The Various Tools and Processes that Community Foundations Use to Improve Practice

Puerto Rico34

General Experiences

The Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico (FCPR) is the only community foundation in the Island and one established in 1985. Assets stand at about $25 million, 92% of the assests are endowed.

FCPR is a hybrid model, according to its VP of Institutional Development, Mary Ann Gabino because even as it administers donor-advised and designated funds, it also runs ‘programs designed and implemented in their program area.’ The needs responded to are in community education, economic development and affordable living housing.

Specific Processes and Tools are serving a number of purposes for FCPR:

  • “We‘ve been operating for 25 years, however as we‘ve grown during the past 10 years, the implementation of these various tools and policies have taken more relevance in our daily operation,” noted Mary Ann Gabino.
  • Promote accountability, transparency, self-improvement

    This is done specifically through:

    1. Annual audit is done by a U.S. audit company. Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the U.S., the mainland company‘s audit gives credibility to financial statements.
    2. FCPR follows the National Standards. Although not confirmed compliant as of this report writing (in 2011) because of a deadline issue, FCPR will be submitting records again.
    3. A set of policy and procedures incorporates human resources, accounting, and donor-advised and designated funds and other philanthropic services.
    4. A five year strategic plan guides FCPR‘s institutional focus. It is revised periodically by staff and board of directors. Every yearend, they produce an Impact Report.
    5. A yearly balanced scorecard is monitored and followed up by staff and board on a quarterly basis. The scorecard presents a mechanism to measure minimum results and exceeded results. The Impact Report provides an outlook of the year‘s results based on evidence. “We work to excel,” clarifies Mary Ann Gabino.
    6. Committees are included in the By Laws of the PRCF. These are the Executive Committee, Investment Committee, Development Committee and Audit Committee. In addition, a series of ad hoc committees focus on certain areas of interest. At the time of this report in 2011, such committees were: Philanthropy and Cooperatives Committee, Former Board Members Committee, By Laws and Policy Committee, Solidarity with Haiti Committee.
  • Distinguish characteristics of community foundations from other NGO

    Mary Ann Gabino elucidates:

    “We strive to provide customized philanthropic services to individuals, families, corporations to facilitate their strategic giving to community. We take the time to build long lasting relationships with donors across the Foundation, but we also have a Philanthropic Asset Development and Donor Services Unit that works very closely with donors in meeting their needs, and pairing it with community needs.

34Report based on inputs from Mary Ann Gabino, Puerto Rico Community Foundation