National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations

National Standards for U.S. Community FoundationsTM accreditation represents operational effectiveness to foster excellence in community philanthropy.

We do this in two ways:

1. We create standards for operationally and legally sound community foundations.

2. We lead community foundation staff and boards through the process of achieving operational excellence.

With confidence in their operations, community foundations can innovate and take risks necessary to solve complex social problems.


To qualify for National Standards, your community foundation must be:

1. Recognized by the IRS under Code sections 501(c)(3), 509(a)(1), and 170(b)(1)(a)(vi). This information tells us that your community foundation is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and is a publicly supported charity.

2. In good standing with federal and state regulators.

3. Meet the National Standards definition of a community foundation as stated in National Standard 1.