Standards for Excellence®

The first program of its kind in the United States, the Standards for Excellence® Institute is a national initiative that promotes the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, and facilitates adherence to those standards by all nonprofits. The Arc is a replication partner of the Standards for Excellence® program, a comprehensive system of nonprofit sector self-regulation as its vehicle for effective change. The Standards for Excellence® program works to strengthen the ability of nonprofit organizations to act ethically and accountably in their management and governance, while enhancing the public's trust in the nonprofit sector.

Chapters of The Arc have the opportunity to access the Standards for Excellence® program for free directly through The Arc’s replication partnership with the Standards for Excellence Institute.

The Standards for Excellence® set a high benchmark that exceed the minimum legal requirements by establishing a new standard to quantify how well managed and responsibly governed nonprofits should operate. Comprehensive educational materials, public education efforts, and a certification program were developed to support the Standards.

The Standards cover eight areas of nonprofit operations:

  • Mission and Program
  • Governing Body
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Human Resources
  • Financial and Legal
  • Openness
  • Fundraising
  • Public Affairs and Public Policy

Download a copy of the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector and see what the Standards for Excellence are all about.

Affiliated chapters of The Arc have exclusive access the 24 Educational Packets and template resources in the For Chapters section of this website.