At a glance

A comprehensive training developed by the Standards for Excellence Institute and adopted by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in 2007. The program teaches nonprofit leaders foundational practices for effective management of their organizations. Based on feedback from CNE members, this series, traditonally offered in a 16-hour clinic series over eight weeks, is now being offered in a one-day intensive training. 

Who: Designed initially for executive directors and a board representative to attend together, the program also provides valuable training to nonprofit managers and those considering management positions within a nonprofit.

What: Eight primary subject areas—mission and program, governing body, conflict of interest, human resources, financial and legal, openness, fund raising, public affairs and public policy—and 55 standards of operation.

How: Local nonprofit leaders and subject experts have been trained to deliver the material and bring relevance to the program, providing real-world examples and enhancing the presentations with their practical expertise. 

Why Nonprofits Need the Standards for Excellence

The nonprofit sector is under constant scrutiny from the government and the public. The Form 990, an annual disclosure for nonprofits required by the IRS, has greatly increased its disclosure requirements from nonprofits. Websites like and have grown in popularity because they provide public information about charities, which has increased the sector’s transparency to the public. With such close scrutiny, nonprofits must show the public, government, and media that they are doing things right.

The success of nonprofit organizations depends on public confidence and broad public support. The Standards for Excellence provides a strong foundation as well as a clear framework with which to develop and sustain an organization, train staff, and promote public confidence. The Standards for Excellence serves as a model for nonprofit operations and governance.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 719-575-4341.

Upcoming Events

Focus on Excellence: Standards for Excellence in a Day 
Wednesday, April 9, 2013,  8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Tim Gill Center for Public Media, 315 E Costilla, Colorado Springs
Cost: $175 Members; $225 Non-members

This day-long program will equip nonprofit staff and board members with the tools they need to take steps towards excellence in their organizations. Attendees will be expected to accomplish tasks such as the following, whether during the workshop or through CNE hosted implementation follow-up:

  • Develop a well-defined mission and message that ties with programs, resource development & outcome measurements
  • Articulate board expectations more efficiently through revised bylaws
  • Approve a fundraising program that works for your organization & is respectful to donors
  • Address policy issues for staff and volunteers
  • Create an organizational process to identify and deal with conflicts of interest
  • Establish financial policies to protect the organization and its board against fiscal mismanagement
  • Commit to representing your organization through marketing & advocacy