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Nonprofits and Political Advocacy

 This is part of a special series, brought to you by the Standards for Excellence Institute, to provide nonprofit leaders with a brief nonprofit governance and management tip weekly over the course of 2020. We hope these short tips will be helpful to you and the nonprofits you serve. If you have suggestions for future topics, please forward these to’s an election year and it’s important for nonprofits to understand what they can and can’t do when it comes[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | January 10, 2020 Read More>

Matching High Quality Interns with Nonprofits to Encourage Excellence in Governance and Management

Kelsie Overton formerly ran a program at the Alabama Association of Nonprofits that matched interns with nonprofit organizations seeking Accreditation with the Standards for Excellence. She is now a litigation associate practicing at Bradley.  She recently shared her experience with the Institute. When I was working at the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, our CEO, Shannon Ammons, noticed a barrier for many nonprofit organizations. Though they wanted to become accredited with the Standards for[…]
By Lydia Alcock | December 20, 2019 Read More>

Announcing the 2019 Class of Licensed Consultants

The Standards for Excellence Institute, an initiative designed to help nonprofit organizations operate more ethically and accountably, announces its 2019 Class of Licensed Consultants. Twenty-nine class members hailing from nine states recently completed the intensive, three-day training seminar and can assist nonprofits nationwide. They bring years of experience to the table and represent organizations from California to Maryland – and many in between.    Standards for Excellence Licensed[…]
By Lydia Alcock | November 26, 2019 Read More>

Three Tips to Prevent Conflicts of Interest at Your Nonprofit

From Amy Coates Madsen, Director of the Standards for Excellence There have been a series of high-profile conflict of interest situations and ethical challenges in the nonprofit sector in the last few weeks and months. To many, these high-profile stories have served as a wake-up call to nonprofit board and staff leaders that they should be more focused on their governance in a way that is as ethical as possible. Here are three quick tips to start your journey of preventing conflicts of interest[…]
By Lydia Alcock | August 30, 2019 Read More>

A Podcast Interview with Amy Coates Madsen

Last September, Standards for Excellence Director Amy Coates Madsen sat down with Ted Bilich of The Nonprofit Resilience and Growth Podcast to discuss what the Standards are and how nonprofit organizations benefit from implementing them. The podcast - along with timestamps - can be found here. […]

If Ruminating on Risk Inspires Worry, You’re Doing it Wrong

Pondering risk should inspire confidence and excitement about the possibilities, not excessive handwringing. Here are some practical ways to turn your risk worries into confidence-building conversations.[…]
By Melanie Lockwood Herman | April 30, 2019 Read More>

Four Things Your Nonprofit’s Board of Directors Should Do to Start Out the New Year by Embracing Best Practices

There is more to running an ethical, accountable, and transparent nonprofit than just legal and accounting requirements. Boards of directors can set the tone for the organization by conducting regular reviews of core governing and operating policies and procedures. Check out these four things your board of directors can do to embrace ethical, accountable, and transparent values in the new year.[…]
By Amy Coates Madsen | January 31, 2019 Read More>

Top Takeaways from Licensed Consulting Training

Ron Barrett, COGENCY GLOBAL's Vice President of Nonprofit Services, reflects on his experience participating in the 2018 Standards for Excellence Institute Licensed Consultant Training.[…]
By Lydia Alcock | January 10, 2019 Read More>

2019 Class of Licensed Consultants Advance Standards for Excellence® Mission

The Standards for Excellence Institute, an initiative designed to help nonprofit organizations operate more ethically and accountably, announces its 2018 Class of Licensed Consultants. […]
By Lydia Alcock | December 13, 2018 Read More>

Failure to Address Succession Planning by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

A long-tenured executive director is uncertain about how much longer he intends to stay with his organization and has talked with a few members of the staff about the possibility of leaving. He has not spoken to the board or stated a clear intention, and the board is hesitant to address the issue out of respect. How can this board and executive director act ethically? Read this article from the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, a Replication Partner based in Santa Clara, CA, to find out.   […]
By Lydia Alcock | October 26, 2018 Read More>
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