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 a facilitator from 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 the application for the exact 2021/2022 meeting dates.

NEI will take your organization from good to great!

As a part of the Greater 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 regional nonprofit organizations 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 from the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation to assist in further capacity building within their organization. Regional nonprofits will be able to receive a grant of up to $5,000 from participating local community foundations; Merrick Foundation, Hamilton County Community Foundation, Hastings Community Foundation, and Kearney Area Community Foundation have graciously offered to partner with the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation to provide their participating local nonprofits with capacity building grants!

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
  • Nonprofit organizations outside of Hall County will have a fee associated with the program please contact GGICF for further inquiry 

Will this be worth your time?

"Nonprofit Excellence not only impacts our current organization in a positive way, but 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)

NEI is currently not accepting new participants

Interested in learning more? Contact us at

Turning Passion into Purpose.