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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Valley Medical Center Foundation Earns Seal of Excellence

Logo for nonprofit training

Logo for nonprofit training

Process began with Ethics Center training

The Social Sector Ethics program of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics is pleased to announce that the Valley Medical Center Foundation has become the only nonprofit charity organization in California to hold the Standard for Excellence Institute’s “Seal of Excellence,” the nation’s highest level of accreditation for nonprofit governance and ethics. The designation comes after a year-long process to achieve compliance with the Institute’s Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, with specific measures for honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility and accountability.

The Ethics Center reviewed programs nationwide before becoming the first West Coast replication partner of Standards for Excellence. The Center's customized version of the training, which prepares organizations for this most rigorous and meaningful certification program, emphasizes the ethical issues in the sector, and the accreditation process reinforces the ethics and accountability standards that all organizations should embrace.  VMC Foundation attended our two-day training pilot in Spring 2017.

The process to achieve the “Seal of Excellence” was exhaustive, involving the entire VMC Foundation Board of Directors and staff. The process included an examination of financial policies, employment policies, strategic plan and code of ethics by a cohort of 80 licensed consultants and 100 volunteer nonprofit professionals.

Chris Wilder, CEO of the foundation, said, “This is ultimately about protecting our donors’ money. Good intentions only go so far. We want to institutionalize systems and a culture that promotes transparency and integrity in all that we do….I hope to share lessons learned with other organizations and help them apply, because we want to send a message to our donor community that the nonprofit sector in Silicon Valley is driven by the highest standards for ethics, governance and commitment to mission.” 

We congratulate the VMC Foundation on this tremendous accomplishment, and we are so pleased that VMCF stepped up as a leader in Silicon Valley. Organizations and philanthropists interested in engaging in the training and strengthening the local nonprofit sector can learn more about our upcoming trainings in September and November 2018 and March 2019 on the ethics center website.

Due to support from the Ethics Center,  The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Sobrato Family Foundation, scholarships are now available to cover most of the training cost for eligible organizations, including the costs to join the Center’s Partners in Learning community for one year.

Please contact program staff Joan Harrington for more information.

Aug 1, 2018


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