Standards for Excellence

Standards for Excellence® offers tools and resources to support nonprofits in meeting the highest standards, legal requirements, and regulatory compliance of nonprofit governance, management, and operations. Through the Standards, PANO offers an “Accreditation” and “Basics” Recognition process, trainings, the Standards for Excellence Ethics and Accountability Code, and educational resources.

What, Why, & How

What is Standards for Excellence Accreditation and Basics Recognition?

The Standards for Excellence Accreditation and Basics Recognition process provides a comprehensive set of best practices and a road-map for your organization to implement them. Basics Recognition helps organizations set strong policies and procedures in place for good governance, management, and legal compliance. Accreditation builds upon Basics and helps to ensure your organization is inclusive of and attentive to the communities you serve, creates long-range strategic and sustainability plans, and more.

Why become Accredited or Basics Recognized?

Standards Accreditation and Basics Recognition strengthens your organization and sets you apart as a top performer in your field. For organizations that complete Accreditation and Basics Recognition, the process is transformative, providing a means to create a more engaged and confident board and staff, a stronger foundation for achieving mission, and promote trust in your community and with donors. Basics Recognition focuses on legal and regulatory compliance, Accreditation focuses on both legal and regulatory compliance and best practices.

How does my organization become Accredited or Basics Recognized?

To get started check out our Standards for Excellence Accreditation and Basics Recognition Starter Kit. Complete the self-assessment to see which Standards you currently have in place. Applications are completed online. Instructions for how to set up an account are in the Starter Kit. Once you have an account you can apply for Accreditation or Basics Recognition!

FAQ

How much does Accreditation and Basics Recognition cost?

You may pay the full Accreditation fee at the time of submission or select a payment-plan option. The payment-plan option entails a five percent administrative fee. (This plan provides the opportunity for organizations to spread Accreditation costs over multiple years. It is our hope that this will enable you to maintain your Accreditation as well as allow for easier budgeting for Accreditation.)

PANO Member Accreditation Fee Rates (Based on the annual budget of applicants’ organizations)

  • Up to $500,000 – $1,700 (full application fee) | $595 (yearly fee three-years) | $355 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $500,001-$1,000,000 – $2,400 (full application fee) | $840 (yearly fee three-years) | $505 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $1,000,001-$2,500,000 – $3,000 (full application fee) | $1,050 (yearly fee three-years) | $630 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $2,500,001-$5,000,000 – $3,500 (full application fee) | $1,225 (yearly fee three-years) | $735 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $5,000,001 – $10,000,000 – $4,100 (full application fee) | $1,435 (yearly fee three-years) | $860 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $10,000,001 – $15,000,000 – $4,700 (full application fee) | $1,645 (yearly fee three-years) | $985 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • $15,000,001 – $20,000,000 – $5,500 (full application fee) | $1,925 (yearly fee three-years) | $1,155 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)
  • Over $20,000,000 – $6,300 (full application fee) | $2,205 (yearly fee three-years) | $1,325 (re-accreditation yearly fee five-years)

Non-Member Accreditation Fee Rate (A flat fee)
All non-member organizations: $7,000

Standards Basic Recognition – Basics Legal and Regulatory Review (Based on the annual budget of applicants’ organizations)

  • Less than $50,000 – $350 (PANO Member) | $560 (Non-Member)
  • $50,001 to $100,000 – $375 (PANO Member) | $600 (Non-Member)
  • $100,001 to $300,000 – $425 (PANO Member) | $680 (Non-Member)
  • $300,001 to $500,000 – $450 (PANO Member) | $720 (Non-Member)
  • $500,001 to $1,000,000 – $500 (PANO Member) | $800 (Non-Member)
  • $1,000,001-$2,500,000 – $575 (PANO Member) | $920 (Non-Member)
  • $2,500,001-$5,000,000 – $625 (PANO Member) | $1,000 (Non-Member)
  • $5,000,001 – $10,000,000 – $700 (PANO Member) | $1,120 (Non-Member)
  • $10,000,001 – $15,000,000 – $775 (PANO Member) | $1,240 (Non-Member)
  • $15,000,001 – $20,000,000 – $850 (PANO Member) | $1,360 (Non-Member)
  • Over $20,000,000 – $950 (PANO Member) | $1,520 (Non-Member)

How long does my Accreditation last?

Initial Standards for Excellence Accreditation is valid for three years. As this point, organizations must apply for Renewal of Accreditation, which is then valid for five years.

When is my first payment due?

The first payment for the Accreditation or Renewal is due when the application is submitted. For those choosing the annual payment schedule this will result in two payments within a 12-month period. The initial payment will be applied to the total accreditation fee due.

Are there other requirements to become Accredited or Basic Recognized?

To ensure appropriate understanding of the criteria, organizations must complete one of the following required training options: Guiding Principles Webinar Series (six 1.5-hour online sessions), Standards for Excellence Implementation Workshop (2-day in-person session), or some form of One-on-One training on Accreditation. Training fees range from $100 – $400.

What support is available to ensure an organization remains compliant in between renewals?

There are many resources available for organizations to remain compliant. Organization’s can attend different webinars and trainings, access the Standards for Excellence Educational Resource Packets, and access the Annual Checklist which provides a list of requirements under the Standards that need to be accomplished on an annual basis. This list can be used by all organizations, whether accredited or not.

How can I become involved as an individual?

Individuals can become peer reviewers for the Standards for Excellence Accreditation Program. Learn how here. Individuals can also become Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants. Learn how here.

How is my organization's accreditation or basic recognition recognized?

Aside from being listed on your organization’s website and PANO’s website, all Accredited and Recognized organizations are recognized on GuideStar!

How does my organization become Accredited or Basics Recognized?

Standards for Excellence Accredited Organizations

Standards for Excellence Recognized Organizations