The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program
The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc., (DCF) in January 2009, received the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability: the seal of approval from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program operated by the Council on Foundations (COF), a national professional association based in Washington, D.C. DCF was reconfirmed for the National Standards by the COF in early 2014.
The National Standards Seal by the Dearborn Community Foundation’s name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that DCF has met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms the Foundation’s commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says DCF’s grant-making includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of the Dearborn County community. The National Standards Seal also confirms the Foundation’s history of honoring donors’ wishes to make a difference in Dearborn County in the sectors of Art, Culture and Humanities, Community and Public Benefit, Education, Environment and Animal Protection, Human Services, Public Safety, and Youth Programs.
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program was established in 2000 in cooperation with the Council on Foundations. National Standards guide community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that serve as blueprints for internal development and benchmarks for external assessment. National Standards requires DCF to document its policies in donor services, investment management, grant-making and administration. To receive confirmation of National Standards compliance, DCF submitted its organizational and financial documents, policies and procedures to a rigorous peer review.
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.
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.