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Standards for Excellence | August 30, 2022

Dunleavy’s Commitment to PANO’s Standards for Excellence Breaks a Record

If you happen to read the signature line on Dunleavy & Associate staff emails you will notice the words “Standards for Excellence Pennsylvania Licensed Consultant.”  Securing that license for every Dunleavy team member is essential for Nancy Dunleavy, Founder & CEO, Dunleavy & Associates. “In addition to maintaining values, ethics and good governance, providing our professionals with the tools and resources to guide our clients has become increasingly important.”

Dunleavy & Associates holds the record for being the organization with the most licensed members.

The Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) is a statewide membership organization which supports thousands of nonprofits.  PANO is licensed by the national Standards for Excellence Institute to provide Standards for Excellence® training to meet the highest standards, legal requirements, and regulatory compliance of nonprofit governance, management, and operations.

Twenty years ago, Tish Mogan was hired as Standards for Excellence Director and developed and implemented the national Standards for Excellence Program. “The Standards for Excellence Ethics and Accountability training covers all areas of nonprofit management from Mission, Strategy, Evaluation, Leadership, Legal, Ethics, Finance, Resource Development, Public Awareness to Public Policy. There are many legal requirements that we cover along with practices that can assist organizations in becoming more transparent and sustainable. It is a comprehensive program that makes sure consultants are familiar with all areas of nonprofit management.”

“I became aware of the standards when Tish became the Executive Director,” says Dunleavy. “In the beginning PANO was more like a Chamber of Commerce. Today, in addition to ongoing important education, PANO is immersed in advocacy around DEI and racial injustice. They stay current and up to date.”

Anne Gingerich, is going into her ninth year as PANO Executive Director. “I have a deep appreciation for the knowledge and information offered through the Standards for Excellence® program. Our current review of policies and practices through a racial justice lens keeps us in a continual place of learning and growth; I find it oddly grounding to identify how to get it right, rather than always being right.”

How does obtaining a license work?

Not everyone is invited to become a licensed consultant. After the initial application, Tish Mogan reviews your professional references and after careful consideration she makes the decision. Once vetted, new applicants must attend Two (2) full day workshops or complete a series of guided webinars. An additional half-day session, focusing on the management of the consulting program is required, as well as annual update sessions.

PANO membership continues to grow and has come a long way since it began in 1984, originally as the Delaware Valley Council of Agencies.

Mogan explains, “When PANO implemented Standards for Excellence in 2002, we were at 325 members and grew to over 700 members within three years. We attribute that to many free resources including 27 Standards for Excellence Educational Resource Packets available to PANO members. These packets contain good educational content and sample policies, templates, checklists, etc. that avoid having nonprofits not “reinvent the wheel” and focus more on mission and programs. Due, in part, to building collaborative partnerships and programming now offered in all areas of the Commonwealth, we are now approximately 1,000 members.”

Dunleavy client Marcella Schankweiler, Founder and CEO of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation is also a PANO member. “To best effectuate its mission, a nonprofit must ensure that it prescribes to best practices related to program, advancement, and operations.  Accreditation by PANO Standards for Excellence safeguards these best practices and puts mission, impact, and integrity at the forefront of the organization! “

Milena Oberti-Lanz is the Executive Director of a Standards for Excellence accredited organization, Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County and Board Secretary and Chair for the Funders for Excellence Committee. “When I meet with funders as the leader of the of the organization, I feel 100 percent confident. I know that at any time my team knows the latest laws, how to manage our website – all the resources for a non-profit including training. Nonprofit leaders are perceived differently when they know the organization is in compliance – it is easier to fund.”

When COVID-19 emerged in 2020, nonprofit organizations were hard hit. Like most associations, PANO had to find inventive methods to remain engaged with members. “When the pandemic came online, we realized that if we couldn’t be here for our members during a crisis, we might as well close up shop.  Through the pandemic, we had record number of participants joining “just-in-time” online workshops, about remote workplaces, the Paycheck Protection Program, and other emergent things that impacted day-to-day work in organizations. Many joined our mindfulness workshops, offered in recognition of workplace stress.   More organizations accessed AskPANO, our nonprofit helpdesk, asking different types of questions than in non-pandemic times.  In addition, we engaged much more with state and federal legislators, saw more collaboration between statewide associations and the philanthropic communities than any time prior, and gathered needed COVID-19 Resources and Racial Justice Resources.”

“PANO frequently refreshes its resources. We trust PANO and have access to the latest information on how to continue to maintain our highest level of excellence, ” says Dunleavy.

In September I will join the next cohort at a six-part Standards for Excellence® Virtual Implementation Workshop, becoming the tenth Dunleavy team member to be licensed.


By Graziella DiNuzzo| August 2022| PANO

About the Author: Graziella DiNuzzo

Graziella DiNuzzo, Engagement Team Leader, is a Standards for Excellence®PA Licensed Consultant. A native New Yorker, Graziella brings over 30 years of communications, event production, marketing, and storytelling experience to Dunleavy. Graziella developed her appreciation for the rewards and challenges of the non-profit world as an Administrator to the Dean at Rockefeller University, where she watched renowned scientists work tirelessly to save lives.

For the past 10 years she has worked as Director of Communications for the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia where she led strategic public relations and marketing campaigns to bring awareness to the region’s economic impact in international trade. Graziella also created creative programing for key signature events, including the Annual  World Trade Centers Day.

Graziella’s career has also included positions as Communications Manager at Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts and Director of Marketing for Cento Fine Foods.  Graziella holds a B.B.A Marketing degree from Iona College.

A lover of jazz and the arts, Graziella is also the co-music producer for a free annual community jazz festival in Philadelphia


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