Dear Fellow Community Foundations,
As we embark on a new year and new decade, the Community Foundations National Standards Board (CFNSB) would like to share some exciting news about the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations program. First, we welcome three new board members: Austin Dickson, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for the Texas Hill Country; Jennifer Doyle, Vice President for Philanthropy and Community Investment at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities; and Nicholas Williams, CFO at the Albuquerque Community Foundation. In addition, the board voted Susie Nelson, Executive Director at the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley as board president, Steve Cobb, Vice President and CFO at the California Community Foundation as board treasurer, and Laurel Lee-Alexander, Vice President of Grants and Programs at the Community Foundation for Monterey County as board secretary.
We are also pleased to announce that Suzanne Friday, Vice President of Legal at the Council on Foundations, has been named Executive Director of National Standards beginning January 1, 2020. Suzanne will be stepping back a bit from her Council on Foundation duties to devote more time to the National Standards program. She is energized and excited to be a part of National Standards and has ambitious goals for the program including increasing Standards’ value in the policy arena as well as improving its educational value for community foundation staff. Although Suzanne now leads Standards, she continues to work closely with the Council’s government affairs team on their important policy work.
Former National Standards Director, Christina Gonzalez has moved on to pursue other career interests, but with Suzanne’s addition as Executive Director, there has been no loss of staff time devoted to Standards. Kevin van Bronkhorst continues to serve as Manager, National Standards, and is an invaluable member of the team. Kevin is happy to share that the transition from an annual accreditation cycle to a three-year renewal cycle has been going very smoothly and that all Standards participants should be on a three-year cycle by the end of 2021. Additionally, the prior backlog of reviews has been eliminated and an upgrade to the online platform will increase user ease and turnaround time for applications.
The first community foundations were accredited by National Standards in 2005. The Program continues to provide accreditation certifying that a community foundation meets and exceeds federal and state law requirements in practice and by policy. The National Standards seal of accreditation demonstrates a community foundation’s commitment to accountability and excellence to its donors, its community, policymakers, and the public. More than half of the community foundations in the United States are currently accredited community foundations.
Susie Nelson, CFNSB Board President