“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 BAF 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. With over 800 community foundations already accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.
“This is critically important to our donors,” said Dena Cushman, 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 and honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order.”
BAF works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including animal services, the arts, civic beautification, economic development, education, health & human services, and public recreation.
BAF offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, or provide flexible support for community needs. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates BAF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.
“Grantmaking is a lot like investing,” said Douglas Ramsden, BAF Board President. “BAF needs to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. With our National Standards accreditation, you can be assured that we’re doing just that.”
Organizations seeking to solve community challenges may have access to additional support, thanks to a new donor-advised fund established with the Beckley Area Foundation.
The Vaught Fund for Social Entrepreneurship was established by Raleigh County natives Chris and Debbie Vaught. As the term implies, social entrepreneurship is a movement that seeks to solve society’s problems by applying creative, out-of-the-box thinking often embraced by entrepreneurs.
“The fund’s goal is to promote and support innovation and entrepreneurship for addressing community needs.” For example, grants from the fund can help new organizations design and implement solutions for recently identified problems. Existing organizations might also expand their offerings or add a social component. “We are most excited about collaboration among groups to create efficiencies and leverage combined strengths.”
— Chris Vaught
“It is a pleasure to help generous people like Chris and Debbie achieve their unique philanthropic goals and realize their ability to make lasting change. Charitable giving allows you to create your own legacy and teaches the value of philanthropy to future generations.”
— Dena Cushman | BAF, Executive Director
Vaught is a serial entrepreneur, having launched six Raleigh County-based businesses and organizations in the last 14 years. He serves on the board of directors for several community organizations.
“Through my work with Beckley Area Foundation and WV Hive, which supports local entrepreneurs, I see how non-profit organizations can fit in a collaborative entrepreneurship ecosystem. Debbie and I hope this fund will help organizations create equitable, sustainable solutions for our community’s greater good.”
— Chris Vaught
Anyone interested in donating to this fund may mail contributions with “Vaught Family” in the memo to BAF, 1210 South Kanawha St., Beckley, WV 25801 or click the button below to donate online. If you are interested in starting a donor advised fund or leaving a legacy gift, call BAF at 304-253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.