The investment environment of the past 15 years has challenged endowed nonprofit institutions, which have struggled to balance the claims of current constituencies with the need to preserve their endowments' future purchasing power. In the fall of 2011, I undertook a survey of chief financial officers at about two dozen liberal arts colleges to ascertain how their spending policies and practices had been affected by the turbulent markets and to see whether any general observations might be derived from the group's experience. A short questionnaire was mailed to each CFO and the data collected and discussed at a meeting of the CFOs in November 2011. In this paper, I analyze the survey's findings and provide a brief primer on endowment spending, budgeting and accounting practices at institutions of higher education. Contains endnotes.