National Standard 1: Meeting the Definition of a Community Foundation

A community foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, nonsectarian philanthropic institution supported by the public with the long-term goals of:

  • Building permanent, component funds established by many separate donors to carry out their charitable interests;
  • Supporting the broad-based charitable interests and benefitting the residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state; and
  • Serving in leadership roles on important community issues.

Directions: To meet the National Standards definition of a community foundation, the community foundation must comply with the following elements. This definition is woven throughout the spirit of the National Standards compliance process and is reflected in other sections.

Key Elements 

1.1.  Did your board approve of the National Standards definition of a community foundation in the Board Resolution for National Standards submission?

1.2.  Is your community foundation in good standing with the IRS?

1.3.  Is your community foundation currently compliant with all required annual corporation and trust document filings in the state(s) where it is incorporated and operates?

*If you are not sure, please visit the attorney general’s office exempt organizations website for the states where you are incorporated and operate.  You can also find information at and state specific information at