever changing committee members and their life experiences can really wreak havoc, as members like to influence investment decisions and may not fully appreciate the long term nature of an endowment. The Sustainable Endowment clearly outlines the key considerations of the Investment Committee, and Demmert does so in a clear, understandable manner…well done!” — Amazon Reviewer

“Refreshing in today’s environment, a must read! In the tradition of great leaders who empower others to uplift, Demmert delivers wings in his latest book. Savvy, pragmatic and motivational.” — Amazon Reviewer

“Important book for those starting a non-profit or struggling with one. I read the previous book by James Demmert called The Journey to Wealth, which I thought was excellent, so when The Sustainable Endowment was released, I previewed it and was immediately hooked after reading the introduction. WOW, not only is it a well-written, but it’s a guideline on how to start a non-profit and most importantly, the ability to maintain a successful non-profit so that one’s good intentions are realized. The prosperity of a non-profit must have a strategic business plan to survive, and this book gives you ten principles for success.” — Amazon Reviewer

Very well written
Must read for anyone interested in non profits!” — Amazon Reviewer

The Sustainable Endowment: 10 Principles to Make Your Foundation or Nonprofit Last for Decades is a specialty business title covering foundation and charity endowment investment processes. It is highly recommended for business collections and individuals who have an interest in the structure and investment growth of endowment monies.

Nonprofit executives receive a primer that assumes a certain level of authority and familiarity with the nonprofit world. This includes a detailed discussion of setting up a nonprofit from the ground up, from selecting an effective board of directors and supportive staff to committee development, to the basics of writing the two key documents nonprofits should have for legal compliance—the Spending Policy and Investment Policy Statement.

The Sustainable Endowment then details the nuts and bolts of long-term investment strategies from a wealth manager and founder of wealth-management firm, Main Street Research, who sports some 30 years of experience successfully advising nonprofits on endowment-building procedures.

At each step of the discussion, James E. Demmert focuses on the critical choices specific to the nonprofit culture, supporting his introductory intention: “The core of this book is about how nonprofits can learn to invest their endowment to maximize profitable results while limiting their risk.”

The book is no light review of investment principles. It outlines many major pitfalls nonprofit executives need to understand in order to carefully assess financial markets and invest to keep their ships afloat. Demmert warns about the consequences of bad investing: “In addition to the loss of growth in value or income in a down market or during a recovery, the math gets even uglier when nonprofits need to make withdrawals during that time to use in their operations or to fund their causes. Each time you withdraw, you reduce your capital base — and that creates a “double whammy.” Furthermore, the effect of taking capital away from your portfolio while it is in a downward trend or in recovery mode adds tremendous pressure on the percentage of market increase you now require to attain the full recapture of your original investment amount.”

Charts are peppered throughout the book to provide support for the analysis and recommendations, along with textual explanations about historical approaches to investment management versus the needs of modern nonprofits. Demmert offers many insights specific to economic trends that impact nonprofit endowments.

Even more important, The Sustainable Endowment juxtaposes its recommendations with supporting statistics, historical precedent, and examples of investment fallacies and truths. This creates a powerful connection between “Smart” investing savvy and the specific concerns of nonprofits to remain sustainable to achieve their laudatory missions.

With its core of seven basics of investment management geared to the structure, purposes, and special requirements of the nonprofit, The Sustainable Endowment creates a clear blueprint for executive success and is a top recommendation for any business reference library where nonprofit leaders are patrons and readers.

— Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

An engaging breakdown of investment strategies for maximizing security and growth in nonprofit endowments.

Veteran portfolio manager Demmert (The Journey to Wealth, 2016) draws on decades of experience to point out common mistakes in nonprofit investing. He highlights 10 clearly developed, easy-to-understand principles that nonprofits may use to maximize their assets.

He begins by focusing on the structures that put nonprofits on courses for financial success, such as a clearly defined staff and board of directors with follow-through, as well as spending policy and investment policy statements that will govern the nonprofit when leadership changes.

Many suggestions are about organization and delineation, such as Principle 2, which concerns getting the right people with the right experience onto finance and investment committees. The rest of the text focuses on investment itself, showcasing how safe investments are helpful in volatile markets, but that truly maximizing one’s endowment requires “aggressive pro-active management” to both avoid major losses and see major gains.

He rejects the popular advice to “Set and Forget” one’s endowment in a diversified investment portfolio, as a whole-market crash will substantially reduce assets in that scenario. Instead, he wants nonprofits to understand the strategies that financial asset managers use, stressing how the market is cyclical. This work employs an earnest, thoughtful tone, and it will be clear and understandable to those outside the finance world.

Even nonprofits with less substantial endowments will benefit from the organizational structures that he suggests. As he points out, “Clearly this new era of investing requires in-depth research, time, and experience. Success today requires a disciplined process and tools that can help manage risk and return.” He also leaves room for new developments in investing and suggests that nonprofits continue to actively evaluate available options.

A digestible collection of insider tips to maximize nonprofit gains.

— Kirkus Book Review

The Sustainable Endowment is a helpful and inspirational financial how-to guide for nonprofit leaders.

James E. Demmert’s useful book, The Sustainable Endowment, is directed at nonprofits with advice to take charge of their financial futures. Arguing that the world’s financial picture has changed significantly and that nonprofit boards can no longer “set and forget” their asset allocations and endowment funds in various monetary funds, but must take a more active role in money management, the book places the contemporary market in historical context.

Charts and graphs help to explain the impact that fees and hidden costs have on an organization’s bottom line. The text calls on nonprofit leaders to engage with their financial data down to granular details and empowers them to make difficult decisions about specific stocks.

The text is focused on managing and growing endowment funds. It uses a mixture of practical and inspirational advice aimed at nonprofit leaders, written in a way that laypeople can understand. Its tools and ideas include having a committee manage funds and advanced notions of asset allocation and risk management.

The text is organized around ten principles and moves from setting up the right foundation through to drafting spending policies, selecting stocks, and using stop-loss orders. Each technique builds upon those before it, and the text moves in a logical fashion. Chapters begin by recalling the high points of those previous, helping to cut through to the book’s main ideas.

Textbook-like and with occasional personal asides, the book takes the time to define its key terms, ideas, and topics, including the notion of SMART investors—an acronym that stands for Strategic, Modeling, Attention, Reliability, and Trust. Its complex material is presented in a useful way. Its design is attractive and professional and its advice is credible and approachable.

Effective in encouraging nonprofits to consider how much money is needed for sustainability, the book raises thoughtful questions like how to consider asset allocation, hire an expert, and determine how much it’s safe to spend from the endowment each year. Thoughtful insights and analyses related to financial trends provide important context for considering how to invest. It references techniques and formulas but leaves out the fine points of related calculations.

Dense and difficult financial material is presented in an educational, if not expert-making, way. A good starting point for nonprofits hoping to secure their legacies, The Sustainable Endowment is a helpful and inspirational financial how-to guide for nonprofit leaders.

— Foreward Review, Jeremiah Rood. June 20, 2019

Anyone who has managed a non-profit knows all too well the ever-present need to raise and manage the funding necessary to sustain the organization. In The Sustainable Endowment, author James Demmert has written a guide for doing just that.

Every year, there are many new non-profit organizations coming on the scene, most with good mission statements, goals and some funding. Some make it to the next level and receive one or more endowments, and even fewer really know what to do with that funding to make it last.

In this book, you will find ten basic principles from the establishment of good management, creating a clear vision of how the money is invested and spent, how to maintain stability for decades to come, and much more.

This is a book that is a must-read for anyone involved in or planning to start a non-profit foundation.

— Linda Thompson, Host of

Listen to my interview with Linda Thompson.

Wishing for the best outcome for all non-profit groups, James E. Demmert has written ten key principles to remember when it comes to running an effective and successful non-profit organization. Being an expert in non-profit investment management, Demmert has a few lines of credentials to back up his advice. Demmert has advice for readers on being a smart investor in their company, along with providing acronyms to help the reader remember ways to be SMART about their business, especially since the business/organization was originally established to help others.

Within each chapter, there are words of encouragement from powerful figureheads. Along with encouragement are examples of positive and negative situations that are likely to arise during a normal workday. Starting at the beginning of the book, you will explore ways to establish a smoothly running foundation. A big part of that is knowing your staff and the members on your board in order to ensure that your organization is run smoothly and effectively.

Next, you’ll explore your investment committee and investment manager, along with committee members and your board of directors. Money is always a hot topic, so understanding your spending policy and investment policy will help keep your organization above water, so you need to have both an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) and a Spending Policy.

Understanding the stock market and various funds, especially in relation to how they have behaved in the past, will help with the booms and the busts from the stock market and with SMART investments. Each type of investment will have to be evaluated for the right risk level, if it is meant to be aggressive or conservative, and what your goals for that type of investment will be. Asset allocation, Rates of Return (RORs), and the bull and bear markets are other topics of discussion as well.

Full of graphs, charts, and insightful information, The Sustainable Endowment is a must-read for people who are interested in starting, or who have already established, a nonprofit organization.

The purpose of nonprofit organizations is crucial for the well-being of our society to help those who are in need of help, through financial, physical, educational, or spiritual means. As a nonprofit organization, you are exempt from paying taxes, but with this benefit, it is crucial that you have (or establish) the means to handle your money well to keep the organization going for many years, to improve the quality of life for many more generations.

With so much to think about when running a nonprofit, it is of high importance that you get the help you need anywhere and from anyone possible, and in this case, you are safe with James Demmert.

Rachel Dehning, San Francisco Book Review

The Sustainable Endowment was written for executives and board members of small- to mid-size U.S.-based nonprofits, charities, or foundations. Running a nonprofit requires specialized knowledge and skills, especially regarding foundation management and investing your endowment so it remains sustainable for years to come.

This book walks you through the basics and best practices of what you need to know to be successful.

Order your copy today on Amazon

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