Sight Center is now one of only two Nonprofits in Erie with the PANO Accreditation

Erie, PA – October 23, 2017 – There are more than 56 rigorous standards that make up the Standards for Excellence that nonprofits must comply with as part of the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) accreditation process. Only 50 organizations in Pennsylvania have earned this distinction, only two in Erie, PA. Since receiving a three year accreditation from PANO in October, the Sight Center of NW PA is now one of the two. The other accredited organization is Early Connections, a childcare and education center in Erie.

For the Sight Center, accreditation took about two years. PANO’s Standards for Excellence® covers eight areas of nonprofit governance, operations and management. “Achieving PANO accreditation means holding your organization to the highest level of standards. The process was grueling at times, working through policies and providing documentation on the agency’s procedures, but the work was worth the outcome. We are thrilled to have achieved this accreditation, it means a lot to us,” said Linda Hackshaw, the Sight Center’s Executive Director.

PANO evaluates fundamental values such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability, all of which are inherently important in the nonprofit world. The Sight Center’s programs and services, management, fundraising and financial practices were subjected to in-depth examination prior to earning accreditation.

For more information about PANO or the Sight Center’s accreditation, please contact Shannon Wohlford at the Sight Center, 814-455-0995, or visit


For nearly 80 years, the Sight Center has worked to prevent blindness and promote independence for those with vision loss. Through prevention, vision rehabilitation and specialized support services, the Sight Center provides needed resources and hope to those with low vision or blindness. To learn more, visit online at or call 455-0995.

  • PANO is a statewide membership organization. PANO amplifies the impact of the community benefit sector through advocacy, collaboration, learning, communication and support services.
  • PANO have over 70 trained and approved volunteer peer reviewers supporting PANO’s standards program.
  • PANO has accredited over 50 individual nonprofit organizations who have met all the requirements of the Standards accreditation program.
  • The Standards for Excellence® is a national program to help nonprofits achieve the highest benchmarks of ethics and accountability in profit governance, management, and operations.
  • The accreditation process includes a rigorous application and review process to demonstrate adherence to the Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector.
  • Organizations that earn their initial accreditation are accredited for a term of three years. Organizations repeat the application process to renew their accreditation for five-year
  • More information about PANO can be found at