Guiding Principles & Best Practices

The third edition of SCANPO's Guiding Principles & Best Practices (GP&BP) was published in 2012 and is rooted in extensive work done by our state's most respected nonprofit leaders, professional advisors and volunteer experts.

It incorporates best thinking about nonprofit effectiveness and aims to inspire greater accountability, dialogue, continuous learning, and strategic decision-making among nonprofits board members, executives and staff.

The Guiding Principles are considered by many to be an excellent tool for organizational self-assessment, board and committee planning, as well as measuring progress and celebrating accomplishments. Such assessment is the first step in preparing to apply for the prestigious  Award for Nonprofit Excellence in Governance and Management. 

The 131 Best Practices are organized in nine specific focus ares critical to effective nonprofit leadership and management:

  1. Mission & Strategic Direction
  2. Governance
  3. Legal & Ethical Accountability
  4. Financial Management & Stewardship
  5. Operations & Evaluation
  6. Human Resources
  7. Fundraising
  8. Marketing Communications
  9. Information Management


SCANPO’s ultimate goal is that, through widespread adoption of these principles and practices, South Carolina nonprofits will have a positive impact on their communities, remain relevant, achieve sustainability and operate with accountability, all the while preserving the trust and confidence of the public, whose continued support is critical to the sector’s vitality.

Nonprofit Members may download PDFs of the GP&BP, Social Media Best Practices Addendum and Legal Checklist for use with their individual organization as a free member benefit.  Please log in and then use links found under Publications.

Business, Grantmaker, Association and Academic Partners are all invited to license the GP&BP for their use with grantees, clients, members and others.

To learn more, please contact staff.