The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Accreditation Program certifies U.S. community foundations that meet and exceed federal and state law requirements in practice and by policy. The accreditation process is rigorous, and undertaking it demonstrates a community foundation’s commitment to accountability and excellence to its donors, its community, policymakers, and the public.
The program is directed by the Community Foundation National Standards Board (CFNSB) with support from the Council on Foundations. The Accreditation Seal is only achieved by those foundations that comply with 26 distinct standards of excellence.
The application process is demanding. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to submit a completed application and it takes several months for an application to be reviewed. Before embarking on the process, you should ensure your community foundation is eligible, and review the five basic phases in the life cycle of accreditation. If you determine that you would like to seek accreditation, the first step is to open an account in the online application portal. All applications and renewals are accepted online and you can save your work as you go.