FAQ’s on Standards for Excellence

What are the Standards for Excellence?
The Standards are best practices for nonprofits that were developed by nonprofit leaders in Maryland and now are in place in eight states.  There are eight principles and 55 standards that have been tested around the country.

What will this mean for my nonprofit organization?
The Center for Nonprofit Excellence will be offering Introduction to Standards events starting this fall.  Participants will receive a listing of the Standards and a checklist to review.  Some organizations will want more detailed information and for them we will have an intensive workshop series that explains the best practices. 

Why is it important for local nonprofits to participate?
The nonprofit community is impacted any time one of our nonprofit organizations has success or failure.  Best practices provide a framework for more success.

Who will teach the workshops?
The intensive workshop series was designed by the Standards for Excellence Institute and will be taught by local experts. 

What will it cost?
The introductory classes will be at no charge.  Introductory classes will briefly review all 55 standards and offer a checklist to organizations.

The in-depth clinic series consists of four four-hour sessions and will cost $450 for CNE members and $600 for nonmembers. For this charge, an organization will have two seats at each of the four sessions. Partial scholarships are now available. Click here to apply.

Who should attend?
·        Board members – You have a responsibility to make sure nonprofit organizations follow best practices.

·        Nonprofit Executives – Rate your organization and see if there are areas to re-visit.

·        Nonprofit Staff – Learn the various aspects of nonprofits as you grow in your job.

·        Nonprofit Volunteers – Learn how you can help the organizations that you care about.

·        People considering a career change to nonprofit – Expand your knowledge of nonprofits to prepare yourself for a very rewarding career.

Where have the Standards for Excellence program been implemented?
10 replication partners across the country offer individuals and organizations access to the Standards for Excellence program.  

Ø      Center for Nonprofit Excellence (newest replication partner)

Ø      Community Development Partnership of West Virginia (CDP)

Ø      Georgia Center for Nonprofits                                     

Ø      Idaho Nonprofit Development Center                          

Ø      Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Ø      Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Ø      North Carolina Center for Nonprofits                         

Ø      Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Ø      Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

Ø      Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations


Who is sponsoring this effort in Colorado Springs?
Inasmuch Foundation gave the Center for Nonprofit Excellence a grant to become a replication partner of the Standards for Excellence Institute.  Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado and Community Leadership Fund have generously sponsored scholarships for the clinic series.  BKD,LLP, Pikes Peak United Way, and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are also essential partners in this program.

What is the Colorado Nonprofit Association doing with best practices?
The Colorado Nonprofit Association in Denver is establishing “Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado” as a part of their statewide Colorado Generosity Project.  The preliminary draft of the Principles & Practices appears comprehensive and promising, certainly to be of benefit to any organization who embraces them.  The Colorado Nonprofit Association published their best practices late September 2007 and began its statewide trainings in late October 2007.

Why has the Center for Nonprofit Excellence adopted a different set of standards?
After reviewing both the Colorado-based "Principles & Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Colorado" and the national Standards for Excellence content and programs, CNE determined that Standards for Excellence provides the most “tried and true” program for assisting nonprofits in our community seeking sustainability through best practices.  The Standards program has been tested in many communities and brings with it well-established educational tools to help nonprofits learn and grow.  Utilizing the tool-kits provided by the Standards for Excellence Institute, CNE can efficiently and effectively bring workshops and assistance to our local nonprofits.

What about certification?
Certification is and has been offered through the national organization.  Certification includes an application and peer review process leading to a “seal of approval.”  If the nonprofit community wants local certification for Standards for Excellence, we will add that service at a later date. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence is currently working to become certified.

What about the Better Business Bureau program?
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance is a certification program that donors can use to choose charities.  The local BBB will also give one-on-one advice to nonprofits seeking certification.  Click here to learn more about BBB programs.