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!

Congratulations To Our Latest Organizations!

March 19, 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:

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We would also like to congratulate the following organizations who have earned their recognition under the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Standards Basics program:

Licensed Consultant To Host Free Training Through Chesapeake Charities

February 19, 2015 by

Linda Kohler, Executive Director of Chesapeake Charities and a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant, and Mary Ann Gleason, Chesapeake Charities’ grants and evaluation specialist, are hosting a series of training workshops to be held in 2015, writes MyEasternShoreMD.com. The first workshop, “Identifying Grant Opportunities and Aligning Your Program for Grant Success,” took place on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Chesapeake Charities’ Stevensville location. Participants were invited to bring grant applications that they are working on, and time was set aside for one-on-one consultation following the program.

Future workshops will cover social media marketing (April 28) and managing databases (May 20). Seating is limited, and you must RSVP to reserve a spot.

Chesapeake Charities is a community foundation that supports a wide range of charitable causes including education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment in the Mid-Shore area and beyond. All of its 73 funds have a common cause — a passion for making a difference in their communities. Together they have invested more than $6.5 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.

For more information about the workshops, contact Chesapeake Charities at 410-643-4020 or meg@chesapeakcharities.org.

Congratulations To Our Latest Organizations!

February 17, 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:

Delaware’s Dover Post discusses the Standards for Excellence with Replication Partner Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement

February 17, 2015 by

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Delaware’s Dover Post recently spoke with Chris Grundner and John Baker of Replication Partner Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement about nonprofits boards and the “search for excellence.”

“It starts with the fiscal and organizational management of the organization, encouraging organizations to have policies and procedures, good board governance in place,” says Baker, Executive Vice President of Policy. “Then it goes on to look at the programs of an organization and that the organization is evaluating their programs to ensure they’re meeting the needs of their population in their community.”

Read the article

Has your organization been featured by a local or national publication regarding the Standards for Excellence? We’d love to share it with the Standards community! Let us know through our Publicity Request Form.

Updated Educational Resource Packet Released: Personnel Policies – Standards for Excellence Employee Handbook

January 27, 2015 by

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 Standards for Excellence Institute is proud to announce the release of the fourth edition of its Model Employee Handbook, revised with the help of experts in the human resources field to provide organizations with a guide to create and execute appropriate written personnel policies. The purpose of developing an employee handbook is to provide clear and consistent guidelines on how to proceed in the event complicated situations arise in employee-employer relationships.

The newly updated Standards for Excellence Personnel Policies educational resource packet and its accompanying Model Employee Handbook feature changes in the areas of personnel policies development, drafting of an employee handbook, and distribution of the handbook (including the importance of employee orientation).  Additionally, references such as websites, articles, and book resources have also been updated.

Below are a few of the changes made to the Model Employee Handbook:

  • The section pertaining the use of the Model Employee Handbook has been revised and updated. The updates:
    • Highlight the importance of adding an introductory statement regarding the utilization of the information contained in the document.
    • Include a disclaimer to provide protection to the organization in the event of a misunderstanding.
  • New sections have been added covering the following topics:
    • “Reasonable Accommodations” under Workplace Practices
    • “Attendance” under About Your Job
    • “Solicitation and Distribution” under Communication
  • The following sections have been removed:
    • “Compensation Time” from Leave Policies
    • “Consecutive Unauthorized Days of Absence” under Career Development
  • Changes were made to the Equal Employment Opportunity section to reflect the federal law requirements. A statement was added to the end of the segment regarding the variation of state laws and to ensure that nonprofit organizations take such laws into consideration during the development of their Employee Handbook.
  • The “Hours of Work and Overtime” section has been updated to more precisely state what constitute working hours, exempt and non-exempt employees, and the specifics of flextime programs.
  • A section on the subject of “Telecommuting” has been added to the body of the Model Employee Handbook. . It explains the subject in detail, how it applies to nonprofit organizations, eligibility, equipment and software, expenses and reimbursement, roles and responsibilities, supervisor responsibilities, monitoring, intellectual property and confidentiality, taxes, and health and safety.

We are scheduled to release additional updates to educational resource packets later this month on other related nonprofit management and governance topics. These resources are available for download, free of charge, to Standards for Excellence Institute members at our website. Stay tuned!


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