Standards for Excellence Institute > The Standards Matter > Accreditation and Recognition > Renewal
Promoting Excellence and Trust in the Nonprofit Sector
Find a Licensed Consultant    Find Accredited and Recognized Organization

Renewing Your Accreditation or Recognition

Rationale for Renewal
The renewal process is intended to serve as a mechanism to ensure that your organization continues to adhere to the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector in your operations and governance and that you have utilized a continuous improvement process to undertake higher levels of excellence within your own organization. It is our goal to make this renewal process as simple and reasonable as possible.

Standards for Excellence Accreditation Renewal Info Sessions (pre-recorded webinar)

If you are due to renew your accreditation this webinar will be helpful to you. This is a pre-recorded session. Click here to view the webinar.

What Does Renewal Entail?
Because this is considered to be a continuous improvement process, in some cases a policy or procedure that was in place at your last application may no longer be acceptable. In some cases, policies that have not been reviewed since your last application may need to be reviewed again prior to submission to ensure their continued relevance, applicability and compliance with updated laws or regulations. Other matters that may affect what needs to be updated in your application include:

  • There have been changes to the organization’s size, budget, number of employees or volunteers, or other operational structures and processes.
  • The policy or document needs to be updated simply because of the passage of time and changes in leadership.
  • If your organization has undergone a significant change in the organizational structure (e.g., a merger), please describe this process and explain how the organization implements the Standards in its new structure.
Addressing Expectations From a Previous Application
Your application should include information describing how your organization has addressed any expectations from your organization’s previous application. A copy of your latest Standards Seal Award Letter, which includes your expectations, will be provided to you upon request. You may also address any observations made on your previous application.

Application Fee and Licensing Agreement
To maintain your accreditation or recognition you will pay two fees based upon your budget size and membership status. These are your application fee and annual licensing fee. You will be invoiced for these separately.
Application Renewal fee: Paid three years after your initial accreditation, and thereafter every five years.
Licensing fee: Paid annually.
Members of Maryland Nonprofits should click here for a customized fee schedule (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Steps to Renew

  1. Check your license to confirm the end date. your application will be due four months prior to the end of your current license
  2. Create a log in for your organization on our new online application system: and submit your profile and intent to apply with your planned submission date. If your last application was prior to fall 2020 please contact for more details. 
  3. Review the Self-Assessment
  4. Review applicable sample application (linked below)
  5. Make a plan to implement any needed organizational changes
  6. Reach out for help when you need it (Reach out to a member of our team)
  7. Plan to submit your application by your stated deadline

Take our free self-assessment here. This self-assessment contains all of the actual criteria that evaluators use when they are reviewing your application. Other self-assessment options are described here. When you have completed the assessment, you will be able to download a copy to share with other leaders in your organization. The self-assessment will help you identify areas for growth and choose which application process is right for your organization.

Organizations who are currently accredited will need to demonstrate that they meet all of the Standards for Excellence benchmarks by applying for accreditation. Click here for an overview of the application process.
A reference copy of the application form can be found here. Please note this application must be submitted online.
 V2.0 Full Accreditation Application Form

Tiered Recognition
Organizations that are currently recognized at Standards Basics or Standards Basics Enhanced may renew at the same tier or may choose to move up a tier. Click here for an overview of the tiered application process.

Tiers at a Glance Chart (2019 Edition)
Reference copies of the tiered application forms can be downloaded below. Please note, these applications must be submitted online.
Basics Tier
Basics Enhanced Tier
Final Tier (Accreditation)

A full description of the program and process is available in our Accreditation and Recognition Program Procedures Manual.