Communities of Excellence 2026

Communities of Excellence 2026 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that hosts a national learning collaborative of communities across the country, trains communities in the Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence framework, and provides opportunities for communities to work together, and share successes, challenges, ideas and best practices on their performance excellence journeys.

The Communities of Excellence Framework – adapted from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework – is a systematic approach for community leaders, residents and collaborative partners to align and strengthen the effectiveness of their efforts towards healthy and thriving residents and safe communities. Using this framework, communities can lead transformation in educational attainment, economic vitality (jobs), health status and safety.

Communities of Excellence is now accepting applications for its 2019-20 National Learning Collaborative which will launch October, 2019. Communities are encouraged to enroll by July 31, 2019. The 2019 cohort will embark on a twelve-month learning opportunity that includes an initial 12-month online learning program that introduces the overall Framework to community participants. Communities are assigned mentors and given access to coaches who are Baldrige experts to guide them through the development of their community profile and six accompanying categories of the Baldrige Framework that help the community achieve success.  Communities continue these efforts in another 12-month online learning program to continue building towards goals established in their first year. The intent is that communities will continue using and sharing the COE framework for years to come.  Contact Communities of Excellence 2026 Director, Stephanie Norling , at, for more information.