The Greater Milwaukee Foundation is recognized for having organizational and financial practices that are in accordance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. The Council on Foundations and leaders of the community foundation field created the National Standards in 2000 to aid community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that would show the foundations’ transparency and financial responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices. In addition, National Standards were developed to distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles, build the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions, and assist the field with self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation was one of the first foundations in the country to be certified and has been in compliance with the National Standards since 2001. The National Standards seal, pictured here,
was developed for community foundations to signify that they have been confirmed in compliance with National Standards. Professional advisers and prospective donors will recognize the seal as an indication of integrity and demonstrated excellence.
Intended both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for external assessment of performance, the National Standards address six key areas of community foundation operations:
In order to achieve Confirmation of Compliance with the National Standards, community foundations must undergo an extensive review of their organizational and financial policies and procedures. Re-certification is required every five years and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will reapply in 2015. The review is performed by trained, independent, experienced community foundation practitioners under the auspices of the Community Foundation National Standard Board, a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations.
The Council on Foundations is a Washington, DC-based non-profit membership association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations. 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 the organization’s website at www.cof.org.