The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation recently received re-confirmation of its accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.
“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, Chair of the Community Foundations National Standards Board. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity and accountability as it carries out its mission.”
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With over 500 community foundations already accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors. The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation first became accredited in 2005 when the program began and has maintained its accreditation since.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Les Garner, President & CEO at the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish a fund, 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 accreditation says our house is in order.”
The Community Foundation offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates the Community Foundation’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit sector.
“Grantmaking is a lot like investing,” said Kevin Welu, Board Chair of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. “We need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. With our National Standards accreditation, you can be assured that we’re doing just that.”
National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.