A Statement From James

I am very passionate about investing as well as educating both novice and sophisticated investors. I am particularly interested in organizations that give back to the local and global community and adding value to their governance and investment expertise. It is wonderful that foundations and non-profits raise money for worthy causes, and it is equally important that these valuable assets be managed as effectively as possible.

Please join me as I walk you through my experience of investing on behalf of foundations and non-profits using a proven process that has weathered many financial markets throughout the past three decades. The Sustainable Endowment is a profound look at the complications that exist in non-profit governance as well as the forces that move financial markets and determine the success or failure of non-profit endowments, impacting whether they survive or not.

You will find that I wrote The Sustainable Foundation for a wide range of organizations. For some, this book will confirm what you may already know, and for others my hope is that it will provide new insights and ideas to make your non-profit or foundation sustainable for many lifetimes.

I hope you enjoy the read!


The Sustainable Endowment won its first book prize!

Living Now Award, Tied for Gold in the category: Charity and Social Activism.

Listen to James’ Interview on

The Authors Show


The Sustainable Endowment is 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.

The book is organized around 10 principles that provide comprehensive explanations and advice on the major issues that challenge nonprofits:

  • Principle 1. Setting Up the Right Foundation Management.
  • Principle 2. Create Responsible Finance and Investment Committees.
  • Principle 3. Draft a Clear Spending Policy and a Sound Investment Policy Statement.
  • Principle 4. Understand Global Market Volatility and How It Affects Nonprofit Investing.
  • Principle 5. Determine the “Right” Investment Rate of Return for Your Foundation.
  • Principle 6. Marry Your Foundation’s Asset Allocation and Spending Policy.
  • Principle 7. Stay Ahead of the Market Curve.
  • Principle 8. Fine-Tune Your Asset Allocation to Maximize Returns.
  • Principle 9. How to Select Individual Stocks and Use Stop Loss Orders.
  • Principle 10. Keep It Running Smoothly.

Whatever your level of experience in running a nonprofit, The Sustainable Endowment will enhance your knowledge and give you confidence in working with a financial professional to invest your funds and make them last for decades.


The Author

James E. Demmert has been managing investment portfolios for institutional and individual investors for over 30 years.  His past experience includes positions with LF Rothschild and Lehman Brothers before founding Main Street Research, an SEC registered investment advisor, in 1993. He graduated from Harvard University.