Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc. is a recipient of the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Seal of
Excellence for successfully completing their rigorous accreditation program. Ferst Readers of Carroll
County, Inc. voluntarily opened itself up to analysis by a “jury of its peers.” The peer review team
examined Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc. 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.
The Standards for Excellence Institute evaluates fundamental values such as honesty, integrity, fairness,
respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability, all of which are inherently important in the nonprofit
world. Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc.’s programs and services, management, fundraising and
financial practices were subjected to in-depth examination prior to earning accreditation.
Karen Hartley, Chair of Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc. comments, “The opportunity to participate
in the training and learning process of working to prepare for meeting the Standards for Excellence for
Nonprofits criteria was not a simple or easy process. Ferst Readers has always been an all-volunteer
organization and was beginning to consider how we could continue to grow and how to prepare for that
growth and management. The timing was right. There was much to learn and many discussions to work
out details for new policies and procedures. We now have a complete set of plans, policies, and
procedures on how we operate, and a strong system to move into the future. Our organization has grown
in our outlook and in our practices and we look forward to the potential ahead.”
“The Standards of Excellence process for accreditation provides a structured approach to building
capacity, accountability and sustainability in our organization. It designates the high quality of Ferst
Readers of Carroll County and provides credibility for improving the public’s trust of the organization as
we work to fulfill our mission of strengthening our community by providing quality books and literacy
resources for children and families to use at home during the earliest stages of development,” says Karen
Wild, of Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc.’s Board.
The Standards for Excellence Institute is committed to raising the level of principled and responsible
practices within the nonprofit sector. The Institute offers a model for organizations to implement in their
operating plans so they can gain a deeper understanding of their effectiveness, improve their decision-
making and minimize risks. Nonprofits that adhere to the principles and practices of strong nonprofit
management and governance can become formally accredited under the Standards for Excellence ®
A recent university study of 102 nonprofit organizations that have received the Standards for Excellence
accreditation compared with peer organizations of similar size and industry examined the impact of
becoming accredited. Significant findings found that the process is associated with an increase direct
Researchers found that nonprofit organizations’ stakeholders will react positively to organizations earning
the Standards for Excellence accreditation by allocating more resources to the nonprofit. The Standards
for Excellence program provides a structured approach to improved operations and quality management,
delivering years of benchmarking and best practices to organizations’ leadership, and a “Good
Housekeeping”-type seal of approval to outside stakeholders, indicating that the organization is
performing as promised after comprehensive evaluation by practitioners and industry experts.
About Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc.
Ferst Readers of Carroll County, Inc. is a tax exempt, charitable nonprofit whose mission is to develop
literacy among young children. Early reading experiences enhance children’s chances of becoming
successful students, and ultimately, educable members of the area work force.
Ferst Readers “strengthens communities by providing quality books and literacy resources for children
and their families to use at home during the earliest stages of development.” Ferst Readers wants every
child to have the best start in life – and nothing helps a baby’s brain develop more than exposure to rich
language and loving interactions. The key is having books in the home and being read to – right from
birth. Our vision is “to create better learners, brighter futures, and stronger communities by giving every
child under five access to quality books in their homes.” You can learn more about Ferst Readers of
Carroll County by visiting https://carrollferst.org/.