Congratulations To Our Latest Organizations!


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:

Find a Standards for Excellence accredited or recognized nonprofit near you by visiting our nonprofit directory.

Learn more about nonprofit accreditation and recognition at

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Replication Partner Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations Announces Attorney General Office’s Support of Standards for Excellence

Standards for Excellence Replication Partner the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations (OANO) recently announced that the Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section has endorsed the Standards for Excellence program offered by OANO.

Peter M. Thomas, Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Charitable Law Section, commented, “Every Ohio charity could benefit from using these guidelines…We are pleased to endorse these standards and related training efforts.”

“We’re delighted with the endorsement of the Standards for Excellence program,” said Terri-Lynne Smiles, Chair of OANO’s Board of Directors “We have partnered with the AG’s office on programs in the past and were happy that their office was able to attend our training sessions first-hand.”

The Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations has been a Standards for Excellence Replication Partner since 2003 and is licensed to review applications for Standards for Excellence accreditation and recognition for nonprofit organization in Ohio.

Read the full press release here.

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2015 Class of Licensed Consultants Advance Standards for Excellence® Mission

Licensed Consultant Logo

Contact: Amy Coates Madsen
Director, Standards for Excellence Institute®

Baltimore, MD – November 19, 2015 The Standards for Excellence Institute, an initiative designed to help nonprofit organizations operate more ethically and accountably, announces its 2015 Class of Licensed Consultants. Recently completing the intensive, three-day training, class members are now licensed in every aspect of the Standards for Excellence program and are capable of assisting nonprofits nationwide.

Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants use their new, extensive knowledge of the multi-faceted initiative to help nonprofits strengthen their governance practices and exceed the rising demand for nonprofit accountability. They provide nonprofit organizations with organizational assessments, consulting, training, and assistance in the application process for national Standards for Excellence accreditation. Licensed Consultants may also use the Standards for Excellence training curricula and educational materials in all areas where the Institute does not have replication partners nationwide. Many licensed consultants will also work with licensed replication partners.

Dan McDermott, a new Licensed Consultant based in Easton, Maryland, offered, “The Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Training was the best professional development opportunity that I have taken advantage of in my 26 years of nonprofit leadership. The training provided a road map that is easy to follow to ensure nonprofit success, accountability, ethical practice and enhanced public engagement. The Standards for Excellence Institute forged a network of like-minded nonprofit leaders who are committed to changing the world. The team that ran the training is amazing and it is hard not rate the entire experience as a 5 out of 5.”

Heather Iliff, President and CEO of the Standards for Excellence Institute, shared that, “We are thrilled to welcome this outstanding group of highly accomplished individuals into our Licensed Consultant consortium. This year’s class comes at a time when more nonprofit organizations are seeking ways to operate by the highest standards in nonprofit management and governance.”

lct2015 class

The Licensed Consultant Program has grown each year since its inception in 2006. A searchable directory of consultants can be found on the Institute’s website.

Here are the most recent Licensed Consultants:

Signe Bell, Wilmington, DE
Marla Bobowick, Washington, DC
Alayna Buckner, Washington, DC
Patrick (P.J.) Chambers, Aberdeen, MD
Jacki Coyle, Silver Spring, MD
Kim Hildred, Alexandria, VA
Robin Hindsman Stacia, Psy.D, Atlanta, GA
Jessica Kohnen, Baltimore, MD
David Kubacki, Wilmington, DE
Ruth Louie, Baltimore, MD
Mika Marumoto, Bethesda, MD
Robert McCreary, Wilmington, DE
Daniel McDermott, Easton, MD
Arshad Merchant, Bethesda, MD
Mala Nagarajan, Rockville, MD
Brett Newberger, Owings Mills, MD
Jane O’Leary, Baltimore, MD
Candace Osunsade, Baltimore, MD
Yvonne Petersen, Christiansted, VI
Michael Piraino, Bainbridge Island, WA
Jan Santolla, Dayton, MD
Pattie Tingle, Salisbury, MD
Robert Whitmore, D.Ed., Greencastle, PA
Rosann Wisman, Washington, DC

In addition to these independent consultants, Jessica Pfau of Ardmore, OK and S’Neta Benefield of Silver Spring, MD participated on behalf of licensed Standards for Excellence replication partners the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits and the American Nurses Association, respectively. Standards for Excellence replication partners are licensed to use all program materials, including the Standards for Excellence code, educational resources, training curricula, accreditation program materials and public relations and public education information in a geographically defined area or for a specific group of affiliates, chapters, or related organizations.

The Standards for Excellence Institute will offer the next Licensed Consultant program in the fall of 2016.  For information on applying to participate, complete the online request for information form.

The Institute, an operating division of Maryland Nonprofits, uses the Standards for Excellence program as its vehicle for effective change. The Standards for Excellence program works to help nonprofit organizations act ethically and accountably in their management and governance, while enhancing the public’s trust in the nonprofit sector.  To learn more, visit

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Pennsylvania Sealholders Celebrate Standards for Excellence at Annual Conference


Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Standards for Excellence® Replication Partner Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) recently held their Standards for Excellence Annual Conference in on September 21 and 22, 2015. During the conference, Standards for Excellence accredited and recognized organizations were asked “How has the Standards for Excellence program impacted your organization?” Below are some of their responses:

“The standards have enabled us to be seen as a transparent and best practice driven organization by our donors, key stakeholders, and the community as a whole. Guided by the standards, we have been able to enhance our governance policies, fundraising and communication with donors. Through the improvements we have made in our program evaluation methods, we have been able to strengthen our appeal when developing our fundraising message, resulting in increased contributions!” Nikki Schnovel, Executive Director, Berks Connections Pretrial Services, accredited since 2007.

“Moving through the Standards for Excellence accreditation process with PANO was an experience of affirmation, teamwork and growth.  The Standards enabled us to both reinforce and strengthen our organization, to achieve our ultimate goal of providing the highest quality services to individuals in need.” Mike Robb, Executive Director, Center for Community Resources, accredited in 2015.

“Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council has adopted a number of new policies which have strengthened our governance. The process has also encouraged us to focus board members’ time on the strategic issues that will determine the future of the organization.” Don Block, Executive Director, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, accredited since 2007.

“Pearl S. Buck International Inc. prides itself on its ethics, effectiveness, accountability and transparency which we believe is our responsibility to our constituents who include board, staff and donors.  The Standards for Excellence reflects this belief and provides confidence in the organization that is required in today’s environment.” Janet Mintzer, President and CEO, Pearl S. Buck International, accredited since 2012.

“The investment we made into the organization translates into a better combined mission and vision, a better future story, more time and ability to do the work well, and more and better transparency in the community.  It was both a wonderful experience and a huge win for the agency, our staff and Board, and the families we serve!” Megan Shreve, Executive Director , South Central Community Action Program, accredited in 2015.

PANO has been a Standards for Excellence replication partner since 2001 and offers training, resources and accreditation and recognition to nonprofit organizations throughout Pennsylvania. Presently, 34 organizations in Pennsylvania are accredited or recognized under PANO’s Standards for Excellence program. To learn more about Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, contact Tish Mogan at (717) 236-8584, or visit

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4 Mistakes that Doom your Nonprofit’s Information Design

Susan Larsen:

Our friends at GuideStar recently posted an informative blog on effective ways to communicate your nonprofit’s data visually when you lack professional design resources. The post, written by Matthew Scharpnick, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Elefint Designs, outlines four common mistakes that “Doom Your Nonprofit’s Information Design.”

Originally posted on GuideStar Blog:

Most nonprofits aren’t blessed with their own in-house design teams. Resources are tight, so when it’s time to create an infographic for a report or a chart for your website, the task often falls on someone who isn’t trained in design.4 Mistakes that Doom your Nonprofit's Information Design

If you’re that person, the task can be daunting. And the results aren’t always pretty.

As the co-founder of a design firm that works with nonprofits, I’ve seen a lot of do-it-yourself information design projects that could have been improved if they had only aimed to avoid making 1 or more of the 4 most common mistakes:


When you’re tasked with designing an infographic or other data visualization, you should aim to organize your presentation around one main point — often something that is interesting or surprising.

You then build your piece around showing that key point and support that point with no more than…

View original 558 more words

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Kathy Westcoat, President and CEO of Sealholder HealthCare Access Maryland, Discusses Their Work on NPR Affiliate


Kathy Westcoat, president and CEO of Standards for Excellence sealholder HealthCare Access Maryland, talks about their mission to provide support to the estimated 16,000 uninsured people who live in the Baltimore region on Midday with Sheilah Kast. Midday is a daily public affairs program that airs on WYPR, Baltimore’s NPR affiliate.

Listen here.

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Standards for Excellence Institute Announces Newest Partner, Alliance for Better Nonprofits

For Immediate Release
October 30, 2015

Baltimore, MD – The Alliance for Better Nonprofits, a membership-based organization headquartered in Knoxville, TN serving nonprofits in 25 East Tennessee counties, is the newest Replication Partner of the Standards for Excellence Institute.

The Standards for Excellence® is a national initiative designed to promote the highest standards of nonprofit governance, management, and operations. As a Replication Partner, Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN) will deliver the Standards for Excellence educational resources, expertise, and programming to East Tennessee’s nonprofit community.

ABN President, Chris Martin said, “Once a nonprofit joins, ABN provides a unique opportunity for members to learn, grow and engage. They’ll have a chance to connect with nonprofit peers, experts and supporters committed to making this community stronger.”

Nonprofits of all sizes can benefit from the content-rich training, assessment tools, resource materials, and technical assistance provided through Standards for Excellence program. ABN’s courses, programs, and consulting services are designed to enable progress in the Standards for Excellence criteria.

Alliance for Better Nonprofits is offering a Standards for Excellence assessment to their members at no cost ($500/Non-Members). The assessment provides a road map for nonprofits to strengthen their organization through targeted training and consulting.

Additionally, organizations in eastern Tennessee who are interested in demonstrating they recognize and abide by the Standards for Excellence code can apply for accreditation through ABN. Nonprofit organizations in the region must be members of ABN to pursue Standards for Excellence accreditation.

In January 2016, a free workshop will be offered to ABN members that will provide an overview of the six major topic areas in the Standards for Excellence ethics and accountability code. The class will also review the application process for nonprofits interested in pursuing accreditation.

Nonprofits in East Tennessee can learn more at or contact Dan Myers, Interim Consulting Director, at (865) 524-2774 or For more information on the Standards for Excellence Institute, contact Amy Coates Madsen, Director at (410) 727‐1726 ext. 2314 or at

About Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN)

Image result for alliance for better nonprofits

The goal of Alliance for Better Nonprofits is to walk with nonprofits in the eastern Tennessee region on their journey toward efficiency and effectiveness through training, consulting and resources, including the nationally recognized Standards for Excellence program.

Several East Tennessee philanthropic institutions partnered with community leaders to create ABN. Knoxville Leadership Foundation (KLF) is spearheading the startup with lead partners the United Way of Greater Knoxville and the East Tennessee Foundation. Additional supporters include The Haslam Family Foundation, Pilot Flying J, Clayton Foundation, Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee, Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville, Jenny and Randy Boyd, Scripps Networks Interactive, Home Federal Bank and the University of Tennessee.

ABN’s services and programs are modeled after three nonprofit centers across the country, including the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) in Nashville, Greenlights in Austin, TX and Standards for Excellence with Maryland Nonprofits. ABN will focus on training, consulting and networking for nonprofit staff, board members and volunteers.

Read the official press release

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