The United States as a nation turns 250 in the year 2026, which is why a small group of visionaries created a nonprofit called Communities of Excellence 2026 (COE 2026). Our collective goal is not just to make it to 2026, but to create a framework that systematically addresses our nation’s issues at a grass roots level – within the communities in which we all live, work, and play – such that we sustain our nation’s strength for many generations, many centuries to come.
Communities of Excellence 2026 uses a validated improvement framework – Baldrige – to improve health status, educational attainment, economic vitality and other key community outcomes by focusing on improving overall community performance in addition to individual components within communities.
We are inspired by all the hard work and dedication exhibited by the many organizations, businesses, schools, governmental units, resident groups and beyond to improve our communities. However, as a country, we are still coming up short in so many key areas vital to our wellbeing. Communities of Excellence 2026 does not try to duplicate any of the efforts already existing in a community. Instead, we seek to strengthen, improve and help sustain those efforts so that our communities see better, sustainable results over the long term.
We began with two pilot sites; San Diego County’s South Region and the 18 Counties of Northwest Missouri in 2016. The progress of these pilots convinced us that we should take our effort to the next level. We wanted to provide an opportunity for communities across the country to work together, to share successes and challenges, best practices and ideas for improvement, and learn from one another on their journeys to community excellence using the Communities of Excellence framework. In 2017 we launched our first national learning collaborative of communities. In total, nine communities participated ranging from rural communities and rural regions, to suburbs and cities, to large urban regions. One year later, we launched a second cohort, adding five more communities to this national effort, and we continue to grow; we will add a third cohort beginnining in October 2019.
Help us by investing in the future of America’s communities.
You will be contributing to the pursuit of community performance excellence, economic prosperity, and enhanced educational attainment, health and well-being in communities across the country.
Below are some of specific ways you can support COE:
- Fund a Community - $35,000
- Support your community to participate in a future COE cohort
- Technology Support - $25,000
- Enhanced online platform/app, development and maintenance of databases, etc.
- COE Best Practice Toolkit/Playbook Support - $20,000
- Development and creation of a toolkit to be used by any community across the country that is pursuing performance excellence and the COE framework
- Development and Fundraising Support - $15,000
- Stipend for development professional to secure funding for long-term sustainability
- Program Evaluation Support - $10,000
- Continued formative (i.e., process) and summative (i.e., outcome) evaluation of our COE program
- Design, benchmark, and track core metrics for all participating communities
- Marketing and Communications Support - $10,000
- Development of marketing collateral, video, enhanced website, and other communications
- Promotion of program to funders, prospective communities, etc.
- Community Coach and Mentor Support - $6000
- Stipend for experienced professionals
- Annual Conference Corporate Sponsorship - $2000 - $7500
- Breakfast Sponsor, Lunch Sponsor, Happy Hour and Networking Sponsor, Dinner Sponsor
- Annual Conference Attendee Sponsorship - $1500
- Registration fee, travel and lodging expenses, etc.