Nonprofit Excellence Institute


What is Nonprofit Excellence Institute (NEI)?

NEI is a year-long capacity building program for regional nonprofit organizations.

How does the program work?

Executive Directors meet monthly with Mary Lee Fitzsimmons of Mission Matters, a group of professional advisors who provide capacity building training and coaching. 

Quarterly board leaders join the executive directors for sessions designed to engage the board in capacity building for their organizations. 

Please see application for exact 2019/2020 meeting dates .

NEI will take your organization from good to great!

As a part of the Grand Island Community Foundation’s mission to support community groups and also respond to the ever changing needs of Grand Island and the surrounding area, the objectives of NEI include:

  • Providing resources to organizations that will result in them becoming more sustainable and setting nonprofit leaders up for future success
  • Helping organizations to create and evaluate their programming
  • Assisting in identifying the organization’s most critical area of need and creating an achievable solution to address that need
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration between nonprofits that will aid in building resources and possibly correct any duplication of services and programs in our community
  • Giving nonprofit organizations in the Grand Island area an opportunity to participate in valuable training without the typical costs (tuition, travel, time) associated with this caliber of training. There is a nominal fee for organizations outside of Hall County.

Upon successful completion of NEI, Hall County nonprofit organizations will be eligible to receive a grant of up to $5,000 to assist in further capacity building within their organization. 

What are the requirements for organizations to participate in NEI?

  • 501(c)(3) status
  • Paid executive director or CEO
  • Been in existence for at least four years
  • History of a sound financial position
  • Strategic plan or plan of work in place
  • Executive director and board members who are committed to attending the required sessions

Will this be worth your time?

"Nonprofit Excellence not only impacts our current organization in a positive way, it also allows the executive directors and board members to share their knowledge with other organizations it may serve in the future, creating a network of strong nonprofits and an overall stronger community. One of the most impactful ways NEI has strengthened our organization is by providing best-practice framework for the board and executive director relationship. This has allowed us to be more efficient and productive with our time, and strengthened our partnership. I believe this will continue to be impactful as we focus our time and energy on building the capacity to serve our community better. In the end, it’s not only the organization that is impacted, but the people we serve. The opportunity has allowed me to grow personally and professionally, and I believe the benefits will be evident for many years to come.” – Liz Mayfield, Executive Director, Hope Harbor (Class 2)

How do you maximize your nonprofits impact?

Apply to become a part of NEI Class 4 - Funders Cohort

Applications Open – February 1, 2019.  Applications for Class 4 (Funders Year) are by invitation only. Please contact Amy Price at with any inquires. 

Applications Due – March 15, 2019 by 4 p.m.

Interviews/Selection Meeting – April 17, 2019

Notification of Accepted/Denied Applications – Week of May 7th 

Application  Closed