The Council on Foundations and Community Foundations National Standards Board Announce Next Steps for National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations
ARLINGTON, Va., August 3, 2009 — Even before calls for increased transparency and accountability among foundations, community foundations led the way in self-regulation with the establishment in 2000 of the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, a first-of-its-kind voluntary program. Today, with more than 450 community foundations in compliance with the National Standards, the Council on Foundations announces the creation of the Community Foundations National Standards Board – a new organization that will now administer the National Standards accreditation process.
“We view the launch of the new Community Foundations National Standards Board as the next step in the growth of the National Standards accreditation program,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “A separate organization led by community foundation practitioners and representatives from organizations that support community foundations will enhance the benefits, identity and self-sufficiency of the program for years to come.”
As part of the unveiling of the Community Foundations National Standards Board,a new Web site has been created: CFStandards.org. It’s designed to be the one-stop-shop for all the support tools community foundations need for the National Standards accrediting program. While some community foundations will be working toward National Standards compliance for the first time, 2010 marks the first year that others who were previously confirmed are required to reconfirm their accreditation. National Standards compliance is valid for five years, after which it must be renewed through a separate process of reconfirmation. The cost of the compliance confirmation for the full five-year period is $2,000; reconfirmation is $1,800.
As with any standards program, review and revisions need to be made so they remain relevant. Since the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations were initially released in 2000, the philanthropic world has changed, as have the rules that apply to community foundations. For this reason, the National Standards and the confirmation process were updated in 2008 to ensure that they continue to be current and robust.
There are more than 700 community foundations nationwide that direct philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations. These foundations are charged with providing funding resources from institutional and individual donors to community-based organizations. They range in size, from those with more than $2.3 billion in assets to those with $100,000 or less. In 2007, community foundations gave an estimated $4.1 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in fields that included the arts, education, environment, disaster relief, and health and human services.
Community foundations are public charities created by and for the people in a local area. They help people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about — today, or through their estates. Through the generosity of today’s donors, community foundations build endowments to meet community needs of the future.
About the Council on Foundations
Established in 1949, the Council on Foundations is an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit membership association of approximately 2,000 foundations and corporate giving programs. The Council is a voice of philanthropy at the national level and a valued partner globally. The Council provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information about the Council, visit its website at www.cof.org.
About the Community Foundations National Standards Board
The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations, created to administer the National Standards process: answering applicant questions, supplying technical support, and ensuring a fair and rigorous review of the many in-depth record binders submitted by Standards applicants. In its membership, the board strives to represent community foundations diverse in size, age and geographic location, across the United States.