Standards for Excellence® offers tools and resources to support organizations 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 (click the link for a detailed summary of what’s included in all 27+ Standards for Excellence Educational Resource packets!).
Thank you to our friends at Strategy Solutions, Inc. for sponsoring the Standards for Excellence page.
PANO is on a mission to assess and improve our Standards for Excellence through a racial justice lens. Our goal is to remove implicit bias from the current Standards language and identify where inclusion can be embedded in the policies and practices.
PANO is seeking professionals and/or board members from nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania to join assessment cohorts and lead the change in this important initiative.Learn more
The Standards for Excellence Accreditation and Basics Recognition process provides a comprehensive set of best practices and a roadmap 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.
Standards Accreditation and Basics Recognition strengthen your organization and set 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 the 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.
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!
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aside from being listed on your organization’s website and PANO’s website, all Accredited and Recognized organizations are recognized on GuideStar!
To get started check out our Standards for Excellence Accreditation, Basics and Basics Enhanced Recognition Starter Kit.
Yes. You can fill out this self-assessment checklist to find out where your organization stands.
The Standards for Excellence PA Licensed Consultant Program is a professional development initiative that gives consultants the knowledge, skills, and tools of PANO’s Standards for Excellence program. The training provides facilitation and training skills development and empowers consultants working with organizations seeking to implement the Standards. Learn more about becoming a Standards for Excellence consultant.
Check out the Review Process for Accreditation document.
You can fill out the Peer Reviewer Application here.