The Arlington City Council charged a team of members with exploring ways to preserve the unexpected financial windfall associated with gas drilling activities undertaken on city-owned properties for the benefit of Arlington’s future generations.
The Arlington City Council unanimously adopted the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Program which was the first step in establishing the public charity and a permanently endowed foundation. The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Program:
- Directs the City of Arlington to contribute 90% of lease bonuses and 50% of lease royalties to the Foundation’s corpus
- Authorized the City of Arlington to make an initial gift of $26 million to the corpus
- Describes the method by which revenues are invested and distributed.
- Outlines the Foundation’s purpose and funding categories.
- Ensures the Parks & Recreation category is managed within Texas Parks & Wildlife restrictions and the Airport Fund of the Foundation’s corpus is managed in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration terms.
The City Council approved the Foundation’s Articles of Formation for filing with the Secretary of State and adopted the Foundation’s Bylaws. The organization was created as a public charity and, as such, does not operate with a spending mandate other than annual grants awarded must be greater than zero
The City Council and the Foundation Board approved a Grant Agreement and Administrative Agreement between the City of Arlington and the Foundation thus creating the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation.
Fiscal Year 2007
The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation board of directors awarded the first round of grants worth $1.06 million to 40 projects/programs serving Arlington.Five-year giving total: Since it’s inception, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation board of directors has awarded more than $7 million to 252 programs/projects.
The Foundation’s Board of Directors finalized the organization’s first Statement of Investment Policy (SOIP) and determined asset allocation for the Foundation’s portfolio. The Board’s investment activities to date include:
- Hiring Hewitt EnnisKnupp as the Foundation’s Investment Consultant
- Electing JP Morgan Chase Bank as the organization’s custodial bank
- Allocating $70 million to fixed income managers, Dodge & Cox and JP Morgan in broad market, intermediate duration, ‘core plus’ mandates
- Investing 10% of the portfolio with Vanguard’s global equity index fund
- Realizing $5.2 million in gains when funds were transferred from the City to the new custodial bank
The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation is governed by the following:(see Governance section for more details)
- Articles of Formation
- Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Bylaws
- City of Arlington/Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Grant Agreement which provides:
- The structure of the board (at least 5 trustees: 3 currently elected City Council members and 2 citizens) is approved by City Council; the board’s President is appointed by the City’s Mayor
- Establishes 10 grant groups and sets formulas for total available funding in each group
- Outlines two-step application process: 1.) Letters of Inquiry 2.) Final application
- Defines eligibility requirements
- Authorizes Foundation trustees to distribute grants
- Charges board with responsibility to actively manage the Foundation’s investment portfolio
- City of Arlington/Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Administrative Agreement
- Open Records Act
- Public Funds Investment Act (PFIA)
- Arlington Tomorrow Foundations Statement of Investment Policy (SOIP)
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation board approved an amendment to the by-laws whereby the City of Arlington’s City Council members will serve as members of the board of directors, with the Mayor of Arlington serving as the President of the board.The Foundation board created and appointed the first Citizens Advisory Committee comprised of five Arlington residents. The committee’s role in the Foundation’s work is to review applications and forward recommendations to the board on projects which fit within our mission.
After a strategic planning session, the board of directors reasserted its commitment to enhancing the life, leisure and culture of Arlington by focusing grants on projects and programs which have a significant and lasting impact on the community. As such, the board set a target more than 76% of annual funding to help underwrite large grants which promise to have a large impact on the city and its citizens. Generally, projects in this category have a grant floor of $75,000 and may include support for capital and new programming efforts.Further, recognizing the importance of ongoing programs which enrich and serve the people of Arlington, the Foundation typically targets 13% of funding for smaller grants with a grant floor of $5,000; ten percent of earnings will focus on underwriting City of Arlington endeavors.
The City of Arlington completed its contributions to the Foundation’s corpus with a total of $100 million.