Need to Know More About National Standards? Come to the Fall Conference!

By Daria Teutonico, National Standards Manager, Community Foundations National Standards Board

The Fall Conference for Community Foundations is fast approaching. The program includes sessions covering a variety of interesting topics and issues. I want to make sure that you are aware of several opportunities at the conference to learn about the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™.

Developed in the spirit of accountability, transparency and continuous self-improvement, National Standards are evidence that community foundations are committed to excellence for their communities and donors. The Community Foundations National Standards Board (CFNSB), a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations, administers the national standards accreditation process. The CFNSB is responsible for the quality, value, and integrity of compliance with National Standards and ensures that National Standards remain relevant amid changing policies, procedures and regulations.

Being accredited by the CFNSB demonstrates that a community foundation is in compliance with the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. This brings value to a community foundation by showing its commitment to quality and accountability and adherence to nationally recognized effective practices. This self-regulation strengthens the community foundation field, and community foundations themselves.

As one community foundation executive director put it: “For a young and growing community foundation serving a small city and surrounding rural communities, National Standards helped us enormously in building trusting and respectful relationships of integrity with donors, grantees, and professional advisors. The review process and regular sharing of ideas with colleagues at other community foundations continue to be of great value for growing our capacity, expanding our effectiveness, and ensuring our efficiency.” (George P. Ferrari, Jr., Executive Director, Community Foundation of Tompkins County)

If you attend the conference session entitled “The History and Future of the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™,” you will hear insights from the former Chair of the CFNSB, Ruben Orduña of The Boston Foundation, and several community foundation colleagues with firsthand experience of the standards accreditation process: Jennifer Leonard, Rochester Area Community Foundation; Diana Sieger, Grand Rapids Community Foundation; Brian Frederick, Community Foundation of Lorain County. It should be a very interesting and interactive session, as we explore the current relevance of National Standards to community foundations and how the standards may need to evolve to ensure their continuing significance. Please join us and add your ideas to the discussion.

In addition, the CFNSB will have a booth at Community Central throughout the conference. At the booth you can talk with CFNSB staff and board members and learn more about the revision of the National Standards that will take place in 2013. If you have already gone through the confirmation or reconfirmation process, we’d love to hear from you, too. Look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!