The fifth round of Quality Accreditation, launched in October 2020, is now complete. Over the past year OCF has completed an internal audit of its policies and procedures, compiled a submission of documents for external review and participated in interviews with an independent assessor. We are delighted to have again achieved quality accreditation.
The assessment, which was carried out by Ideas to Impact, evaluated our ongoing practices and development trajectory within Core Standards on governance, finance, philanthropy, grant-making, community participation and organisational development. The programme is unique to the UK Community Foundations (UKCF) network, providing the only accreditation process internationally that is tailored to and designed by community foundations. Building on our success in QA4, this process of continuous review ensures that we are updating and improving our processes and planning.
The Quality Accreditation assessment has revealed that:
- The value of grant-making in the UKCF network more than doubled during the Covid-19 Pandemic
- Total community foundation endowment across the membership has grown by 30% since QA4 in 2017
- The highest average score QA5 was in the Core Standard on effective emergency response, reflecting the exceptional skill community foundations displayed in rapidly activating local philanthropy and delivering funding to support community-led responses to crisis
“Being now in the fifth round of Quality Accreditation, we have seen community foundations throughout the UK raise their game and clearly demonstrate a high standard of governance, administration and financial diligence through external assessment across all ranges of team size and capacity” – John Gordon, Chair of the QA Committee.
Quality Accreditation will last for three years until October 2024 and is an initiative designed to provide collective due diligence that confirms community foundations have the capacity to deliver grants and programmes on a national level. It promotes excellent practice across the community foundation network to ensure that they can utilise their resources most effectively to listen, support and advocate for their communities.
Adrian Sell, Oxfordshire Community Foundation CEO said: “Myself and the whole board are delighted that we were rated as good or excellent on all the core standards of our accreditation. My team and the whole community foundation network have worked incredibly hard to ensure that the governance and procedures behind our grant making are upheld and continually improved. We look forward to using feedback from our assessment and best practice from across the network to improve our work and impact in Oxfordshire.”
“We were particularly delighted to gain ‘excellent’ for being able to clearly articulate the positive impact that place based philanthropy has on the community and the wider local voluntary sector; for our timely and effective preparation and response to emergency situations that affect the community, while keeping long-term recovery in mind; for our clear focus on needs and impact analysis to help inform future direction; and for operating a broad range of grants that meet identified community needs.”