CSM Non-Profit Institute staff set benchmark for excellence for certified consultants


Staff at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Nonprofit Institute (NPI) became a Certified Standards for Excellence consultant after completing an intensive five-day virtual training seminar aimed at strengthening nonprofit governance practices. lucrative. CSM NPI Consultants Cara Fogarty and Michelle Sullivan, and Outreach Specialist Amy Davis were part of a 32-member class from various parts of the country who completed the Standards for Excellence Institute® training to become the 2021 Class of Consultants approved.

“It was truly an honor to be part of the Standards for Excellence Fall 2021 training course for Certified Consultants,” said Fogarty. “I learned so much and filled in gaps in my knowledge. The speakers and my classmates were inspiring and the topics we covered were solid and varied. I’m excited to bring my in-depth knowledge to the nonprofits in Southern Maryland – these are the immediate beneficiaries of this training – and to the students of our nonprofit Workforce Development program.

The Standards for Excellence Institute®, a national initiative designed to help nonprofits operate more ethically and responsibly, promotes the highest standards of ethics, efficiency and accountability in governance, nonprofit management and operations, to help all nonprofit organizations achieve high benchmarks and build public trust.

The Nonprofit Institute is the primary source of nonprofit professional development and capacity building in Southern Maryland for the wide range of nonprofit organizations serving the Southern Maryland area. The Institute is part of the Continuing Education and Workforce Development Division of the College of Southern Maryland.

NPI programs include:

  • Monthly meetings of the network of general managers bring leaders together to meet and discuss operational concerns and share lessons learned.
  • Monthly non-profit community calls foster collaboration, information sharing and support.
  • Affinity groups provide networking and idea sharing focused on volunteer coordination, fundraising and marketing / public relations / communications.
  • Professional development course cover the key areas of nonprofit leadership / management, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing / communications, governance and operations.
  • An annual conference with a keynote speaker and breakout sessions encourage learning, sharing and networking.
  • Regular communications via a resource-rich monthly electronic newsletter
  • Operational advice and insights in the areas of fundraising, leadership / management, marketing / communications, governance and operations.
  • Connections and references provide scholarships to writers, lawyers, accountants and insurance professionals, some of whom provide services to non-profit organizations on a pro bono basis or at a reduced rate.
Consultant CSM NPI Cara Fogarty

Fogarty joined the Nonprofit Institute in the fall of 2016. Prior to that, she spent nearly a decade working for a nonprofit organization in St. Mary’s County. In this capacity, she has served on the St. Mary’s County Nonprofit Institute Advisory Board and the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board.

Prior to working in the nonprofit field, Fogarty was a reporter for both commercial and public radio. After working as a reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and upstate New York, she joined the late Mutual Broadcasting System / NBC Radio Network in Arlington, Virginia, where she produced national news broadcasts. She then joined NPR in Washington, DC, as a supervisory online writer for NPR.org Early in the Web. She is also an adjunct faculty member of the CSM, teaching writing and communication courses. She sits on the Business Outreach Committee of the Charles County Economic Development Department Advisory Board. In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, she served on the Charles County COVID-19 Recovery Task Force and the Maryland Governor’s Nonprofit Task Force, which made recommendations to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s COVID-19 response plan, “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”

CSM NPI Consultant Michelle Sullivan

Sullivan joined the Nonprofit Institute in the fall of 2016 where she serves as a resource for nonprofits as they navigate the increasingly complex landscape of the nonprofit sector.

Sullivan is the Executive Director of All Ages Read Together (AART), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating children in need with free preschool programs in their communities in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia. AART has over 100 children enrolled in 12 programs, including an expansion of two new programs in Alexandria, Virginia.

Sullivan’s previous experience included the Executive Director of Access Hope as well as the Director of the Public Policy Department at the United National Office Cerebral Palsy, and she also served in the Public Liaison Office at the White House.

Outreach Specialist Amy Davis

Davis joined the Nonprofit Institute in the spring of 2021 as an Outreach Specialist. Active with many local organizations, Davis’ nonprofit experience includes financial management, budgeting, grant writing, and strategic planning.

She is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, Co-Chair of the St. Mary’s County Human Relations Commission and Treasurer of the Southern Maryland Section of Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. Davis is also a member of the board of directors of the Small Museum Association. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, Maryland.

Staff of the non-profit Institute are available for consultation at [email protected] or by phone at 301-934-7544.



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