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Communities of Excellence 2026

U.S. map with lines connecting to circles, symbolizing a network of communities.
Credit: Communities of Excellence 2026

A Systematic Approach to Excellence in Communities: Using a Baldrige-based Framework to Lead Transformation


What challenges does your community face?

What are the most important opportunities to improve the overall health and well-being of the people in your community?

Are all key stakeholders—residents, businesses, educational institutions, health care providers, government agencies, and nonprofits—working together to develop shared strategies and action plans to solve the most important challenges?

And if your community were a business or a nonprofit organization, would it be considered high performing, merely average, or fighting for its very survival?

About Communities of Excellence

Communities of Excellence 2026 (COE2026) was founded in 2010 and incorporated in 2013 as a national, independent nonprofit to advance the common good by providing a roadmap to sustainable community performance excellence. The roadmap allows communities to face their challenges with a proven course of action, while demanding high performance and a commitment to achieve desired outcomes.

COE2026 and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program believe that the systems approach to leadership, management, and continuous improvement found in the Baldrige Excellence Framework can be adapted to achieve performance excellence in communities. COE2026 supports and recognizes communities as they work together to systematically identify, implement, and sustain improvements that enrich the opportunities, health, and well-being of their people.


The Baldrige Program and COE2026 collaborate in these areas:

Learn More

Visit Communities of Excellence 2026 to learn how your community can achieve and sustain the highest quality of life for its people.

Communities of Excellence Learning Collaborative Informational Webinar

Wednesday, May 11, 2022  |  10-11 am PT/1-2 pm ET

Join Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence 2026 for a one-hour informational webinar on its National Learning Collaborative. The goal is to educate leaders who want to improve the quality of life in their communities. To do so, they are learning they must shift mindsets, change partnership processes, and transform their cultures for the better by capitalizing on their assets and opportunities. They are seeing how beneficial it is to bring all sectors together to talk and acknowledge their interconnectivity as a community system.

Currently, there are 24 communities involved, representing a cross section of rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the country who are tackling challenging issues such as childhood obesity, mental health, substance abuse, and lack of quality education and job opportunities.

Learn More



  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created November 8, 2017, Updated May 3, 2022