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Arc Earns Prestigious Seal of Excellence

Arc of Westchester Earns Prestigious Seal of Excellence

First in NY State to hold this designation, Arc of Westchester is now recognized as among the most ethical and accountable nonprofit organizations.

HAWTHORNE, N.Y., July 19, 2013 – The Arc of Westchester received the official Seal of Excellence certificate and designation from the Standards for Excellence Institute at their annual board and senior staff strategic planning retreat.

"We are very honored and proud to receive this recognition and would like to thank members of the Arc organization and foundation with their help and support in successfully completing this year-long project" commented Richard Swierat, Executive Director, Arc of Westchester.

"This is a unique set of standards which set a high bar for governance and management of an organization. Arc of Westchester was put through a year-long process of evaluation in eight areas of governance and management with 55 implementation goals."

The Standards for Excellence Institute is a national initiative to promote the highest standards of ethics and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations, while staying focused on the people and communities being served. Their eight "Guiding Principles" and 55 performance benchmarks include:

  • Mission and Programs: Mission, organizational and program evaluation, program services
  • Governing Body: Board responsibilities, composition, and conduct
  • Conflict of Interest: Conflict of interest policies and statements
  • Human Resources: Personnel policies, employee performance evaluation, employee orientation
  • Financial and Legal Accountability:Financial and legal accountability and legal compliance
  • Openness: Annual report and public access
  • Fundraising: Activities, donor relationships and privacy, acceptance of gifts, employment of fundraising personnel
  • Public Affairs and Public Policy: Public Policy advocacy, public education, promoting public participation

Applicants undergo a rigorous ethics review by a team of independent peer reviewers. Organizations that successfully complete the certification program are awarded The Seal of Excellence, which symbolizes trust, excellence in management, leadership, and openness and disclosure in nonprofits.

"The Arc of Westchester will continue to pursue additional certifications in recognition of the exemplary service delivery and customer satisfaction elements of our organization," pledged Swierat.


About Arc of Westchester

Arc of Westchester is the largest agency in Westchester County serving people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Established over 62 years ago, Arc of Westchester is a family-focused agency offering opportunities to individuals who have disabilities such as autistic spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. The agency has long advocated educational and social inclusion for people with disabilities because of its wide-ranging benefits to the entire community. The agency is funded through both public and private means.