The Standards for Excellence® Code

Standards You Can Trust

The Standards for Excellence® program is based upon The Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector®. Developed by a team of volunteers from the nonprofit sector several years ago, this code is the very first comprehensive code of ethics for the entire nonprofit sector.   The Standards for Excellence® Code is based on core values of honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, compassion, and responsibility.  In sum, the standards serve as a model for how the most well managed and responsibly governed nonprofit organizations should operate.  The Standards for Excellence® Code covers eight principle areas that incorporate over 50 performance standards. Areas covered include:

  • Mission and Program nationalstandardspage1

  • Governing Body

  • Conflict of Interest

  • Human Resources

  • Financial and Legal

  • Openness

  • Fundraising            

  • Public Affairs and Public Policy 

The Institute recommends the code as required reading for all nonprofit boards, staff, donors, management/policy/social work students, and others. To date, approximately 60,000 copies of the Standards for Excellence® Code  have been printed and distributed.

Download a free copy or order the code in  a user-friendly, spiral bound booklet at

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