2008 Winner of Ethics in Business Award
The Community Foundation was the 2008 winner of the Samaritan Counseling Center’s Ethics in Business Award in the Not-For-Profit Organization category. This award recognizes an organization that demonstrates business excellence and the highest standards of ethical conduct. Following is the nomination biography:
The Albuquerque Community Foundation (ACF) was founded in 1981 and has grown its endowment assets to over $56 million in its 26 years of existence. They have awarded over $18 million in grants in that time frame to hundreds of other non-profit organizations. Grants are distributed in six major fields – human services, health, youth, education, arts and culture, environmental and historical preservation – and those grants stay here in the Albuquerque community.
Although the majority of the public would consider this a noble deed, successfully raising money does not qualify ACF for exceeding ethical practices. What does qualify this organization for exceeding ethical practices is the manner in which it conducts its daily operations.
The Foundation has a written code of conduct in place dealing with confidentiality, conflict of interest, and reporting violations of this code. The foundation has, on several occasions, had to turn away large potential donations because the sources of these donations were ethically questionable.
They also have a “whistle-blower policy” in place, which is unusual for non-profit organizations. This policy is designed to make ACF as transparent as possible to all stakeholders. Employees attend seminars that instill ethical business practices.ACF’s commitment to the community led them to partner with the United Way of Central New Mexico to establish the Center for Non-Profit Excellence so best practices can be taught to all non-profit organizations. They have also worked in close collaboration with the UNM Foundation.
In January 2007, ACF was confirmed to be in compliance with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations (similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, but for community foundations). This is a voluntary program and ACF felt it was imperative to put itself “under the microscope”. The compliance process requires the community foundation to provide documentation of their policies for donor services, investments, grant making and administration. All documentation is then reviewed by a national panel of community experts appointed by the Council of Foundations.
The Foundation enables people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the causes and issues they care about in the community. The Albuquerque Community Foundation - “For good, for ever, a growing community resource.”