2024 CFNS Updates

1. National Standards Rebrand

In October 2023, Community Foundations National Standards will officially launch its redesigned logo and seal.

Formerly officially known as National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, the program will now be called Community Foundations National Standards.

In September, we will be distributing an email with updated seal design files to all accredited community foundations. 

2. DAF Activity Policy Enhancements

In January of 2017, National Standards introduced the Donor Advised Fund Activity Policy requirement. All accredited community foundations had since adopted a policy that 1. defined activity, 2. established a limit to inactivity, and 3. established a consistent framework for activating grantmaking should a fund exceed the established threshold of inactivity. 

In January of 2024, National Standards will enhance requirements to the DAF Activity Policy to reflect best practices. The changes reflect the Community Foundations National Standards Board’s decision to proactively protect the field from new and harmful legislation or regulation by updating the National Standards to reflect the fund activity policies that many community foundations already use. These changes demonstrate to policymakers the field’s commitment to operating with the highest level of integrity and accountability.

Updated requirements will be active starting on applications expiring January 15, 2024. 

Existing Requirements:

  • The policy defines 'activity' as grantmaking, and outlines each eligible exception. 
  • The policy describes framework for activating grantmaking from DAFs and actions to take if a DAF becomes inactive
  • Definitions of terms used within the Policy

Requirement Update #1: Set allowable fund dormancy limit at no more than three years.

  • The majority of foundations are already compliant. Those that allow for fewer than three years will not be asked to alter their policy.

Requirement Update #2: The policy describes a donor/advisor communication framework in the event of fund dormancy. 

  • Updated requirements do not prescribe how your foundation communicates with the donor/advisor, but the foundation is required to describe its standardized method for contacting an advisor whose fund has been deemed inactive. 

A template policy is now available in the National Standards DAF Toolkit. All templates can be found by logging into application.cfstandards.org, clicking the 'documents' tab, and selecting 'shared.'

3. Board Nominations Toolkit

Community Foundations registered with CFNS will now have access to the National Standards Board Nominations Toolkit. Included in the toolkit is a board nominations matrix, a template survey for data collection, and an implementation guide. Foundations are not required to use the toolkit.

  • Board Nominations Matrix: visualize the demographic makeup of the CF's board to identify demographic/skill gaps. The nominations matrix is intended to be customized by the foundation to reflect the makeup of the community the foundation serves.
  • Nominations Survey: A template the foundation may use to collect self-identified information from nominees. 
  • Implementation Guide: The introductory tab of the nominations matrix includes a guide with several helpful tips. 
  • All toolkits can be found by logging into application.cfstandards.org, clicking the 'documents' tab, and selecting 'shared.'