Last week, the Marietta Community Foundation participated in a session on Foundation Openness hosted by Philanthropy West Virginia and the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation through the Fund for Shared Insight. We shared in discussion with local and regional funders on the importance of being open with each other, donors, grantees, and the community.
Shared Insight emerged from the belief that we as funders are most effective and can do more good in the world if we are more open to listening to, and acting on, feedback from the people we seek to help. Here at the Marietta Community Foundation, we take pride in being transparent and open when it comes to our operations and our impact.
…With Our Partners
The Marietta Community Foundation meets quarterly with other funders from across the Mid-Ohio Valley to discuss projects, funding strategies, and community concerns. Collectively, we maintain regular communications as projects arise so that we are able to respond quickly and collaboratively. We also use this as an opportunity to learn from one another, sharing best practices and insight.
…With Our Donors
Our Foundation meets National Standards for operational quality, donor service and accountability in the community foundation sector. The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency, and accountability.
We believe it is important for our donors and the public to have access to our financial records so that they can have confidence in our organization’s operations and integrity. The Foundation’s current, as well as past, Form 990’s, 990-T’s and Annual Audits are made available to the public. You may also view the Foundation’s Guidestar Report online.
…With Our Grantees
The National Standards Seal also says that our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community. Both of our annual grant cycles follow this process and are promoted throughout the community. Foundation staff and board members speak with each grantee prior to the decision making process to ensure that we fully understand each project, and that grantees are familiar with the process and the Foundation’s priorities. We follow up with all grantees after selections have been made and offer advice for future cycles.
Our area’s nonprofit organizations are our partners in making life better for all of us. By being open about our grantmaking process, we aim to help our nonprofits receive more funding and better meet their missions. We have also launched an email newsletter for our local nonprofits to share upcoming events and capacity building opportunities.
…With Our Community
The Marietta Community Foundation shares our work with the community through our website, a bi-annual printed newsletter, distribution of our Annual Report, a monthly email newsletter, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and participation in special events. Each fall, we hold an Annual Event during National Community Foundation week to celebrate our yearly accomplishments as a philanthropic community and uplift our donors.
If you would like to learn more about our philosophy as a Community Foundation, please reach out to Heather Allender, CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740.373.3286.