The notice comes from the Council on Foundations, a national professional association based in Washington, D.C.
"This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations," said Steve Gunderson, Council on Foundations president and chief executive officer. "It says that CREATE Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to operational quality, integrity and accountability."
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With more than 200 community foundations already confirmed in compliance nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisers.
"When people make a charitable bequest, establish a fund or make a contribution, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order," said Mike Clayborne, CREATE Foundation president.
CREATE Foundation offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause such as education or the environment, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization's philanthropic services, the confirmation validates CREATE Foundation's grant making practices for the nonprofit community.
"Some say it's easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely," said Larry Kirk, CREATE Foundation board chair. "There's some truth in that. Grantmaking is a lot like investing... we need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. When you see the National Standards Seal, you can be assured that we're committed to meeting the highest standards for grantmaking as well."
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations program is the first of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.
CREATE is the sole shareholder of Journal Inc., which publishes the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. The newspaper's 16-county circulation area is the same as CREATE's service region.