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Introducing: Standards for Excellence Institute® Licensed Consultants Class of 2020

Contact: Kat LaTour
Marketing and Communications Assistant, Standards for Excellence Institute®

Baltimore, MD – December 18, 2020 The Standards for Excellence Institute, an initiative designed to help nonprofit organizations operate more ethically and accountably, announces its 2020 Class of Licensed Consultants. Twenty-nine class members hailing from various regions of the country completed the intensive, five-day virtual training seminar and can assist nonprofits nationwide. They bring years of experience to the table and represent organizations from Louisiana to Maryland to Oregon– and many in between.  

Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants use their 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. Many licensed consultants will also work with licensed replication partners.  

Christine A. Dixon, Esq., LL.M - Principal Attorney for Dixon Turnbull, stated that “Attending the Standards of Excellence training was transformational.  As a General Counsel to a non-profit corporation, I am always providing on the spot advice concerning a variety of issues daily.  The Standards of Excellence training not only solidified the knowledge I had, but supplemented in such a way that I am not only more confident, but equipped to assist my clients in their decision making by offering proven examples of non-profit best practices.”

Joan McNamara, Communication Specialist and Business Writer for JJ Consulting, reflected on her experience: "One of my favorite parts of my experience in the 2020 Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant training was the collegiality of the entire group. I entered this program knowing none of the 29 participants from all corners of the country and left with 29 strong connections that I now consider peers and professional mentors. Standards for Excellence® has helped me notably as a new business owner, and I have no doubt that the Standards will help many more organizations thrive in the future.”

Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant Class of 2020 posing for a quick screenshot.

When asked to reflect on her experience during the training, Sharolyn Payton, of Payton Place Coaching and Consulting, remarked Overall, this was a wonderfully enriching and robust training experience. My cohort and peer consultants were brilliant and demonstrated such a remarkable spirit of support and knowledge sharing. I highly recommend this training for any consultant working in the nonprofit sector. This was by far the best training experience I've had, EVER!"

*Participated as a member of a licensed replication partner organization.

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.

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.

Those interested in becoming a licensed consultant have the opportunity to join the 2021 Class can find information and sign up to be notified when applications are available here!


By Amy Coates Madsen | December 18, 2020 | Nonprofit
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About the Author: Amy Coates Madsen

Amy Coates Madsen is the Director of the Standards for Excellence Institute, a national initiative to promote the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, and to facilitate adherence to standards by all organizations. The Standards for Excellence Institute is a program of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations where Amy has served for more than twenty-two years. Amy is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the association’s comprehensive ethics and accountability program and efforts to replicate the program nationally. She serves as a frequent trainer and writer in the areas of board conduct, program evaluation, program replication, fundraising ethics, and nonprofit management. She has taught courses on nonprofit ethics and accountability at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies Certificate Program on Nonprofit Management. She has held positions at the Trenton lobbying firm of the Princeton Public Affairs Group, and the Public Policy Liaison Unit at the world headquarters of Catholic Relief Services. Amy received her Master of Arts in Policy Studies degree from the Johns Hopkins University – Institute for Policy Studies in Baltimore, Maryland; and her Bachelors degree from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Amy is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Amy serves on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT). Amy is a former member of the Disaster Action Team of the Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross and is qualified to provide disaster preparedness training to children and adults. She has also served as the former President of Central Maryland CAN TOO and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the largest United Methodist Church in Baltimore City. She serves on the board of her children’s preschool PTA and is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Amy is currently leading an effort to establish an endowment for the Virginia Tech University Honors Program.