The Permanent Endowment Research Project was initiated in 1981 as a component of the Economics of Life Research Projects. The objective of the research project was to explore the development of a guaranteed outcome endowment planning process that would create perpetually multiplying, inter-generational endowment funding for families and/or for 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations. Assuming that such a planning process could be developed, the research project would pursue the creation of a personalized endowment creation plan that would identify productive and affluent individuals’ accumulated savings that exceeded their lifestyle needs through their life expectancy, and develop an endowment creation plan to leverage surplus savings to achieve the goal of personal significance through participation in the Permanent Endowment Program.
This research and development program was based on several fundamental assumptions: 1. That all human beings are mortal, 2. That human economic value is quantifiable, 3. That human economic value could be monetized by life insurance companies, 4. That economic education programs could be developed to communicate the permanent endowment concept to affluent individuals, 5. That an endowment creation planning program could be developed to quantify affluent individuals’ surplus savings, 6. That affluent individuals’ gifts of surplus savings could be leveraged through the monetization of the un-used human economic value of individuals in whom the benefiting 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization had an insurable interest, and 7. That a life insurance instrument could be designed to monetize un-used human economic value.
A 1981 pilot project to permanently endow the Florida State Dental Association initiated the implementation phase of the Permanent Endowment Program which was expanded to other 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations to create hundreds of millions of dollars of future spendable endowment funds. The Great Recession losses of endowment funds by 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations across the country has increased the need for Permanent Endowment Program planning.