National Standard 24: The Board Displays Community Leadership

A community foundation identifies and addresses community issues and opportunities.  It strives to serve in leadership roles, including convening, and to assess the impact of its community leadership.

Key Elements 

24.1  Provide a narrative and specific sections of your annual report, board minutes, indicators reports, or similar information that speak to how your community foundation identifies and responds to community issues.  This example could be a grant or another activity that shows how the foundation listens and responds to the community.

Helpful Hints

  1. The reviewers are not looking for one way that all community foundations do this work. They are looking for information that says, yes, the community foundation is aware of its community needs and it focuses resources to address those issues.
  2. Your submission should provide at least one example of your community foundation’s community leadership in the last two years.
  3. Non-funding examples include participating in or leading convenings on specific topics that are important to the community, having a process for assessment of grantmaking and how that influences future grant cycles, and recording evidence of how the community foundation serves the breadth and diversity of the community.
  4. Funding examples that address community issues can range from creating an initiative; being the fiscal sponsor of a large project; focusing some discretionary or pooled funds into one project, program, or area that the community deems important (i.e. education, health, environment, emergency preparedness, emergency response, neighborhood planning, etc.); and structuring a grants program to include broad community input or voting on projects.
  5. Examples should be from the last two years.
  6. For assistance with defining and explaining community leadership, here are some resources:
    In 2013, CFLeads defines community foundation leadership this way – “The community foundation is a partner that creates a better future for all by pursuing the community’s greatest opportunities and addressing the most critical challenges, inclusively uniting people, institutions and resources from throughout the community, and producing significant, widely shared and lasting results.”
  7. If your community foundation does not believe it meets this Standard, please speak with the Director of National Standards for clarification or provide a narrative explaining how your community foundation both meets the definition of a community foundation described in National Standard 1 but does not engage in these activities.