Nonprofits First
Accreditation
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We want your nonprofit to operate at the highest standard of business. This means being able to manage risks, identify financial trends, and demonstrate impact, accountability and management excellence to funders and community stakeholders.

For many organizations, resources are limited and knowledge of best practices in nonprofit management and administration can vary considerably. Nonprofits First created a unified set of administrative standards to support organizations in achieving the highest levels of nonprofit excellence. Our benchmarks meet core requirements of the federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern nonprofits, best practices in management, as well as the expectations of many public and private funders. Through the Accreditation process, the operational capacity of local nonprofit organizations is assessed and strengthened.
 
Led by our Project Leaders and in collaboration with our agency partners, our Accreditation process evaluates standards in a number of key areas, including: board governance, strategic planning, fundraising, risk management, human resources, and financial management. The Accreditation process presents an organization’s leadership with a road map, through resources, links, and sample documents that provide a crucial foundation for building and sustaining a solid infrastructure. To ensure that the process is objective, compliance with Accreditation standards is verified by subject matter experts in each area of review, offering vital third-party confirmation of your organization’s commitment to management excellence.

 

 

 

How does the Accreditation process add value?

The many benefits of Accreditation to your organization, Board of Directors, and other stakeholders include: 

  • Mark of Quality – Accreditation provides a desirable and distinctive mark of quality that establishes your organization’s commitment to accountability, competence and excellence in nonprofit management.
  • Risk Management – Accreditation assures board members, funders and community stakeholders that your organization and its leadership team have conducted a thorough assessment and the safeguards necessary to successfully operate in today’s environment have been integrated into policies and procedures.
  • Continuous Improvement – Accreditation creates a solid foundation for your organization to build upon, as well as a framework to ensure compliance with federal, state, local laws and regulations, and funder-mandated standards and requirements.
  • Assurance of Transparency and Accountability – Accreditation demonstrates to your current and prospective funders that your organization has been rigorously evaluated and has met accepted standards established by and with the sector.
  • Recognition – Accreditation enhances your organization’s reputation and credibility in the community, among your peers, as well as with potential public and private donors.
  • Funding Advantage – Accreditation helps organizations gain greater access to funders and programs that require or strongly prefer Accreditation.

 


   

 How does the Accreditation process work?

Accreditation is an annual process, beginning with an onsite review of all standards in the first year. After initial Accreditation, the next three years consist of a renewal process that looks primarily at your organization's fiscal health and viability. Then, in year five, the cycle begins again with a full Accreditation with onsite review.

The initial process takes anywhere from several months to one year to complete, depending on the capacity and established infrastructure of your organization. The process begins when:

  1. Your organization completes the online P2E™ Toolkit (Pathway to Excellence). Technical assistance from Nonprofits First is provided, when necessary. 
  2. A project leader from Nonprofits First helps your organization prepare for your onsite review.
  3. Executive Volunteer Corps* members from Nonprofits First verify compliance with standards at your onsite review.
  4. The project leader prepares the preliminary and/or final report(s).
  5. The Accreditation review council reviews and makes a final determination on awarding Accreditation; final reporting is completed.

*Executive Volunteer Corps members are peer practitioners with subject matter expertise in the areas of Accreditation. 



 

What does the Accreditation team do?

Our Accreditation team provides the hands-on assistance and tools needed for your organization to become compliant with the standards and successfully complete the Accreditation process.

Each organization requesting Accreditation is assigned one of our dedicated project leaders for guidance.

Throughout our Accreditation process, the project leader will help support your organization by:

  • Preparing a Accreditation milestone and deadline schedule.
  • Responding to questions related to the self-assessment tool P2E Toolkit and provide technical assistance to ensure adequate understanding of given standards.
  • Discussing necessary preparations to ensure a successful onsite review(s).
  • Providing information on available training.
  • Facilitating the onsite review(s) and preparing reports.

 

 


 

 

What does Accreditation cost? 

The pricing for Accreditation in 2016 and 2017 is as follows: 



Contact us if you have questions at 561-214-7435 or accreditation@nonprofitsfirst.org

Complete the form below to learn more about how Accreditation can help your organization.

 

Why the Certification process adds value?

 The many benefits of Certification to your organization, board of directors, and other stakeholders include: 

• Funding Advantage – Helps organizations gain greater access to funders and programs that require or prefer certification. 

• Accountability – Enhances organizational accountability to the funders, donors, stakeholders and public officials.

• Mark of Quality – Provides a desirable and distinctive mark of quality that establishes your organization’s commitment to accountability, competence and excellence.

• Assurance – Demonstrates to your current and prospective funders that your organization has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by and with your sector.

• Recognition – Enhances your organization’s recognition and reputation in the community and among your peers.

• Risk management – Provides peace of mind that your organization has the policies and procedures in place to successfully operate in today’s economy. 

• Simplify – Provides a framework to assure compliance with federal, state, local and funder-mandated standards and requirements.

• Continuous Improvement – Creates a solid foundation for your organization to build upon for continuous improvement.

 

 

How does the Certification process work?

Our certification is a four-year cycle, beginning with an onsite review of all the standards the first year. 

Subsequent to initial certification, the next three years consist of a renewal process that looks primarily at your organization’s fiscal health. Then, upon year five, the cycle begins again with a full onsite review.

The initial process takes anywhere from several months to six months to complete, depending on the size of your organization. 

Here’s how the process starts: 

1. Your organization completes the online P2E™ Toolkit (Pathway to Excellence).

2. A project leader from Nonprofits First prepares for your on-site review.

3. Executive Volunteer Corps* members from Nonprofits First verify compliance with standards at your on-site review.

4. The project leader prepares the preliminary or final report.

5. Second on-site review is conducted, if needed.

6. Final determination and reporting is completed. 

*Executive Volunteer Corps members are peer practitioners from the field who have subject matter expertise in the areas of Certification.  

 

What does Certification cost?

 The pricing for Certification is based on whether your organization completes an Excellent or Sound certification. Please contact us for more details on the cost of certifying your agency.
  

Who is the Certification team?

 Our Certification team provides hands-on assistance and the tools needed for your organization to become compliant with the standards and to successfully complete the Certification process. 

Each organization requesting Certification is assigned one of our dedicated project leaders for guidance. 

Throughout our Certification process, the project leader will help support your organization by:

• Preparing a Certification plan and schedule.

  • • Responding to questions related to the self-assessment tool P2E Toolkit.
  •  

    • Assisting in scheduling and preparing for the on-site review(s).

    • Providing access to mentoring, referrals and training. 

    • Facilitating the on-site review(s) and preparing reports.

     

     

    Contact us if you have questions at 561-214-7435 or certications@nonprofitsfirst.org

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