Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Redwood City, CA. We are dedicated to empowering nonprofit leaders through continued learning and to building spaces where everyone has a seat at the table and individuals are comfortable bringing their whole self.
Our mission is to improve the long-term sustainability of nonprofit leaders and organizations by offering the highest quality programs, consultation, training and community-building networks.
CEN’s vision is a powerful, vibrant, and effective nonprofit community. We provide opportunities for nonprofit leaders to learn and implement leading practices of management and governance in their organizations for the betterment of the communities they serve. To effect real and lasting impact, we believe that nonprofit organizations and their leadership also need to reflect and represent these communities.
Why We Do What We Do
The Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN) has a long-held belief that the most effective way to increase the capacity of the nonprofit sector is to strengthen and sustain the staff and board leadership of nonprofit organizations. Guided by IDEAL principles and leading practices, our goal is to be a strong resource of information and support for nonprofit emerging leaders, executive directors, and board members seeking to maximize the effectiveness of their organizations. We accomplish this by providing accessible, high-quality resources and programs, peer support networks, and personal consultation to hundreds of organizations. Want to learn more about our offerings? Check out What We Do.
In 1994, Dean Morton (former Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and retired Director of the Hewlett Packard Company) together with Bob Daw (formerly of the United Way) co-founded the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits (CEN). Their vision was to provide a means for nonprofit leaders and their organizations to obtain the knowledge and resources necessary to lead their organizations effectively. Dean and Bob felt that by strengthening the leadership of local nonprofits, these organizations would be better able to serve their communities, thereby improving the quality of life for countless people in our communities and beyond. Check out our short video below to hear the history from Dean himself: