December 18, 2012 | Back to: Local News

Nevada City-based nonprofit first in state to garner national certification

A Nevada City-based nonprofit is the first California organization to be awarded a Standards for Excellence certification by a prominent nationwide nonprofit initiative.

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which acts as a resource to strengthen and sustain local nonprofit organizations, announced it had been awarded the designation Tuesday.

The Standards for Excellence Institute’s certification is a peer-review based accreditation program for nonprofit organizations that wish to demonstrate they are adhering to high standards of effectiveness and accountability.

The designation is much like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for the nonprofit industry.

“Becoming certified provides a blueprint for excellence for our own development, and one we strongly encourage nonprofits in Nevada County to follow,” said Gail Johnson Vaughan, the Center ‘s vice chair, in a statement.

The Standards for Excellence program was conceived and launched to strengthen nonprofit governance and management, while also enhancing the public trust in the nonprofit sector, according to the Standards for Excellence Institute.

“We felt it was important for us to beta test the certification before recommending it to our members,” Vaughan said.

“Achieving certification sets our organization apart and gives funders a concrete measure of our willingness to go the extra mile.”

More than 200 organizations, primarily on the East Coast and Midwest, have received the Standards for Excellence designation, according to the Standards for Excellence Institute.

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership is the only nonprofit with the certification in California — and second on the West Coast.

The Standards for Excellence outlines eight guiding principles and 55 performance benchmarks that nonprofit organizations must follow.

The certification ensures that nonprofits “model and maintain excellent organizational policies, practices and procedures,” said Bill Neff, the chair of Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s (CNL) board of directors.

“CNL wants to practice what it preaches in its workshops and seminars that address how organizations should be managed,” Neff said, adding that the certification also improves
The Center’s competitiveness for grants and ensures that it effectively manages resources.

Dennis Fournier, a past chairperson on the board, added that the certification requires the Standards for Excellence Institute objectively review each organization.

Founded in 2003 as a catalyst, CNL focuses on best practice workshops, executive leadership seminars, on-site coaching and mentoring and public advocacy for nonprofit organizations and individuals in Nevada County and the Sierra Nevada region of California.

For more information on the The Center for Nonprofit Leadership, visit CNLSierra.

The Union staff

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The Union Updated Dec 19, 2012 06:54AM Published Dec 18, 2012 08:40PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.