Dearborn Community Foundation In Top Philanthropic Tier Nationally
Has National Accreditation for Rigorous Philanthropic Standards
The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc., (DCF) in 2020 was reaccredited with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. The notice comes from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®, which establishes legal, ethical, and 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 Dearborn 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 more than 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 very important to our donors,” said Fred McCarter, Executive Director of the Dearborn Community Foundation. “When people make a charitable bequest, establish an endowment fund or set up an annuity, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely and to honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”
DCF, which was first accredited with the National Standards seal in 2009, 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 Foundation’s grant-making practices for the non-profit community.
“Some say it’s easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” McCarter said. “There’s some truth in that. Grant-making 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 grantmaking as well.”
The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc., is a catalyst to connect people who care with causes that improve the quality of life in our community by advancing cultural, educational and social opportunities, while preserving our community’s heritage and helping donors to create a permanent legacy in Dearborn County.
Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States. The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations and is responsible for the quality, value and integrity of compliance with National Standards. For more information on the National Standards Board, visit its website at www.cfstandards.org.
The Dearborn Community Foundation belongs to the following organizations to ensure that we use the best practices in the industry:
- Indiana Philanthropy Alliance
- Fiscal & Administrative Officers Group for Community Foundations
- voluntarily engages a third-party, independent auditor (currently Blue & Co., LLC) to conduct an annual audit of all of the Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc.’s financial statements;
- includes, as a part of its governance, an Investment Committee that is comprised of unpaid, volunteers with strong accounting, financial and business backgrounds. The annual audit report is available to the full Board of Directors and Investment Committee for review. The Foundation makes its full audit results and audited financial statements available to the public; and
- enforces a Conflict of Interest Policy that demands board, committee and staff members avoid any conflict, or appearance of conflict, between their personal interests and the interests of the Foundation in dealing with any organization or individual having, or seeking to have, any relationship with the Foundation. Each board member must disclose any possible conflict of interest and no member can vote on any matter or participate in the discussion of any matter under consideration at a Foundation meeting, in which the member has a possible conflict of interest.
Policy of Public Availability
The Foundation makes available to the public the following items:
- Three most recent Internal Revenue Service Tax Form – 990 and Form 990-T (applicable for years in which form 990-T is filed).
- IRS Tax Exemption Application (Form 1023)
- Copies of the most recent annual report
- Name(s) of investment manager(s) and administrative fees.
- Gift Acceptance Policy.
Any party requesting the above information will be required to complete a request form and submit it to the Foundation. Anyone who requests a copy of the above items in person during normal business hours will be provided a copy at the time of request. If copies of the above items are requested via telephone, U.S. Mail or email, it is the policy of the Foundation to provide the copies and mail to the requestor within 48 hours during the business week. The Foundation will expect reproduction (50 cents per page) and postage reimbursement from the requestor when these expenses are incurred. Information request forms are available at the DCF office, 322 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025.