The Eau Claire Community Foundation recently received 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, board member of the Council on Foundations. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates the Eau Claire 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.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Sue Bornick, ECCF’s Executive Director. “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 and honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order.”
ECCF works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including the arts, education, the environment, and basic needs like food and housing. It currently holds over $25 million in assets and has distributed more than $14.5 million in grants since its creation in 1997.
It 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 ECCF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.
“Grantmaking is a lot like investing,” said Bornick. “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.