• Center for Excellence in Nonprofits Center for Excellence in Nonprofits


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Mission Statement


To foster highly effective leaders and vibrant nonprofit organizations that transform the quality of life in our communities.


To be the catalyst that transforms Silicon Valley into the recognized leader of nonprofit excellence


The Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN) provides the nonprofit community of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties with in-depth leadership development and continuous improvement programs through an innovative learning community model pioneered by CEN.

In 1994, Dean Morton, former EVP, COO and a Director of the Hewlett Packard Company joined with Bob Daw, formerly of the United Way, to co-found the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits. Their vision was to provide a means for nonprofit leaders and their organizations to obtain the knowledge and resources necessary to promote excellence in nonprofit organizational performance.

Now, years later, the impact of their vision has been deeply felt throughout our communities. Countless innovative programs and services have been made available to non-profit executives and their organizations. Some of the more notable examples include The CEN Leaders' Institute, The Best Practices Exchanges, Nonprofit Executive Director Roundtables, an endowment to provide scholarships for Executive Directors to attend the Harvard Business School's course on 'Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management', special issue forums and a major conference on non-profit leadership.

It would be hard to find a nonprofit organization or leader in the Silicon Valley community who has not benefited in some way from the programs and services provided the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits. And by helping our nonprofit community fulfill their collective missions, CEN has genuinely brought about a very real improvement in the quality of life in our community. We owe Dean Morton a debt of gratitude for his steadfast guidance and personal support of the Center for Excellence in Nonprofts over the years.

We are proud to play the role of catalyst in our community of nonprofits, building collaboration between organizations and their leaders, sharing and supporting exemplary leadership models and practices to transform our community into the leader of nonprofit excellence. The result of CEN's work is improved leadership, better systems and, most important, improved services for the clients and communities aided by our member nonprofits.




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