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Community foundations get standards board

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The Council on Foundations has created a new organization to administer the national standards developed in 2000 that promote the self-regulation of U.S.community foundations.

The Community Foundations National Standards Board will serve as the accrediting organization for community foundations, which are urged to comply with a series of benchmarks in areas including grantmaking, donor relations, resource development , and governance.

“A separate organization led by community foundation practitioners and representatives from organizations that support community foundations will enhance the benefits, identity and self-sufficiency of the program for years to come,” Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, says in a statement.

A new website has been launched to help with the effort by providing support tools for community foundations seeking accreditation.

Of the nation’s more than 700 community foundations, about 450 already are in compliance with the standards, which were updated in 2008.

Some foundations will be seeking first-time compliance confirmation, which costs $2,000 for a five-year period, while others will seek reconfirmation for a cost of $1,800.

In 2007, community foundations in the U.S. awarded a total of about $4.1 billion to local organizations around the country.

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