Back in 2008, just as Marion Community Foundation was celebrating its 10th birthday, it received the “gift” of National Standards accreditation.
It wasn’t exactly a ‘gift,” said Dean Jacob, President and CEO, “because everyone affiliated with Marion Community Foundation worked extremely hard to meet these high standards for philanthropic excellence; but, the timing of the recognition was exceptional.”
Now, in 2015, Marion Community Foundation has been reconfirmed by the national Council on Foundations as deserving of this accreditation.
“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Hugh Ralston, Chair of the Community Foundations National Standards Board. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that says that Marion Community Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to quality, integrity, and accountability.”
The process of meeting National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program is arduous, even by community foundation standards. The program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investment management, grantmaking, and administration. Documentation is then reviewed by a national panel of community foundation experts, appointed by the Council on Foundations.
The review is no idle glance – it is a lengthy and thorough analysis conducted over a five-year period.
Of the 67 community foundations in Ohio, Marion Community Foundation is one of only 28 to have met National Standards. With approximately 500 community foundations confirmed in compliance nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance both to donors and their professional advisors.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Jacob. “When people use Marion Community Foundation to make charitable gifts or establish a fund, they do it knowing that we have met rigorous standards. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”
Marion Community Foundation manages more than 199 funds with assets in excess of $41 million. It was established in 1998 as a philanthropic clearinghouse for the Marion area and has become a local leader in planned giving. Its donors and funds support a wide array of organizations and causes, including education, the environment, local history, economic development, the arts, and healthcare access. Its annual community grants program is currently in progress and will make grant awards approaching $1 million to local nonprofits and charities in the coming weeks.
Marion Community Foundation’s offices are located inside the Stengel-True Museum at 504 S. State Street. Business hours are weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information is available by calling (740) 387-9704 and online at marioncommunityfoundation.org, Facebook, and Twitter.