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Articles for category Mission and Program


Saying No to Proxy Voting on your Board

Nonprofits are facing tough choices during this challenging time.As we discussed in last week’s 52 Tips blog post, nonprofit board members are needed now more than ever. Organizations are stretched, and need strong support from their governing bodies. The Standards for Excellence code offers the important tenet that “Board members are in a position of trust to ensure that resources are used to carry out the mission of the organization.” Boards cannot allow a lapse in service, especially now when[…]

Board Members: We Need You Now More Than Ever Before

We are living in unprecedented and uncertain times. For many of us, the normal cycle of work and life has been turned completely upside down. Nonprofits of all sizes are wrestling with more challenging and difficult decisions than they ever have before.To weather the current situation, we must engage in our organizational best thinking, from staff and board leadership. Every resource at our disposal should be deployed to meet the challenges. Nonprofit staff members cannot and should not be[…]

Purchasing During COVID-19

Buying supplies, equipment, and mission-critical resources have always been an art as well as a science for many nonprofits. Nonprofit leaders strive to be the best stewards of their resources and work diligently to get the most for their money while having just the right amount of inventory on hand at all times.In these times, when we’re all in the midst of the pandemic, the purchasing needs have likely changed dramatically for a lot of nonprofits. For nonprofits providing around the clock care[…]

52 tips in 52 Weeks: Check in with your board—Update their profiles

Since the Standards for Excellence program’s inception, nonprofits have received advice about how to run their board meetings, recruit new members, and avoid conflicts of interest, just to name a few of the ways we seek to strengthen boards. The Leadership section of the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector is a comprehensive section and includes benchmarks and best practices of the full range of board and staff leadership measures, as well as[…]

Valley Medical Center Foundation

Standards for Excellence Seal Holder, The Valley Medical Center Foundation, is working hard in the Silicon Valley to meet vital community health needs for the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital, and St. Louise Regional Hospital—check out their blog here. To our friends at the Valley Medical Center Foundation, we are proud of the amazing ways you are serving.[…]

Data Security

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, nonprofits across the country are facing challenges that none of us have ever had to ponder, let alone tackle, before. Issues related to assisting those we serve, our staff, and volunteer teams are perhaps more pronounced than ever. Along with all of the new challenges and difficulties, there are a host of vital management and operations tasks that have always been on our plates—and continue to be on the proverbial “to do list.” Certainly, issues[…]

My Internship Experience

My name is Colin Fedor, and I am an English Major at Stevenson University and Volunteer Intern with the Maryland Nonprofit Standards for Excellence Institute in the Spring of 2020. My experience as an intern with the Maryland Nonprofit has been anything but normal, but it has provided me a greater amount experience than I could have hoped for. I started working with Maryland Nonprofit in mid-January of 2020 and I couldn’t have asked for a better start. To begin with, I was provided with projects[…]
By Colin Fedor | April 29, 2020 Read More>

Understanding Budgeting in Uncertain Times

YIKES! It’s Budget Time!You are all doing incredible work, finding ways to continue to provide vital services AND maintain viability even when confronting the reality that the current fiscal year’s budget is gaining greater irrelevance under the extraordinarily ‘abnormal’ operating conditions of the COVID-19 response. The current reality of what predictable expenses and revenue are, is not only different, but wholly unimagined.So then, what does a healthy & realistic budget process look like[…]
By Justin Pollock | April 29, 2020 Read More>

Moving Ahead with Board Orientation

Moving Ahead with Board Orientation?In this time when we are all struggling with so many issues related to the pandemic, some of the more “regular” issues (tasks that we typically address annually as part of the regular flow of business) also surface as unexpected challenges.  We know that for many nonprofits, the spring is the time when important onboarding takes place for incoming board members.  Can this occur in the midst of the pandemic with stay-at-home orders and no in-person meetings? […]
By Amy Coates Madsen | April 24, 2020 Read More>

Fundraising and Working with Donors During the COVID-19 Crisis

In the midst of the current coronavirus pandemic, many nonprofits are faced with tough choices related to raising the necessary resources to meet their missions and support the great needs of the communities they serve. The Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector provides guidance for how organizations should act when planning resource development and states, “An organization’s resource development program should be maintained on a foundation of[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | April 17, 2020 Read More>
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