Kick-Off Meeting Prep:

The Kick-Off Meeting:

Approximate time: 1 hour

Objective: To provide the opportunity to give formal introductions, present an overview of the onboarding process, clarify expectations, and outline an appropriate timeline for the implementation. 


This meeting kicks implementation off. During this meeting, the Onboarding Questionnaire will be discussed to help gain a better understanding of your organization and help to identify items that may require additional time or resources. The Data Load Template will also be introduced during this meeting and reviewed to ensure a solid understanding of what is needed to get your database set up. Once the expectations have been identified and the process has been explained, a timeline will be set to ensure a smooth transition. 


10 minutes: Introductions and overview of onboarding steps and timeline

  • Introductions: Identify anyone that will be involved and their role in the onboarding process
  • Fundriver Goals: Discuss why your organization chose Fundriver, what you are looking to get out of the software, and what your goals are in implementing Fundriver
  • Onboarding Process Overview: Quick summary of the 4 phases of the onboarding process and overview of our project management tool


20 minutes: Review Onboarding Questionnaire*

  • Review all questions on questionnaire to get a better understanding of your organization and the best approach for getting your database set up; including, but not limited to:
    • Endowment Management Policies: Discuss your current systems and accounting practices to provide a better understanding of your processes
    • Spending Policies: Discuss how your standard spending policy works, if there are any exceptions, and determine if any additional information is needed on the Data Load Template 
    • Unitization: Discuss earnings allocations, review pricing models, and determine which model fits best for your organization

*Note: We ask that you please send the Onboarding Questionnaire to your dedicated Onboarding Advisor at least 3 business days prior to your scheduled Kick-Off Meeting so we are able to best prepare for the meeting


20 minutes: Overview of Data Load Template(s)

  • Review Data Load Template(s) to give you a better understanding of the information needed to create your database
    • Completion Requirements: Discuss what is needed to be completed on the Data Load Template(s) in order to create database
    • Historical Data: If needed (for spending calculation, preference, or other), discuss process for loading historical data/transactions within the Data Load Template(s)


10 minutes: Timing Discussion and wrap up

  • Timeline: Review timeline for implementation completion, communicate goals, and discuss next steps
  • Wrap up: Answer any remaining questions


Next steps: 

  • Complete Data Load Template(s)
  • Send completed Data Load Template to
  • Database will be set up (typically 3-5 business days after receiving completed Data Load Template)
  • Review Database
  • Set up Walkthrough Meeting (The goal of the Walkthrough Meeting is to get you familiar with actually using the Fundriver system in your own database, with your own data. During the call we will explain how everything is set up in the system and give you a tour of your new database.)


Learn our lingo | Kick-Off Meeting:

(Check out a full glossary of commonly used terms and expressions here)

Data Load Template – An Excel file used to gather all of the needed data from the client in order to import the necessary information into the newly created client database. Note that not all tabs, and columns, will need to be filled out. Your Onboarding Advisor will guide you through which are required for initial set up. Also may be referred to as a “DLT.” Here is an article that dives a little deeper!

Distributions The amount that the endowment fund is allowed to spend, based on the organization's spending policy (see Spending Policy below). Fundriver can automatically calculate these distributions based on the organization's Spending Rule set up within their Fundriver database, or they can be inputted as a single transaction entry. Read more on distributions here

Earnings The portion of the pool's investment income, including gains and losses, which is allocated to each fund based on its ownership in the pool.

Historical Gift  The original philanthropic contribution given by a donor to establish an endowment fund. It is also commonly referred to as the Corpus or Principal. The balance of a gift's corpus can be increased through additional gifts to the endowment. A donor may also stipulate that they want a certain amount of a fund's income to be reinvested in the corpus, which also increases the historical gift. Additional gifts and reinvestments are the only two ways to increase historical gift values.

Load Date Your Fundriver inception date; the "as of" date that you are loading your data into Fundriver. (We recommend this date being the date of your last audited financial statements.)

Onboarding Questionnaire – A Word file sent to new clients to get more information about their needs and goals. We know that all our clients are unique. This document is used to gain a better understanding of our clients, their processes, and helps kick off a successful implementation.

Pricing Models – The options available for unitizing (see Unitization below). The pricing model adopted by a client determines the timing that is used when buying/selling units. The models available in the program include Beginning of Month and End of Month. With the Beginning of Month pricing model, units are bought and sold at the beginning of the period unit price, before the allocation of investment activity for the period. New gifts receive earnings allocation in the current period. When using the End of Month pricing model, units are bought and sold at the end of the period unit price, after the allocation of investment activity for the period. New gifts receive earnings allocation in the following period.  Read more on Unitization/Pricing models here.

Spending policy – The organization's policy that outlines how much of the endowment fund’s income can be spent on operations each year.

Unitization A system for tracking the value of endowment funds within a consolidated investment pool. A unitized system has mechanics similar to that of a mutual fund. Each endowment fund owns individual units (shares) in the unitized investment pool, and the units are generally valued monthly. The unit value, or unit price, is similar to the share price that forms the basis for how many shares can be purchased in the mutual fund model. New endowment funds, and new gifts to existing funds, buy units in the pool based upon the current unit value. Funds withdrawn from an endowment pool sell units based upon the current unit value of the pool. The units, which represent the fund’s share of a unitized endowment pool, form the basis for allocating endowment pool earnings. Endowment pool investment earnings are allocated to funds proportionally based upon their share (units) in the pool. Note that if you are not currently unitized, Fundriver will assign a $100 starting unit price within your database. View our Unitization article within the Knowledge Base here.