Tipton County Foundation
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PO Box 412 • Tipton, IN 46072


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Accredited in Compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations

Email the Foundation's President


Frank Giammarino
 for information about funds, investments, events, and volunteering

Community Development Officer
Lori Tragesser
for Grants
Women's Fund

Education Program Officer
Chad Huff

for Scholarships Ducky Day in Tipton Park, and youth philanthropy

Grace Leininger
meeting room reservations, donor receipts and payments to vendors


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Board of Directors

Conference Center

1020 W. Jefferson St.

(Please send all mail to PO Box 412.)
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National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations

Tipton County Foundation in Top Philanthropic Tier Nationally

Local Organization Meets Rigorous Standards for Quality and Accountability


Tipton County Foundation is being recognized for having organizational and financial practices that are in accordance with the Ethical and Operational Standards for Indiana Community Foundations. Leaders of the Indiana community foundation field created the Standards in 2000 to aid community foundations in establishing legal, ethical, and effective operational practices that would demonstrate the foundations’ transparency and financial responsibility in light of the increased public scrutiny of foundation practices. In addition, Standards were developed to distinguish community foundations from other philanthropic vehicles, build the capacity of community foundations to carry out their missions, and assist the field with self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service.

In order to achieve Confirmation of Compliance with the National Standards, community foundations must undergo an extensive review of their organizational and financial policies and procedures. The review is performed by trained, experienced community foundation practitioners, coordinated through the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance. Indiana community foundations may choose to go through the national review process or a similar process specific to Indiana to demonstrate compliance with Ethical and Operational Standards for Indiana Community Foundations. A community foundation that satisfies the Indiana standards is automatically confirmed in compliance with the National Standards as well.

The Tipton County Foundation has met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity, and accountability. The notice comes from the Council on Foundations, a national professional association based in Washington, D.C.

“This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations,” said Steve Gunderson, Council on Foundations president and chief executive officer. “It says that Tipton County Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to operational quality, integrity, and accountability.”

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 200 community foundations already confirmed in compliance 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 Tom McKinney, Tipton County Foundation board chairman. “When people make a charitable bequest, establish a fund, or set up an annuity, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes, and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”

Tipton County Foundation offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause such as education or the environment, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs, or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the confirmation validates Tipton County Foundation’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.

“Some say it’s easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” said McKinney. “There’s some truth in that. Grantmaking is a lot like investing… we need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance, and operate fairly. When you see the National Standards Seal, you can be assured that we’re committed to meeting the highest standards for grantmaking as well.”

Intended both as a blueprint for internal organizational development and as a tangible set of benchmarks for external assessment of performance, both the Indiana Standards and the National Standards address six key areas of community foundation operations:

  • Mission, Structure and Governance, including standards defining board accountability, compensation, independence, fiduciary responsibility, and representation of the community.

  • Resource Development, including parameters for administration of funds, disclosures to donors and commitment to building long-term resources for varied community issues and causes.

  • Stewardship and Accountability, covering prudent investment and management of funds, transparent record-keeping, use of funds for their intended purpose, annual audits and public availability of financial information, including standards related to due diligence and community responsiveness.

  • Grantmaking and Community Leadership, including standards related to broad and open grantmaking programs, due diligence and responsiveness to changing community needs.

  • Donor Relations, encompassing guidelines for informing, educating, and involving donors in responding to community needs.

  • Communications, including openness to public scrutiny and frequent communications about activities and finances. 

U.S. community foundations serve tens of thousands of donors and administer more than $39 billion in charitable funds. Of the nearly 700 community foundations in the United States, over 500 have pledged to comply with the National Standards. These community foundations represent foundations from across the nation and the size of their assets range from the smallest to the largest in the field. Currently, compliant community foundations represent over $9 billion in assets, or about 28% of the field.

According to its president, Frank M. Giammarino, “Everyone can be a philanthropist through the Tipton County Foundation, a nonprofit public charity established in 1986 to serve donors, award grants, and provide leadership to improve the quality of life in Tipton County, forever. Contributions are tax-deductible under sections 501(c)(3) and 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.”

The Indiana Grantmakers Alliance is a membership organization of grantmaking staff and Board members. They are dedicated to advancing philanthropy in Indiana by promoting legal, ethical, effective, and efficient grantmaking. In 1990, Lilly Endowment, Inc. announced the GIFT (Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow) Initiative. GIFT was created to help establish and strengthen Indiana community foundations through challenge grants and technical assistance. Currently, over 90 community foundations and affiliate funds provide philanthropic resources for each of Indiana's 92 counties. The technical assistance component of this initiative is housed at the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance.

The Council on Foundations is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit membership association of more than 2,000 grantmaking foundations and corporations, with assets totaling more than $280 billion. The Council provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.

Contact Us Last modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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