First Posted: 8/16/2012 9:29:21 PM | Last Updated: 8/16/2012 9:30:39 PM
LAFAYETTTE – The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette recently received notification that it has once again met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, donor services, integrity, and accountability.
The notice comes from The Council on Foundations, which is a national, not-for-profit association of more than 2,000 grant-making organizations, including over 700 community foundations.
In addition to verifying legal, ethical and effective operational practices, and documenting community foundation transparency and financial responsibility, National Standards distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles, and increase the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions.
The National Standards seal, pictured here, was developed to signify confirmation of compliance with National Standards. Professional advisors, donors, and prospective donors recognize and choose these community foundations as sound places to give and to make a difference.
“This is an important message to anyone in our community who shares our commitment to improving the quality of life for Greater Lafayette residents,” said Greg Kapp, Community Foundation President and CEO. “When people make a charitable bequest, establish a fund or set up an annuity, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely and with integrity, to honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation is a measure that says our house is in order and that we can be trusted by our community.”
The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause such as education or the environment, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the confirmation validates The Community Foundation’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.
“Our Board of Directors and staff have always been committed to serving our community with integrity and competence, and the recertification of compliance to National Standards emphasizes this commitment,” said Board Chair Richard Bartholomew. “Our mission is to inspire, nurture, and practice philanthropy, stewardship, and leadership in the communities served. Although we provide grants to address current needs, most of our funds are permanently invested for the future of our community. It’s exciting to serve as a savings account for the future of charitable organizations in Tippecanoe County, and to assure our community that we operate with the highest standards for excellence.”
The National Standards were developed both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for external assessment of performance. The 41 National Standards address six key areas of community foundation operations:
Mission, Structure and Governance, including standards defining board responsibilities and accountability, 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.
Grantmaking and Community Leadership, including standards related to broad and open grantmaking programs, responsiveness to community needs, and due diligence to assure that donor intent is honored.
Donor Relations, encompassing guidelines for informing, acknowledging, and involving donors in responding to community needs.
Communications, including openness and frequent communication about activities and finances.
The Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, established in 1970, serves the Tippecanoe County area. More than 145 charitable funds totaling $33.5 million in assets make up The Community Foundation. During its history over $13.8 million has been granted to not-for-profit organizations, primarily in Greater Lafayette. In 2011, not-for-profit organizations and individuals received grants and scholarships totaling over $959,915. Over half of the grant awards to not-for-profit organizations were for much-needed operating expenses, but many grants were for those one-time capital expenses that nonprofits struggle to fund and desperately need. An Annual Report is available electronically. For additional information, visit www.cfglaf.org or call 765-742-9078.