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


In 2008, a group of community foundation representatives came together for self-reflection and as a result, decided to put together the website The website aimed to promote the standards and to support community foundations with fulfilling the requirements for compliance.

According to Donnell Mercereau who was part of the group that worked on the website, the project took 18 months to develop. It has proven to be a goldmine of resources for community foundations looking for tools, templates, and professional advice. Launched in 2009, the new website has added more features and services for the 500 plus compliant community foundations and other aspiring foundations.

Confirmation and re-confirmation processes

  • Confirmation process involves six steps:

    1. Application and payment of non-refundable fee
    2. Confirmation submission date is set. (One year is given to the applicant to submit the Record Book).
    3. Record Book is pre-screened by the staff of the CFNSB. Missing information will be requested for submission within 30 days.
    4. Record Book review is done by peers assigned. All materials submitted are reviewed according to a standardized Review Form. Staff do the spot-checking of review process.
    5. Conveyance of reviewer questions to applicant. Applicant has three opportunities to respond to the questions and demonstrate compliance. Then the reviewer transmits the result to the CFNSB.
    6. Notification of compliance. The CFNSB conveys the determination by sending the packet containing the National Standards Seal and the Licensing Agreement. If non-compliance was the Reviewer‘s result, the case goes to the Determination Committee of the CFNSB for their action. If the Determinations Committee agrees with the reviewer‘s assessment of non-compliance, the foundation may appeal the decision to the Appeals Committee. All appeal decisions are affirmed by the CFNSB Board of Directors.
  • Re-confirmation process involves the same six steps with the following exceptions:

    There are three types of materials that may be submitted in the record book:

    • Baseline materials: IRS Form 990 for the most recent year, Annual Report, Annual Audit, and Board Nomination Process and Demographcis
    • Materials to meet new or revised Standards and Key Elements
    • Any materials that have changed since compliance was met

    Each foundation has up to two opportunities to respond to the questions and demonstrate continued compliance.

33Youtube, Diana Miller on the CF Standards.