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U.S. Foundations Draft Standards To Increase Public Confidence

June 21, 2004

(June 21, 2004) In another sign of the nonprofit sector's emerging focus on accountability, the foundation community is in the process of developing a series of standards and stewardship principles to encourage public trust.

The new standards, which are being developed for family, community and large private foundations, as well as corporate giving programs, will clarify legal standards and establish operating guidelines for these organizations. The standards address issues such as governance, board composition, fiscal oversight, ethics and accountability, public interest and communications, grant making and relationship building.

'Accountability requires that the behavior is consistent with the words,' said Emmett Carson, chair of the Council on Foundations and president and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, in a press release about the standards. 'Adopting and adhering to high ethical standards is the best way for our field to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to maintaining the public's trust.'

Each subgroup within the foundation community (family, community, corporate and large private foundations) is developing its own separate, but similar, set of standards and principles. Some standards are still in the process of being drafted, and the Council on Foundations is accepting comments on the drafts through its website.

For more information on each set of standards, click on the link below and scroll to the bottom of the page: http://www.cof.org/Content/PressRelease/Display.cfm?pressReleaseID=1754

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