National Standards

The National Standards for U.S. Community FoundationsĀ® (National Standards) is an accreditation program created by community foundations for community foundations. They are peer-driven, voluntary, and self-regulatory.

National Standards accreditation represents operational effectiveness to foster excellence in community philanthropy. They do this in two ways. First, they created standards for operationally and legally sound community foundations. Second they lead community foundations staff and boards through the process of achieving operational excellence. With confidence in our operations, we can innovate and take risks necessary to solve complex problems.

In order to qualify under the National Standards, we submit documentation to confirm that we meet The National Standards for U.S. Community FoundationsĀ®. This documentation is peer-reviewed. Then, the Siouxland Community Foundation reconfirms our accreditation annually. For more information about the program, please visit

Why do we participate in National Standards?

  • Evidence of Excellence: The dollars set aside for charity are limited and precious. The institutions that donors choose to support must be credible and trustworthy. As a symbol of excellence and rigor, the National Standards Seal helps philanthropists and their professional advisers recognize and choose community foundations as a sound place to give and make a difference.
  • Accountability: Community foundations of all sizes use National Standards as a roadmap to establish legal, ethical, effective practices that withstand the scrutiny of donors, government and media. Over time, National Standards have become an important resource for developing new and emerging community foundations.
  • Impact: National Standards set consistent expectations among community foundation boards and practitioners, helping them focus and make effective use of time and talent. They also provide a framework for documenting, communicating and providing training and technical assistance to advance best practices.
  • Distinction: Community foundations use National Standards to distinguish themselves from entities that provide similar services. When community foundations work together regionally or nationally to build awareness of their unique value, standards reduce the risk of doing so by ensuring all participants have met benchmarks for quality in operations and service.