Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence

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As a follow on to my recent series on 9 Critical Success Factors for Nonprofits I want to share some important information about the upcoming Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management’s 15th Annual Symposium, and in particular the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award which are presented each year to exemplary nonprofit organizations at the Symposium.

This year I again had the privilege of being on the panel which reviews applications for these awards and to select the winners. The opportunity to work together closely with other panelists who have deep knowledge of nonprofit management, and who bring a different perspective to the discussion was a great peer learning experience for us all.

The critical areas of nonprofit management and performance which we examined to assess each organization were:

• Mission and Program

• Leadership and Governance

• Strategy and Innovation

• Human Resources

• Financial Strength and Performance

• Resource Generation and External Relations

• Accountability and Integrity

For each of these categories we used a set of performance criteria which were deemed exemplary and against which we compared each organization’s performance.

These performance criteria set higher standards which are achievable for many nonprofits. Achieving greater performance standards will serve to differentiate your organization from others. This bodes well for development initiatives and will better support capacity building and sustainability, all of which will energize staff and board members, volunteers and other stakeholders.

Beginning with my next blog post, we will drill down on each of the 7 areas listed above, and I’ll provide some actionable steps that your nonprofit can begin taking to “raise the bar,” just like this year’s winners.

In the meantime…

I highly encourage you to check out the Axelson Center and see what they do for nonprofit organizations as well as registering for the Symposium. It’s sure to be a great event on June 2, 2014. For Symposium details/registration click here.

Here are some highlights of the upcoming 2014 Axelson Symposium:
Keynote performer Peter Buffett, son of Warren Buffett will deliver a “Concert and Conversation” that recounts his personal philanthropic journey. It’s sure to be a unique experience for our attendees and to spark conversations about the future of the sector and philanthropy.

A full-day workshop centered around human capital: how can you leverage your organization’s most valuable asset? Human asset management isn’t just for HR managers. Capitalizing on the strengths of your staff, volunteers, board members and donors is a smart strategy that involves all levels of managers and leaders.

Outstanding programming addressing next practices in cultivating resources, civic engagement, innovation, broadening your reach, entrepreneurial solutions, and organizational health and sustainability.

An opportunity to celebrate the Axelson Center’s 15th Anniversary and network across the sector at our closing reception on Tuesday, June 3—an especially important event for those who are new to the nonprofit sector and/or exploring opportunities.
Celebrating this year’s winners of the Axelson Center’s awards for exemplary nonprofit management: the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Excellent Emerging Organization Award.

Hope to see you there and stay tuned for my next series of blog posts which will begin in May and will address Exemplary Nonprofit Management.

Please post your comments and share our blog with friends.

Feel free to call/e-mail me anytime for free chat about any challenges or questions you may have.

Jim Stoynoff

(312) 920-1700


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