Standards for Excellence ®


Alabama’s nonprofit sector serves the public interest and plays an essential role in our economy. Hard at work strengthening communities across the state, nonprofits enrich our lives in a variety of ways by creating a broad array of benefits to society in fields such as religion, science, economy, health, arts and culture, civil rights, environment and education.

Public investment and confidence drive the success of nonprofit organizations. Individuals, corporation, foundations and government add value to the services that nonprofits provide by investing time, resources and funds.

The Standards for Excellence aims to raise the level of accountability, transparency, and effectiveness of all nonprofit organizations to foster excellence and inspire trust. The Standards for Excellence code provides a framework and step-by-step guidelines to achieve a well-managed and responsibly governed organization.

The code builds upon the legal foundations of nonprofit management, governance, and operations to embrace fundamental values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, compassion, responsibility, and transparency. The code consists of six Guiding Principles in 27 topic areas with specific performance benchmarks that characterize effective, ethical, and accountable organizations. AAN helps the nonprofit sector in Alabama operate in accordance with the Standards of Excellence code by providing educational resources, assistance, and voluntary accreditation process.

AAN encourages all nonprofit organizations to adopt the Guiding Principles of the Standards for Excellence code. By implementing the performance benchmarks in the code, nonprofit organizations will meet the highest ethical standards for effective service in the public interest.