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Open Letter to the Baldrige Community

Dear Friend of Baldrige,

First, I want to thank you, the Baldrige community, for everything you do to engage with, support, and promote the program and its mission. We are especially grateful now, when we have reason to celebrate: after six and a half years, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is back in the federal budget!

I especially want to thank the Baldrige Foundation for its efforts, as well as its financial support of, and belief in, the Baldrige Program. When federal funding was eliminated, the program devised a new business model and business plan that relied on streamlining operations, decreasing costs, increasing revenues, better leveraging partnerships and the Baldrige community, and financial support from the Foundation. The plan was vetted and approved by the Baldrige Board of Overseers, NIST, the Department of Commerce, and of course, the Baldrige Foundation.

The trust in the program’s ability to accomplish the plan was not misplaced, and we were able to exceed our goals for cost reductions and revenue increases every single year. Over time, this drove down the annual support from the Foundation to less than 10% of the total funding needed in 2011, preserving the life of the Foundation’s endowment well beyond initial expectations.

Of course, the Baldrige Program has always relied on the generous in-kind support of the Baldrige community, and you have certainly stepped up to help over the past six and a half years: from the volunteer examiners, judges, and overseers; to the passionate commitment of the Baldrige Award recipients, who continued to promote the value of Baldrige and share their best practices; and to the Baldrige consultant community and Alliance for Performance Excellence member programs, which also continued their support and promotion.

The appropriated funds for this fiscal year will allow us to tweak our current business model and maintain our focus on key strategic objectives and strategic investments, including providing ever-increasing value to our customers and key stakeholders; driving down our costs and increasing our revenues; working with the Foundation and the Alliance to strengthen the alignment, integration, and efficiency of the entire Baldrige Enterprise; and moving forward as much as possible with the Baldrige Cybersecurity initiative and Communities of Excellence 2026.

Once again, all of us here at the Baldrige Program appreciate everything every one of you has done to help advance our mission to improve the nation by improving the performance of manufacturing, service, health care, education, nonprofit, and government organizations of all kinds.

Robert G. Fangmeyer, Director
Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

Released April 3, 2018