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Nonprofit Organization: What is it & Key Features

Serving society and foreign-educated people is what nonprofit evaluation services are all about
November 2, 2022
5 Minute Read

We are often asked how a nonprofit credential evaluation agency differs from a for-profit agency. See what sets nonprofits apart.

Margit Schatzman, smiling with glasses, purple sweater, and patterned scarf.

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE) is a nonprofit organization. What is that and why does it matter?

We are often asked how a nonprofit credential evaluation agency differs from a for-profit agency. There are a few key features that set nonprofits apart.

Mission Focused

As a nonprofit organization, there is no shareholder or owner to drive business decisions. The board of directors of a nonprofit is charged with ensuring the good of the public as the primary driver in operating the organization. High-quality evaluations and fair pricing are often two results of this focus.

Customer Focused

Serving the public means that nonprofits can put the foreign-educated person and the consumer of the report front and center. Investing in human relationships and helping clients achieve their goals in a respectful and supportive manner are core values of many nonprofits.

Unbiased Equivalency Decisions

Reports serve foreign-educated people so that their education is fairly understood. The general public is served so that people with foreign education are appropriately placed in further education, employment and professional licensure, and similar situations. Reports are not biased or compromised by third parties who might benefit from conclusions serving outside interests. Professional ethics, standards, and methodologies, not profits, drive conclusions.


Many nonprofits reinvest their surplus into resources that strengthen their core function. Forward thinking nonprofits not only apply that knowledge to preparing high-quality reports to serve clients, but also share their knowledge with the wider international education community through pro bono work. Building the profession of international credential evaluation is a way to ensure high standards of practice in the service of the international community.

ECE as a Nonprofit

ECE was founded by Jim Frey as a private nonprofit organization in 1980. Jim had the choice and decided that instead of profits from the enterprise going to a shareholder or owner, he wanted the fruits of staff research and report production to go back into building the resources of the organization and building the profession.

ECE adheres to the values of nonprofits mentioned above. ECE prepares high-quality reports to benefit both foreign-educated individuals and society. We keep costs low so we can fulfill our mission by serving a broad geographic and socio-economic audience, with dignity and respect. Our reports reflect rigorous professional standards while meeting the needs of the higher education, government, and employer entities who rely on our unbiased results. We share knowledge gained from our research with colleagues around the world. 

In addition to adhering to nonprofit values, ECE has taken the added step of serving those in need, such as refugees, through its charity division. Working with higher education institutions and refugee resettlement agencies, ECE® Aid provides free evaluation reports for those building new lives.

The nonprofit model is one that benefits our clients and society as we fulfill our mission.  

Working With a Nonprofit

If the values of a nonprofit organization are aligned with your values and the benefits are appealing to you, you may wish to consider a nonprofit. Working with a nonprofit is similar to conducting business with any other service provider. If you also have students or clients who are refugees or have other compelling needs, consider becoming a participating institution with the ECE® Aid program. We are always accepting new participating institutions in Canada and the United States.

Serving society and foreign-educated people is what nonprofit evaluation services are all about.

-- Margit Schatzman, ECE® President