National Standards

National Standars sealThe Greater Milwaukee Foundation is recognized for having organizational and financial practices that are in accordance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. National Standards says that we meet the most rigorous standards in philanthropy and is a promise to our community that we will continue to do this good work together.  

The Council on Foundations, a Washington, DC-based membership association of more than 850 grantmaking foundations and corporations, and community foundation leaders created the National Standards in 2000 to aid community foundations in establishing legal, ethical and effective operational practices that would show the foundations’ transparency and financial responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices. The standards also were developed to distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles, build their capacity to carry out their missions, and assist the field with self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the IRS. 

The Foundation was one of the first foundations in the country to be certified and has been in compliance since 2001. Recertification is required every three years and the Foundation will reapply in 2025. 


Confirmation of compliance 

To achieve confirmation of compliance, community foundations must undergo an extensive review of their organizational and financial policies and procedures across 26 National Standards in the following five key areas of operations: 

  • Mission, structure and governance 
  • Resource development 
  • Stewardship and accountability 
  • Grantmaking
  • Donor relations 

The review is performed by the National Standard’s legal advisers and trained, independent, experienced community foundation practitioners under the auspices of the Community Foundation National Standard Board, a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations


Confidentiality Policy 

The Foundation maintains and manages information that must be kept confidential. The Foundation Board has adopted a confidentiality policy to assist its directors, officers, employees, agents, fiduciaries and volunteers in fulfilling their confidentiality obligations and commitments.