A future gift of a residuary bequest
Zahir had quite an international childhood, living in East Africa, Pakistan, and Canada. (To preserve his anonymity, Zahir asked that his last name not be used.) While in Pakistan, he and his family volunteered at AKU and witnessed firsthand the invaluable care the hospital provides.
So impressed was Zahir by the work of AKU that, as an adult, he has volunteered with both the University and some of the other Aga Khan Development Network agencies throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He is remarkably strong and courageous, having done complex assignments in exceedingly dangerous posts such as Afghanistan; his specializations include capacity and leadership building, community engagement, strategic planning, and project management.
An expert in cybersecurity, Zahir also volunteers overseeing elections, so greatly does he value democracy. At heart a cultural anthropologist, he spends weeks at a time hiking through the villages and countryside of countries such as Turkey and Vietnam.
A passionate philanthropist, Zahir will complement his invaluable service to AKU with a future gift: he has made AKU the beneficiary of his residuary estate. (The “residuary estate" is what remains once all “specific bequests" — such as to family and friends — have been paid.) Why has he done so? “I come from a very humble background and have been blessed with numerous successes. My education has played a critical role in the quality of my life, and I wish the same for the rest of humanity — and hence, my gift. I want the magnificent work of AKU to continue beyond my physical life in this world. To remain a great university, AKU must have resources."
Zahir's future gift will create an endowed fund with his name supporting financial aid, media studies, and — fittingly, given how greatly he values democracy — government service. Zahir's beneficence to AKU is truly boundless — as is the University's gratitude.
A note on endowed funds
An endowed fund is invested in AKU's general endowment, which is the investment portfolio of the University. The endowment — and so each of the endowed funds within it — pays out approximately five percent of its value each year, supporting everything the University does — teaching, research, financial aid, and on and on. Quite simply, the payout from the endowment is the lifeblood of AKU: the University could not function without it. The endowment — and the endowed funds within it — will exist as long as AKU exists.
An endowed fund, then, is like a “miniature endowment:" it, too, exists forever, and it, too, pays out five percent or so of its value each year. A donor can name an endowed fund after herself, a family member, or anyone else she might wish to honor and memorialize. What is more, an endowed fund grows over time, with the endowment as a whole, thus increasing the good it does.