The Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF) recently received accreditation 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.
“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, board member of the Council on Foundations. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates GCCF 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, grantmaking and administration. GCCF is one of only three accredited foundations in the state, and the only foundation in the lower six counties to hold this designation.
“Trust and confidence are two things we know donors look for when considering giving,” said Dr. Christen Duhé, GCCF’s president and executive director. “GCCF has been a good steward of our donors’ investments for over 33 years and receiving accreditation from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations further cements our commitment to excellence.”
GCCF works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including education, child welfare, public health (including COVID-19 response), natural disaster recovery (including Hurricanes Katrina, Zeta, and Ida), arts and culture, and animal welfare. They achieve their mission by distributing grants to charitable causes, providing donor services, contributing responsive leadership to the community’s changing needs, and developing and managing a comprehensive pool of funds.
GCCF offers a range of charitable funds, allowing 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 GCCF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.
“Grantmaking is a lot like investing,” said Dave Vincent, GCCF board chair. The assessment of risks, evaluation of potential benefits, asset diversification, performance monitoring, and fair operation are all critical elements that we must undertake. Our adherence to the National Standards accreditation confirms that we are executing these responsibilities with the utmost care and diligence, giving you peace of mind.
National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.