National Standards are Important for Community Foundations
community foundations serve tens of thousands of donors,
administer more than $31 billion in charitable funds, and
address core concerns of more than 650 communities and regions.
There are many reasons that standards are important for both
established and new community foundations.
are just a few.
Standards Guide Sound Policies and Accountable Practices
Community foundations of all sizes use standards as a roadmap
to establish legal, ethical, and
effective practices that are ready for the increasing scrutiny
of donors, government and the
The very largest community foundations – now rivaling the
largest private foundations in size
– use standards to publicly communicate the ir commitment to
The smallest and youngest community foundations – more than
400 have formed in the past two
decades – use standards to certify their achievement of
comprehensive basic services that
mark a true “community foundation.”
Standards Distinguish the Field from Others
Community foundations use standards both locally and nationally
to distinguish themselves from
others in a more competitive marketplace in which many entities
offer traditional community
foundation services, such as donor-advised funds.
Community foundations use standards to establish the highest
levels of ethical and operational
integrity, helping separate themselves from the potential
wrongdoing or mistakes
of other entities.
Community foundations use standards to promote self-regulation
in a manner viewed positively
by the Internal Revenue Service, which has increased its
scrutiny of charities offering
Community foundation standards help reduce the risk of joint
marketing by ensuring that all participating
community foundations have met certain consistent standards for
service and operations.
Standards Build the Capacity of Community Foundations to Carry
Out Their Missions
Standards provide a template for training and technical
assistance that can be used to efficiently
transmit both established and emerging practices.
Standards provide a framework within which community foundation
practices can be
Standards provide a set of consistent expectations that save
time and focus energies for community
foundation boards and staff.