The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

August 5, 2012

BAF maintains its certification

BECKLEY — The Beckley Area Foundation recently received notification that it has met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards. The notice comes from the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a national accreditation organization based in Arlington, Va.

“This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations,” said Diane Miller, manager, Community Foundations National Standards Board. “It says that the Beckley Area 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 200 of the 700 community foundations that belong to the Council of Foundations already confirmed in compliance nationwide, the rigorous program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisers.

“This is critically important to our donors,” said Susan Landis, BAF executive director. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish a fund, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, protect their permanent gift to the community and honor their charitable wishes.”

“Our foundation first received the National Standards designation five years ago; this renewal again assures our community that our house is in order,” Landis added. “I particularly appreciate the support of our trustee banks, our legal and financial advisors, our auditor, the current and former members of our board of directors and the thousands of donors and volunteers who have had an instrumental role in making our community foundation grow and prosper.

“Special credit for documenting our accomplishments for the re-certification process must go to Dena Cushman, our CFO, and Sharon Lilly, our office manager.”

The Beckley Area Foundation offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause such as education or the arts, support an individual organization, provide flexible unrestricted support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the confirmation validates BAF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.

“Some say it is easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” commented Michael Cavendish, president of the BAF Board of Directors. “There is 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 in all aspects of our fund development and grantmaking responsibilities.

“Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, the Beckley Area Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come.”

For information about establishing a fund at BAF or adding to an existing fund, e-mail info@bafwv.org or call 304-253-3806.

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