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San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation in top philanthropic tier

Posted: Monday, Aug 8th, 2011

San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation (SLOCCF) recently received notification that it has met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability.

The notice comes from the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a national accreditation organization based in Arlington, Virg.

“This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations,” said Diane Miller, manager, Community Foundations National Standards Board. “It says that San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to operational quality, integrity and accountability.”

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™ program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. Not all community foundations are eligible to apply for this certification, and not all applicants pass the review. The program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.

SLOCCF originally earned this designation five years ago, and was among the first community foundations in the United States to be acknowledged for this level of operational excellence. It is the only community foundation in San Luis Obispo County with this distinction.

“This is critically important to our community,” said Barry VanderKelen, SLOCCF executive director. “When people partner with us to fulfill their philanthropic intentions by making a charitable bequest, establishing a fund, or setting up an annuity, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”

SLOCCF offers a range of charitable tools that assist donors in strategically advancing causes such as education or the environment, supporting individual non-profit organizations, providing flexible support for community needs, or recommending individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, this confirmation validates SLOCCF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.

“Some say it’s easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” said Dee Lacey, SLOCCF board president. “There’s some truth in that because grantmaking 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 are assured that we’re committed to meeting the highest standards for these activities.”

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations program is the first of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.


Through the vision and guidance of the original founding members in 1998, SLOCCF has raised the impact of charitable giving to new heights in the local community. In only 13 years, SLOCCF has granted more than $16 million to the community through its 200 funds and scholarships. For more information on the SLOCCF or any of its individual funds, call 543-2323 or log onto www.sloccf.org.


The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations that administers and advances National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations by ensuring the integrity of the accreditation process and building the value of compliance.



www.cfstandards.org for more information about the program and organization.

For the complete article see the 08-09-2011 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-09-2011 paper.

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