Accountability

The Lumpkin Family Foundation believes foundations have a responsibility that goes beyond simple compliance with federal and state laws. 

Such rules guard against bad behavior but do little to ensure organizations strive for meaningful impact.

We believe that achieving success requires transparency and accountability.  Therefore The Foundation makes the building of strong, open relationships central to our process in the communities where we work.  Critical to this process is addressing the following questions:

  • Is the conduct of board, staff, members and volunteers legal and honorable?  
  • Are The Foundation’s financial assets invested at a reasonable balance of risk and reward?
  • Are the nonfinancial assets of The Foundation invested to bring about high social returns on investment?
  • Is The Foundation’s activity aligned with members’ vision and values and the aspirations of the community The Foundation aims to support?  
  • How straight-forward is it for a person outside the organization to evaluate The Foundation’s performance and provide feedback?

This list summarizes the actions we take to address these questions.  We welcome your suggestions for more.

Our work includes:

  • Filing our 990PF and our Illinois state tax returns:  It’s the law of course.  But these documents contain comprehensive data about how we use the funds entrusted to The Foundation.  The 990PF is available at www.guidestar.org or by request. 
  • Surveying grant-seekers' opinions on their experiences with foundation staff and members.  Every three years, we commission a blind (to us) survey of recent grant-seekers – both those who received grants and those who did not.  The work is conducted by a consultant who tabulates the results without revealing the name of any individual participant.  Click here to see our most recent survey results. 
  • Maintaining a Whistleblower policy that encourages disclosure of inappropriate behavior.  
  • Maintaining a Conflict of Interest  policy that requires all trustees, staff, and committee members to disclose potential conflicts before taking on responsibilities. 
  • Updating our website several times per month. 
  • Maintaining an up-to-date Investment policy and sharing it on-line.  Our newest policy enables us to make program related investments in East Central Illinois.
  • Maintaining a Civility Policy that establishes our commitment to sustain a respectful, mutually supportive culture. 
  • Convening members of the community to share and learn.
  • Involving independent (community) members in grantmaking and policy making.   We do this in different ways.  Most of The Foundation’s grant-making decisions are made by committees. In addition to Lumpkin family members, those committees have the participation of community leaders chosen for their knowledge of at least one aspect of that committee’s mission and their connection to East Central Illinois.  Of the nine available board seats, three are designated for independent members; all are currently occupied.

We sometimes re-grant through other organizations that may be closer to an issue or an area than our committee members.  A current example of this is the transfer of our micro-grant program to four community foundations in the region.  Forefront, the state association for nonprofits and grantmakers, assists with the micro-grant program administration.  Click here for more information about Forefront’s nonprofit capacity building programs in East Central Illinois.