Standards Self Assessment Introduction

Congratulations on starting your journey to assess your organization's adherence to the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector. This is a commitment to excellence and we value your commitment and effort. This self-assessment is meant to measure your organization's current adherence to the benchmarks in the Standards for Excellence code. Completing this assessment does not give an organization accreditation, as this is decided through an application process and objective evaluators, but is the first step in the process. The foundation of the Standards for Excellence program is the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.

  • It identifies 6 major areas of nonprofit governance and management which contain 27 different topic areas.
  • Each topic area includes benchmarks that provide a structured approach to building capacity, accountability, and sustainability in your organization.
  • This assessment asks you to review your organization in each of these areas. The final report helps the organization identify where work needs to be done in order to apply for accreditation.

Instructions for the Self-Assessment:

1. Read each section and consider each benchmark related to your organization. Mark whether or not your organization exhibits each individual benchmark at this time. In order to start the assessment, you will need to insert your organization's federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) to keep this handy. (Tip:  This is found on the top of the first page of your organization's Federal Tax Form, the Form 990).

2. You will need 20 to 30 minutes at a minimum to complete the assessment. Due to the variety of topics addressed in this assessment, often times, nonprofit leaders will find that they may need to check with colleagues in the organization in order to complete this assessment.  As a result, in some cases, the assessment cannot be completed in one sitting. 

3. You may come back and complete this assessment at any time. To do this, click "Save" at the top of the form. A link for future use will be sent to you.

4. Tip: The final report will be most helpful if you answer each question in each section. If you leave a section blank, it will not appear on the report.

5. When you have completely finished, click "Submit". You will be able to download your Standards for Excellence Self Assessment report.

6. Following your completion of this assessment, you will receive another copy of the Standards for Excellence Self Assessment report. The report will show you where your organization stands now and what work needs to be done to seek Standards for Excellence accreditation.

7. Your organization's results will be shared with the Institute but will not be released unless you provide permission to do so. Results may be reported in the aggregate without identifying the organizations participating.  If you have questions, please contact

Contact Information

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