Community Foundation Excellence (CFE) Finance Course—Cedar Rapids, IA

CFE Financial Course logoFor community foundation CEOs, managers, or board members/trustees with fiscal responsibilities and those new to finance and fiscal administration, this course provided an understanding of the complicated aspects unique to community foundation finances. The interactive two-day course curriculum was designed so that participants:

  • Developed a framework for policies and practices related to the National Standards;
  • Understood the legal and regulatory requirements specific to community foundations, as well as gained a better understanding of the implications and trade-offs in drafting policies and operating procedural decisions;
  • Understood factors to consider in cash management, asset allocation, and fees;
  • Addressed the latest changes in FASB requirements, tax reform and donor-advised fund regulations; and
  • Became more conversant in complicated fiscal issues, and better able to take their case to their Board.

In addition to the in-person convening, this course also includes an online element. The online learning takes place via the Council on Foundation’s Learning Management System (LMS), before and after the in person convening.

Initially developed in conjunction with Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, these courses help community foundation staff, board members and volunteers master the unique aspects of the community foundation field. Participants learn about effective practices, get helpful tools and information, and the opportunity to network with others in the field. Comprehensive and engaging, these courses are an efficient and affordable way to increase your knowledge of the field. 

*Council events are not opportunities for solicitation of any kind, including asking for business, fund management, or grants. All types of solicitation are strictly prohibited. For more information, read our no solicitation policy.


Christine SearsonChristine Searson
Vice President of Finance,
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations

LeslieLeslie Middleton, CPA 
Director of Finance,
Pikes Peak Community Foundation


CPE Credits

The Council on Foundations is an approved provider with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. In accordance with the standards of the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, CPE credits will be granted based on a 50-minute hour. To earn up to 10 CPE credits, participants must attend the entire two-day course.

Course Agenda

Day One
  • Review community foundation's unique characteristics, National Standards, fund cycles and donor advised funds
  • Discuss legal procedures for asset management, from basic legal requirements to uniform laws
  • Learn about spending policy, including the concept of endowment and returns and creating an appropriate spending rate
  • Get a refresher on budgeting basics, revenue resources and managing major operating budget expenses
  • Engage in a deep dive into Foundation tax filing process, including the new form 990, public support test, functional expense report, unrelated business income tax and contribution returns
Day Two
  • Understand financial statements and the Financial Accounting Standards Board requirements
  • Listen and learn from the course faculty on key governance functions
  • Ascertain tips and tools about accountability and fiduciary responsibilities within your community foundations
  • Discover ways to set-up audit, finance/investment committees and board reporting

Resource Partners