The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore recently received notification that it has met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity, and accountability. The notice comes from the Council on Foundations, a national professional association based in Washington, D.C.
“This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations,” said Steve Gunderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Council on Foundations. “It says that the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore has demonstrated a commitment to operational quality, integrity,and accountability.”
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grant making and administration. Out of 700 community foundations in the United States, less than 250 community foundations have met the qualifications. With over 200community foundations already confirmed in compliance nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Spicer Bell, President, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. “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, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases,provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”
The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore 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.
“Some say it’s easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” said Don Taylor, Board Chair, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. “There’s some truth in that. Grantmaking is a lot like investing… we need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. When you see the National Standards Seal, you can be assured that we’re committed to meeting the highest standards for grant making as well.”
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program is the first of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.
About The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore: The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) is the community foundation serving the Lower Shore of Maryland since 1984, granting more than $27 million over the past ten years. Through the generosity and vision of our donors, CFES awarded grants totaling more than $3.5 million in fiscal year 2011. CFES brings together donors and builds on community assets through scholarships, grants, advocacy, and leadership development. By focusing on people, organizations, neighborhoods, and nonprofit capacity building, the Foundation addresses community needs in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, community development, and the environment. In response to the economic downturn, CFES is currently focusing funding on safety net partner organizations. The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore serves Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. For more information,please visit our website at www.cfes.org.
About The Council on Foundations: The Council on Foundations is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grant making foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $280 billion. 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 its website at www.cof.org.