February 7, 2022
Our region’s leader in charitable giving, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM) has been re-accredited with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.
CFNEM Executive Director Patrick Heraghty says meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process and is a significant accomplishment that indicates the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity, and accountability as it carries out its mission.
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grant making and administration. This accreditation represents CFNEM’s commitment to go above and beyond federal and state law requirements to demonstrate accountability and excellence to donors, communities, policymakers, and the public.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Heraghty. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish a fund, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage their investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order, and you can trust us.”
CFNEM works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including education and scholarships, healthcare and nutrition, arts and culture, economic development, senior care, environmental stewardship, nonprofit capacity building and recreation. The Community Foundation offers a range of charitable funds that totaled over $68 million in assets in December 2021. Those funds allow donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates CFNEM’s grant making practices for the nonprofit community.
“Grant making is a lot like investing,” said Heraghty. “We need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. With our National Standards accreditation, you can be assured that we’re doing just that.”
Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. CFNEM is also the lead foundation for three geographic affiliates that encompass its nine-county service area: Iosco County Community Foundation, North Central Michigan Community Foundation and Straits Area Community Foundation.
The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations and is responsible for the quality, value, and integrity of compliance with National Standards.