WASHINGTON, D.C.Nonprofit organizations, including charities and government agencies, will be eligible to apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as a result of legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 5, 2004. With authorization now granted, funding could be available in 2006 to permit application for the award.
Currently, the award has five categories: manufacturing, service, small business, education and health care. Most of the more than 40 Baldrige-based state and local quality award programs allow nonprofit organizations to apply for the awards. The Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a private-sector organization, has raised an endowment of more than $18 million dollars to help support the award program, and will raise additional funds to support this new category. Federal funding for the Baldrige National Quality Program for 2004 is $5.4 million; an additional appropriation will be needed to implement the nonprofit category.