Making a difference by
putting compassion to work.

Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE)

The Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) is a nonprofit resource center across central Virginia dedicated to helping nonprofits succeed.

At their PATH Resource Center office, CNE offers tools, training, consulting and resources to nonprofit boards, staff and key volunteers serving Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Culpeper counties.


A strategic partnership between the PATH Foundation and CNE was developed after community stakeholders saw a clear need for community investment in the business, professional development, and people within the nonprofit sector.

Topics covered by workshops and training include governance, philanthropy, marketing, finance, strategic engagement and partnerships, and community engagement. CNE also offers resources for volunteer recruitment and management, based on a recent PATH Foundation study of volunteer needs in the community.

Foundation Center logo


The PATH Resource Center provides free public access to the Foundation Center, an online database of over 12 million grants. With the database, nonprofits can find detailed information on grantmakers who fund in specific geographic areas, focus areas, and populations. During the COVID-19 epidemic, the Foundation Center is temporarily providing online access to this database. If you have any questions, please email Danielle Ellis.

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Monday through Friday
10 am – 4 pm


321 Walker Drive, Suite 201
Warrenton, VA 20186

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Frequently Asked Questions and Requested Resources

Thinking about starting a nonprofit? This toolkit will help you assess whether or not launching a nonprofit is the right thing to do, and what your next steps should be if the answer is yes.

2020 Education Programs

Registration is required for all training. Workshops, Academies and BYOB(ag) programs are limited to 24 participants. POP Talks and Book Clubs are limited to 8 participants.

Program attendance is complimentary for board, staff and volunteers of organizations operating within the PATH service area (Culpeper, Fauquier and Rappahannock counties). For participants from other organizations, a $25 charge applies.

Virtual Fundraising

Pathway to a Healthy Organization

The well-being of your organization is very important to us. And we have the expertise to assist you in achieving maximum health. In our new program, Pathway to a Healthy Organization, nonprofits will engage in a self-assessment instrument that helps identify capacity strengths and challenges and establish capacity building goals. It is primarily a diagnostic and learning tool. CNE consultants will carefully review and analyze the results of the self-assessment, and compile the diagnostic assessment into an organizational report. Strengths and opportunities will be identified, and recommendations for future development will be made.

Benefits of this exciting new program include:

  • An opportunity to reflect on how well your organization is meeting its responsibilities
  • Assistance in determining areas that are strongest and those that need improvement
  • Development of a baseline framework to measure improvement over time
  • Tools and resources to help get you started on your path to organizational health

Is your organization ready to take a walk down the path to health? Contact Cindy Colson to learn more. Please note that limited slots are available through the end of the year, and that participation requires an investment of time from board and staff. Complimentary for nonprofit organizations operating within the PATH Foundation service area (Fauquier, Rappahannock and Culpeper Counties).

PATH Resource Center Staff

Danielle Ellis

Danielle Ellis

Danielle Ellis joined CNE in 2020 after her most recent position as the Executive Director of the Fauquier Family Shelter Services, Inc. As PATH Resource Center Manager, she works with nonprofits in the Culpeper, Fauquier, and Rappahannock area to help them reach their full mission potential.  Danielle brings over 20 year of management experience with a focus in human resources, as both an Army Officer and senior federal civil service employee with the Department of Defense. She received a BA in Communications from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina and is a member of Leadership Fauquier’s class of 2019. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time outdoors—beach, woods, or mountains: she loves them all. Contact Danielle at 540-680-4149 or at

Cindy Colson

Cindy Colson

Cindy Colson, Senior Director of Programs for the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, has 15 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector. She has worked on building strong collaborations with more than 65 nonprofits to develop programs and initiatives to address community needs. Ms. Colson earned her BIS from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of Mary Washington. She enjoys reading nonfiction books, cycling, and kayaking. Ms. Colson lives in Culpeper with her husband and three cats. Contact Cindy at 434-951-9044 or