Apply Now for 2015 Licensed Consultant Workshop

May 20, 2015 by

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The Standards for Excellence Institute® continues to build a national network of qualified consultants licensed to provide training, consulting, and support on the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. We are pleased to offer our 9th Licensed Consultant Workshop, to be held October 26, 27 and 28 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Licensed Consultant Training is an exclusive, professional development initiative that gives independent consultants the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to work with nonprofit organizations across the country interested in learning about, conducting self-assessments, implementing change, and becoming accredited in the Standards for Excellence program.

A full description of the program can be found here. To apply, complete the application for the 2015 Licensed Consultant Training by July 13, 2015. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions by August 21, 2015.

Congratulations To Our Latest Organizations!

May 20, 2015 by

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The Standards for Excellence Institute would like to congratulate several organizations who recently earned or renewed their accreditation under the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector:

Leadership: Staff

May 19, 2015 by

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The following post was written by Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.

Thriving and surviving in the nonprofit sector requires human resources and we all strive to bring the most talented individuals into our organizations.  Setting high standards from top to bottom during the staff  hiring and evaluation process, helps ensure that your organization attracts the most competitive pool of applicants poised to move your organization in the right direction.

The hiring process begins by developing well-written, clear job description and postings, where all the requirements of the position are outlined. The clearer the job descriptions, the lower the chances are for misunderstandings. Setting a competitive salary will also help your organization stay in line with the market trends and successfully compete for outstanding candidates. Similarly, upon hiring, all staff members must receive training so that they can understand their roles and responsibilities. It is also  important for staff members to be evaluated on a regular basis, at least annually. As part of the publishing of our 2.0 version of the Standards for Excellence® educational material, the second section of the code regarding Leadership includes three educational resource packets around the subject of hiring, evaluating, and setting salaries for staff, in addition to succession planning. These three educational resource packets focus on the following areas:

Personnel Policies, Employee Orientation, Compensation and Evaluation (updated April 2015)

  • Model Employee Handbook
  • Telecommuting Policies and Checklists
  • Staff roles; Hiring the executive director; Setting the executive director’s salary; Evaluating the executive director’s performance; Maintaining staff other than the executive director; Salary structure and the broader market
  • Featured attachments include: Model Employee Handbook, Telecommuting Policies, Annual Review of Executive Director Form, Executive Director Evaluation Form, Annual Employee Evaluation Form, Compensation Philosophy Statements, Model Review of Organization’s Salary Structure, Compensation Policy

Board and Executive Partnership (updated September 2014)

  • Defining roles of the board and the chief executive; Sorting out board and staff roles and responsibilities; Understanding the line between management and governance; Executive roles and responsibilities; Evaluating the chief executive; Chief executive termination and removal
  • Featured attachments include: Leadership Roles in Management and Governance Diagram, Sample Position Description: Executive Director, Sample Executive Director Evaluation Process Resource Tool

Succession Planning (updated July 2014)

  • Types of succession planning; Preparing for succession, leadership and staff development; Key elements of succession plans and procedures; Hiring a new executive director; Succession planning for board leadership
  • Featured attachments include: Sample Leadership Development and Succession Plan, Board Room Quick Tip, Strategies for Successful Succession

As is the case with all our updated educational resource packets, the documents include sample policies, procedures, tips and other materials (as outlined above) that will guide your organization through the process of developing and implementing essential policies for your nonprofit.

The new educational resource packets are available, free of charge, to all our Standards for Excellence Institute members and can be accessed at this link: http://www.standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org/dnn/Education/Resources.aspx

If you are not a member yet, sign up now to have full access to these educational materials and plentiful others!

Leadership: Board

May 5, 2015 by

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The following post was written by Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.

The success of every nonprofit organization is a reflection of the cohesiveness and effectiveness of a well-managed body of employees, executive director and a well functioning board of directors. The board has a wide array of responsibilities, ranging from appointing the executive director to approving policies and procedures vital to the organization’s sustainability.

Part of the 2.0 version of the Standards for Excellence® code focuses on the role that the board of directors plays in nonprofits. In fact, the section of the Standards for Excellence code pertaining to leadership of the board states:

“Board members are in a position of trust to ensure that resources are used to carry out the mission of the organization… An effective nonprofit board should determine the mission of the organization, establish management policies . . . assure that adequate human and financial resources are available, and actively monitor the organization’s allocation of resources to effectively and efficiently fulfill its mission.”

This section of the code has been divided into three subcategories: Board Responsibilities; Board and Executive Partnership; and Board Member Composition and Independence. Each of these includes its own set of best practice benchmarks that nonprofit boards can strive to implement. To help support nonprofits in their efforts to reach for excellence, the Standards for Excellence Institute has developed a set of comprehensive educational resource packets covering the following topics:

Board Member Responsibilities

  • Board member development, orientation and training
  • Board’s governance and fiduciary responsibility; evaluation of its own performance; its legal responsibilities; attendance, minutes, strategic meeting agendas; bylaws and policies
  • Featured attachments include: Sample Bylaws, Board Evaluation, Job Description, Board Orientation Checklist, Board Member Handbook, Board Meeting Minutes, and Board Committees

Board and Executive Partnership

  • Defining roles of the board and the chief executive; sorting out board and staff roles and responsibilities; understanding the line between management and governance, among other relevant subjects
  • Featured attachments include: Leadership Roles in Management and Governance Diagram, Board Calendar Board Room Quick Tip

Board Member Composition and Independence

  • Commitment to the mission of the organization;
  • Board member recruitment and selection; Board Development,
  • Nominating, or Governance Committee;
  • Diversity;
  • Term limits;
  • Compensation, size and board independence
  • Featured attachments include:  Board Development Committee, Board Composition Analysis, Statements on Board Diversity, Family and Business Relationships and Interested Person Independence Questionnaire

As is the case with all our updated educational resource packets, the documents include sample policies, procedures, and other materials that will guide your organization through the process of developing and implementing essential policies for your nonprofit.

The new educational resource packets are available, free of charge, to all our Standards for Excellence Institute members and can be accessed at this link: http://www.standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org/dnn/Education/Resources.aspx

If you are not a member yet, sign up now to have full access to these educational materials and many more!

PA Association on Nonprofit Organizations Rolling Out Standards for Excellence 2.0

April 27, 2015 by

PANO

Standards for Excellence Replication Partner Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) is pleased to announce that they are officially rolling out Standards for Excellence 2.0 to the Pennsylvania nonprofit community.

Beginning in June, PANO will be hosting 5 free in-person events throughout the state. The celebratory events will include presentations on the new code and an extended presentation covering one of the new components of the code, “Strategic Partnerships.” Standards for Excellence Accredited and Basics recognized organization, volunteers, and consultants will be recognized, and here will also be time for group interaction and networking.

PHILADELPHIA
June 2, 2015, 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Hosted by: United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Greater New Jersey
1709 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia PA 19103
Register

HARRISBURG
June 4, 2015, 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Hosted by: WITF
4801 Lindle Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17111
Register

PITTSBURGH
October, 2015, Time: TBD
Hosted by: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh-Nonprofit Resource Center
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213
Check Events Listings for updates

ERIE
October 27, 2015, Time: TBD
15th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Nonprofit Day Conference
Check Events Listings for updates

NORTHEAST PA
Date, Time and Location: TBD
Check Events Listings for updates

2015 LICENSED CONSULTANT WORKSHOP APPLICATIONS OPEN

April 22, 2015 by

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The Standards for Excellence Institute® continues to build a national network of qualified consultants licensed to provide training, consulting, and support on the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. We are pleased to offer our 9th Licensed Consultant Workshop, to be held October 26, 27 and 28 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Licensed Consultant Training is an exclusive, professional development initiative that gives independent consultants the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to work with nonprofit organizations across the country interested in learning about, conducting self-assessments, implementing change, and becoming accredited in the Standards for Excellence program.

A full description of the program can be found here. To apply, complete the application for the 2015 Licensed Consultant Training by July 13, 2015. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions by August 21, 2015.

Licensed Consultant Hosting FREE Webinar

April 21, 2015 by

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Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Susan Detwiler is conducting a free webinar on board fundraising. The webinar, titled Getting Your Board on Board – Techniques for Using Vision to Engage Your Board in Fundraising, will provide short-, medium-, and long-term techniques for bringing board members along the spectrum from fundraising bystanders to participants.

Learning objectives include:

  • Understanding the reluctance to raise funds
  • Techniques for allaying board members’ fear of fundraising
  • Ways to use the strategic plan as a platform for building board engagement in development
  • Ways to build toward populating the board with directors willing to raise funds

The webinar is this Thursday, April 23 from 1-2pm EST.

Time will be given for a lively Q&A session, and the presentation will be recorded for future viewing.

REGISTER HERE

Susan Detwiler is a Licensed Consultant with 12 years in the nonprofit world following 23 years in the for-profit sector. Susan brings to her work the experience of serving on boards and being both an executive director and a development director. A seasoned consultant, Susan is a catalyst for nonprofit boards on the verge of change; she specializes in working with nonprofit boards and administration, conducting strategic planning, governance education and development. Susan facilitates customized board and staff retreats, and her clients have included Portland Jewish Academy (OR), Rehoboth Beach Film Society, Food Bank of Delaware, Park East Synagogue (NYC), Delaware Theatre Company and Gaudenzia, Inc. She has an MBA from University of Michigan and a B.S. from SUNY Albany.

New Educational Resources Available: Mission, Strategy and Evaluation

April 17, 2015 by

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The following post was written by Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.

Every nonprofit organization’s work revolves around one particular phrase: the mission statement. It is predominantly displayed throughout the organization’s facilities, printed materials, websites, social media sites, among others. The mission statement is used to properly describe the organization’s purpose – the reason for its existence. While all nonprofits have a mission statement, not all revise them accordingly to ensure that it still reflects their work. For instance, if a nonprofit organization was established to provide aid to children with polio in the United States, and the mission has been accomplished, then the organization will either disintegrate or focus on achieving a new goal, which will entail creating a new mission statement to reflect the work they do. As part of ongoing planning, it is highly recommended that an organization’s mission statement is revised and updated at least every five years to ensure that the goals and programs still reflect the work that the organization is trying to achieve. The revision of an organization’s mission statement ties to the entire process of evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the programs offered, analyzing the potential for creating partnerships with similar-minded organizations, and developing and implementing parameters to measure short-term and long-term viability of the organization.

While this process may be tedious, it is highly beneficial to nonprofits that want to succeed without wasting resources. Based on this notion, the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector was created. The Standards for Excellence® code is the foundation of the Standards for Excellence program. It was carefully drafted with the help of experts in the fields of management, human resources, law, finance, among others, to provide the nonprofit sector with a wide array of tools to help them achieve their mission, by taking into consideration effective, widely-used practices in the most responsibly-governed nonprofits. The Standards for Excellence code creates a structured approach to building capacity, and creating accountability and sustainability in nonprofit organizations.

The Standards for Excellence code is divided into six categories, each focusing on a different set of topics pertaining nonprofit management, governance and accountability. As part of our continuous efforts to help nonprofit organizations excel at accomplishing their mission through the development and implementation of sound policies and procedures to effectively and efficiently manage resources, we have developed twenty seven educational resource packets that cover all sections of the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.

As you may already know, part of the launching of version 2.0 of the Standards for Excellence code includes an update to all our educational resource packets in order to provide the most recent and reliable information available. The first section of the Standards for Excellence code is titled Mission, Impact and Planning and states:

“Nonprofits are founded for the public good and operate to accomplish a stated purpose through specific program activities. A nonprofit should have a well-defined mission, and its programs should effectively and efficiently work toward achieving that mission. Nonprofits have an obligation to ensure program effectiveness and to devote the resources of the organization to achieving its stated purpose.”

The revised Mission, Strategy and Evaluation Standards for Excellence educational resource packets focus on the following areas:

Mission, Impact and Planning

  • Engaging in strategic planning: Developing a short-term and long-term plan
  • Developing a mission statement: The benefits of continuously revising it, complying with the legal aspect, and efficiently and effectively using your mission statement

Program Evaluation

  • Defining the purpose of program evaluation
  • The program cycle: Defining, monitoring and evaluating programs
  • Outcome evaluations: Assessing methodologies, measuring participant satisfaction and utilizing this data, and conducting a cost benefit analysis

Sustainability and Sustainable Planning

  • Defining and considering approaches to working towards a more sustainable organization
  • Considerations of sustainability in terms of programming, leadership, personnel, finances, and infrastructure

Strategic Partnerships

  • Types of partnerships and important considerations
  • Identifying and vetting potential partners
  • The role of the Board in the Strategic Partnership process

In addition to providing insightful information on topics of interest to our readers, each packet includes helpful sample policies, procedures, checklists, and that will help your organization stay on track, maintain compliance with the ever-changing laws and regulations, and overall strengthen your nonprofit.

The new educational resource packets are available, free of charge, to all our Standards for Excellence Institute members and can be accessed by logging into our website at standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org.

If you are not a member yet, sign up now to have full access to these educational resources and many more!

Licensed Consultant Conducting Standards for Excellence Training in Virginia

April 16, 2015 by

Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Trina Willard will be conducting a course at Tidewater Community College in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. The interactive training program will provide organizations with an opportunity to:

  • Engage with the best practices for nonprofit management and governance outlined in the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, and learn about how embracing and living by them can improve effectiveness and sustainability
  • Assess themselves against the benchmarks of the Standards for Excellence code
  • Arm themselves with concrete ways to strengthen the management, governance, and operations of their organizations
  • Develop a work plan for improvement in the key areas of the Standards for Excellence code

Ms. Willard is a graduate of our 2013 Class of Licensed Consultants and is Principal of Knowledge Advisory Group.

Assessing Leadership and Organizational Capacity for Nonprofits
May 6, 2015
9:00am – 3:30pm
$60.00
Click here for more information and to register

Ames Tribune Features Sealholder Arc of Story County

April 16, 2015 by

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Arc of Story County, an Iowa-based nonprofit organization that earned their Seal of Excellence in December 2014, was recently featured by Central Iowa’s Ames Tribune in recognition of their achievement. Read the full article.

Have your Standards for Excellence achievements been featured by local media? Share it with the Standards community by submitting a publicity request!


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