Submitted by christina.gonz… on Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:48

National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® Updates Effective January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2017 National Standards will require community foundations seeking accreditation to include a fund activity policy as part of their submission. There will be multiple ways to implement this new requirement into current practices and be compliant with National Standards, including through

  • The addition of language into the already required Donor Advised Fund Guidelines or Policy (either by adding a section, or with an addendum to the policy), or
  • The creation of a stand-alone fund activity policy.

As our field continues to face scrutiny from policymakers who view donor advised funds as vehicles to "park money,” this change reflects the National Standards Advisory Committee’s decision to proactively address legislative and regulatory threats that would be harmful to community foundations across the country.

History demonstrates, as with the creation of the National Standards program itself, that self-regulation can help ward off harmful and misguided regulation. After coordinated efforts to assess the severity such threats, the committee determined that amending the National Standards process was critically necessary. As you will recall from the survey in which you were invited to participate this past summer, the committee sought input from the community foundation field to shape what is now the new National Standards requirement.

By updating the National Standards to reflect the fund activity policies and practices that many community foundations already exercise in practice, this change will not require much additional work for community foundations and will demonstrate to policymakers the field’s commitment to operating with the highest level of integrity and accountability.

In order to prepare you for this impending change to the accreditation process, we have provided the following in the global documents library in the online application system (available to accredited foundations and foundations going through the application process):

  • An overview of the new National Standards requirements, and a guide for when this will impact your foundation
  • A sample fund activity policy
  • Frequently asked questions about the fund activity policy

For more information about the new requirement in the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® accreditation process, please contact Christina Gonzalez, Executive Director of the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® at, or (202) 991-7547.