Press Release from July 17, 2006|
Council on Foundations Recognizes Union County Foundation
for Compliance with National Accountability Standards
CONTACT: Dave Vollrath, 937.642.9618
(Marysville, Ohio) – The Union County Foundation Inc. is being recognized for having organizational and
financial practices that are in accordance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. The Council
on Foundations and leaders of the community foundation field created the National Standards in 2000 to aid community
foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that would show the foundations’
transparency and financial responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices. In
addition, National Standards were developed to distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles,
build the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions, and assist the field with self-regulation
in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service.
The National Standards seal, pictured here,
was developed for community foundations to signify that they have been confirmed in compliance with National Standards.
Professional advisors and prospective donors will recognize the seal as an indication of the integrity and demonstrated
excellence of the compliant foundation.
"Adopting and adhering to high standards is the best way we can demonstrate our ongoing commitment to maintaining
the trust of our donors and the entire community," said Dan Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Union County Foundation.
"We are committed to reaffirming the honesty and integrity that are a hallmark of our foundation."
Intended both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for
external assessment of performance, the 43 National Standards address six key areas of community foundation operations:
- Mission, Structure and Governance, including standards defining board accountability, compensation,
independence, fiduciary responsibility and representation of the community
- Resource Development, including parameters for administration of funds, disclosures to donors
and commitment to building long-term resources for varied community issues and causes.
- Stewardship and Accountability, covering prudent investment and management of funds, transparent
record-keeping, use of funds for their intended purpose, annual audits, and public availability of financial information,
including standards related to due diligence and community responsiveness.
- Grantmaking and Community Leadership, including standards related to broad and open grantmaking
programs, due diligence, and responsiveness to changing community needs.
- Donor Relations, encompassing guidelines for informing, educating and involving donors in responding
to community needs.
- Communications, including openness to public scrutiny and frequent communications about activities
In order to achieve Confirmation of Compliance with the National Standards, community foundations must undergo
an extensive review of their organizational and financial policies and procedures. The review is performed by trained,
experienced community foundation practitioners.
U.S. community foundations serve tens of thousands of donors and administer more than $39 billion in charitable
funds. Of the nearly 700 community foundations in the United States, over 500 have pledged to comply with the National
Standards. To date, over 150 community foundations have been found in compliance with National Standards. These
community foundations represent foundations from across the nation and the size of their assets range from the
smallest to the largest in the field. Currently, compliant community foundations represent over $9 billion in assets,
or about 28% of the field.
The Council on Foundations is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grantmaking
foundations and corporations. The Council provides the opportunity, leadership and tools needed by philanthropic
organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. For more information on
the Council, visit the organization’s website atwww.cof.org.