January 28, 2016

Four local nonprofits earn national recognition for organizational excellence

Following an in-depth process to align their organizations with best practices for organizational management, a cohort of four local nonprofits serving the Tri-Cities area have earned national recognition from the Standards for Excellence Institute. The groups include Crater Community Hospice, NAMI Central Virginia, NAMI Virginia and Virginia’s Gateway Region. With funding from The Cameron Foundation, all four organizations participated in a rigorous process during 2015 to receive specialized training from the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence in preparation for application to the Standards for Excellence program.

The recognition, Standards for Excellence: Basics Tier, focuses on best practice standards in legal and regulatory compliance. If the organizations choose to pursue recognition at the next level, they will need to reach benchmarks in governance and management practices. The third and final tier, full accreditation, is achieved after a thorough independent review of the organization’s practices in three stages and reflects an organization’s adherence to high, national standards of ethics and accountability.

“There is research to show that accredited nonprofit organizations benefit from greater public support,” noted The Cameron Foundation’s President, J. Todd Graham. “Last year, we introduced some new initiatives as part of our capacity-building redesign here at the Foundation. This investment to enable local nonprofits to pursue the Standards for Excellence program is one way we are building on our earlier work to strengthen the nonprofit sector serving this region. For the four groups in the first Cameron cohort to earn this national status is a proud accomplishment for all of us,” he added.

The Standards for Excellence organizational development process was facilitated by staff at the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence, based in Richmond, and was conducted in Petersburg. The four participating organizations also were honored with the Foundation’s Handy L. Lindsey Award for Excellence in Organizational Management in October 2015 during the Foundation’s annual ceremony.

In 2014, The Cameron Foundation evaluated the investments in local, nonprofit capacity-building that it had made over the previous eight years totaling $10 million. Cameron’s new strategy aims to achieve greater community impact. The updated strategy includes a new arrangement with the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence to provide a host of organizational development services to local nonprofits, engaging Duke University to conduct nonprofit management and governance courses onsite at The Cameron Foundation, and bringing national speakers to the region through the Cleveland A. Wright Lecture Series.


Founded in 2003, The Cameron Foundation is a private foundation that was formed from the proceeds of the sale of Southside Regional Medical Center by the Hospital Authority of the City of Petersburg. Its service area includes the region historically served by the hospital and includes the cities of Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Hopewell; the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George and Sussex; and the portion of Chesterfield County lying south of Route 10. Since it began grantmaking in 2004, it has awarded $72.5 million to organizations serving residents of this area. Through its work, the Foundation strives to transform the Tri-Cities and surrounding counties into a healthy, vibrant and economically vital region by strategically leveraging resources for community impact.


The mission of PNE is to empower, educate, and mobilize nonprofits, community members, and partners who provide resources and seek solutions that advance the Greater Richmond Region. As a local resource center for the nonprofit community, the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE) provides nonprofits in Central Virginia with the tools they need to improve their effectiveness and efficiency for greater impact. The four affiliated programs provide a comprehensive support system for the nonprofit sector: HandsOn matches people and their interests to volunteer opportunities; ConnectVA links individuals with ideas, information, and resources; Nonprofit Learning Point provides leadership and professional development training for those working in the nonprofit sector; and Organizational Solutions offers in-depth organizational and board development services. PNE engages over 11,000 individuals and 1,000 organizations annually in this work. More information about PNE can be found at pnerichmond.org or by telephone at 804 330 7027.

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