Soroptimist® Earns PANO Seal of Excellence® Accreditation in Nonprofit Governance

September 26, 2018
Contact: Darlene Friedman, Senior Director of Marketing Communications, 215-893-9000 x128

Soroptimist has been awarded the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organization’s (PANO) Seal of Excellence for successfully completing the rigorous Standards for Excellence® accreditation program. PANO is a statewide membership organization amplifying the impact of the community benefit sector. The Standards for Excellence program is part of a national effort to help nonprofits achieve high standards.

Soroptimist, a global nonprofit that economically empowers women and girls, voluntarily opened itself up to analysis by a “jury of its peers.” The peer review team examined Soroptimist for compliance with the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector, in areas including: mission, strategy and evaluation; leadership: board, staff, and volunteers; legal compliance and ethics; finance and operations; resource development; and public awareness, engagement, and advocacy.

Originally accredited by PANO in 2004, Soroptimist has been re-accredited three times since then. The organization is headquartered in Philadelphia and incorporated in the state of Pennsylvania.

PANO evaluates fundamental values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability, all of which are inherently important in the nonprofit world. Soroptimist’s programs and services, management, fundraising and financial practices were subjected to in-depth examination prior to earning accreditation.

“Soroptimist is very proud to have received this re-accreditation from PANO,” says Elizabeth M. Lucas, Soroptimist’s executive director and CEO. “It was a rigorous, yet rewarding process, and we are pleased to join an elite group of nonprofits that can demonstrate their organizational excellence in this way.”

"The Seal of Excellence is granted to well-managed, responsibly governed organizations that are deserving of the public’s trust," explains Tish Mogan, Standards for Excellence director for PANO. "Soroptimist’s Board and staff have shown an extensive level of commitment to this process, and their pursuit of the Seal of Excellence confirms that they believe strongly in promoting a culture of ethics in their operations and governance."

Anne Gingerich, PANO’s executive director, adds: “Soroptimist can focus even more fully on advancing their mission of economically empowering women and girls because the Standards set the conditions for their internal systems to run as efficiently and effectively as possible. The Seal of Excellence is truly one of the ways that organizations can better position themselves to reach their fullest potential.”

About Soroptimist
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that economically empowers women and girls. More than 110,000 members and supporters in 21 countries and territories invest in the dreams of women and girls through access to education. Soroptimist’s signature programs, Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women®, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls® target women and girls who face obstacles to their future success. A 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, Soroptimist also powers—an online community that offers volunteer opportunities in support of women and girls. For more information, visit

About Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations
PANO is a statewide membership organization amplifying the impact of the community benefit sector through advocacy, collaboration, learning, communication and support services. PANO exists to support the work of the nonprofit sector and highlight the critical role nonprofits serve. By coming together and recognizing their collective value, Pennsylvania communities and the power to do good will thrive. For more information on PANO and PANO’s Standards for Excellence® Program, visit

About the Standards for Excellence Institute
The Standards for Excellence originated as a special initiative of Maryland Nonprofits in 1998 and has since expanded into a national program to help nonprofit organizations achieve the highest benchmarks of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management and operations. The program has been formally adopted by 10 state, regional and national affiliate organizations, and is supported by 66 licensed consultants and over 100 volunteers with professional experience in nonprofit governance and administration. Since its inception, the program has accredited or recognized over 200 individual nonprofit organizations that completed a rigorous application and review process to demonstrate adherence to the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.




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