Top marks for Community Foundation
The Bermuda Community Foundation has been awarded top marks for its performance by Britain's highest standard for philanthropic excellence.
The award comes from the UKCF Quality Accreditation Programme (QA3), which establishes legal, ethical, and effective practices for community foundations everywhere.
In a statement, the BCF said that although it was launched just three years ago, its leadership believed it was essential to establish the organisation's integrity and credibility right from the start.
Myra Virgil, BCF managing director, stated: “The accreditation is a demanding process, involving a lot of work, but we went for it because it is critical to our donors and investors.
“When people make donations to BCF, they are putting their trust in us. They are depending on us to manage their investment wisely and to honour their charitable wishes. This accreditation shows that we can meet — and exceed — our donors' expectations.”
Gerald Coteman, representing the Accreditation Committee of UKCF, visited Bermuda to conduct the assessment.
He stated: “Meeting the Quality Accreditation Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process and in some areas, Bermuda's community foundation is performing at what we consider beacon status levels.
“A strong pass is a significant accomplishment that indicates the BCF demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity and accountability as it carries out its mission.”
The QA3 requires community foundations to document their policies for governance, finance and risk, philanthropy donor development, grantmaking and community investment, and community engagement and communications. In Britain, there are 46 accredited community foundations and more than 500 in the United States. Programmes are designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisers.
According to the press release, community foundations are organisations established to promote and support philanthropy, build endowed funds and target these funds to meet identified need in local communities. The BCF enables a wide variety of options for donors, including support of a specific cause or organisation, funding for community or individual needs, or the BCF itself. In addition to affirming the foundation's philanthropic services, this accreditation validates BCF's grantmaking practices for the non-profit community.
Peter Durhager, BCF board chairman, said: “Managing the community foundation is about developing and protecting social assets for the good of Bermuda.
“To meet the highest standards, we need to ensure that we are model stewards of these assets, assessing risks and monitoring performance, as well as operating fairly and transparently. With our Quality Accreditation, people can be assured we are doing all that. I thank the board and dedicated team led by Dr Virgil for their tireless effort and commitment to quality.”