History of Standards for Excellence®

A History Overview of Standards for Excellence®
  • Standards Program development due to nonprofit scandals in US.

  • Work groups (50-70 core individuals) and significant research and analysis provided many drafts of the Code.

  • More than 10 round tables around the state of Maryland (collectively hundreds of volunteers helped to make the program reality). The final draft of the document represents the culmination of an estimated 2,500 volunteer hours contributed by over a hundred individuals who served on work groups, attended round tables, focus groups, and helped out where needed.  

  • Released the Code in 1998 along with nonprofit education and accreditation process.

  • Announced the first group of organizations certified in 1999.

  • 2001 began efforts to replicate the program in other states.

  • 2004, after a successful five-state, three-year pilot, launched the Standards for Excellence Institute. 

  • It is under the Institute that the Standards for Excellence efforts outside of the state of Maryland take place.

  • In 2005, the Standards for Excellence accreditation program was made available to nonprofits around the country (16 years).

  • In 2006, the first Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant program was held. Consultants help nonprofits become accredited, if desired.

  • In 2007, the first Seal of Excellence was issued to a nonprofit through the Institute. 

  • The Institute’s tiered recognition program issued its first awards in 2012.

  • In 2014, the Institute began offering online application submission and review, the version 2.0 of the Standards was released, and the Seal of Excellence made its first appearance on GuideStar.org.