Valuable Resources for Nonprofit Organizations

By Stan Hutton, Frances Phillips

There’s no shortage of information about starting and running a nonprofit organization. If you want to talk to someone about a specific problem, turn to one of the listed organizations. Chances are, someone has already encountered (and hopefully solved) whatever issue you’ve run into. You can also find helpful pointers on websites and in books. Share the web links or recommend the books to others involved in the operation of your nonprofit. The more you know, the more successful you’ll be.

This list doesn’t include every book, magazine, and website that may be of interest to nonprofit folks, but these resources point you in the right direction.

Organizations

You’ll find the nonprofit organizations (and two government agencies) listed here to be helpful for providing guidance and information on everything from the history of nonprofits in America to raising money to support your programs.

Alliance for Nonprofit Management

American Society of Association Executives

The Aspen Institute: Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

Association of Fundraising Professionals

BBB Wise Giving Alliance for Charities

BoardSource

Center for Civil Society Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University

CDFI Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions

The Council on Foundations

The Foundation Center

Giving Institute (serving fundraising professionals and publishing the annual Giving USA)

U.S. Government Printing Office (for regulatory guides)

The Grantsmanship Center

Independent Sector

Leader to Leader Institute

National Council of Nonprofits, which includes links to state associations of nonprofits

Nonprofit Finance Fund

Web resources

These websites have detailed information on a variety of nonprofit topics, including preparing your application for tax exemption for the Internal Revenue Service, finding possible grant sources, and keeping up with the latest news about nonprofits.

Keep in mind that website addresses change frequently, so if a page isn’t accessible through the listed link, use your favorite search engine to track down the new address.

About.com’s charitable organizations page

Affordable or free databases: Blackbaud.com, eBase.org, GiftWorks, and Salesforce.com

Blue Avocado (a free electronic newsletter about nonprofits)

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (a comprehensive directory about federal funding opportunities)

Charity Channel (an online network of nonprofit professionals)

CharityVillage (a Canadian center for nonprofits)

Chronicle of Philanthropy

CompassPoint Templates (a nonprofit training and management organization offers some free budgeting templates on its website)

Access to the Congressional Record

Grants.gov (source of federal government grant applications and information)

The Foundation Directory Online (available for a monthly fee or for free at the Foundation Center’s libraries and affiliates)

Free Management Library (for nonprofits and for-profits)

Fundraising Forum

The Giving Institute

Grassroots Fundraising Journal (published by the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training)

GreatNonprofits (consumer-generated reviews of nonprofits)

Guerrilla Marketing (Registration is required to access most material on this site.)

GuideStar

Hands On Network (an international network connecting volunteers to causes)

Idealware (articles and webinars about software for nonprofits)

Independent Sector (annual assessment of the value of volunteer time by state)

Internal Revenue Service (for information about nonprofits)

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook (downloadable PDF)

National Center for Charitable Statistics (contains a clearinghouse of data about the nonprofit sector in the United States)

Network for Good (online donation tools)

Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (academic programs for nonprofit managers)

Nonprofit Accounting Basics

The Nonprofit FAQ (indexed answers to questions about nonprofits)

The Nonprofit Quarterly

The Nonprofit Times

NTENConnect (a free monthly newsletter about the technology needs of nonprofits)

Opportunity Knocks (nonprofit job listings and an annual salary survey)

Philanthropy News Digest (grant announcements and recent studies and research supported by foundations)

Ready.gov (federal site for emergency preparedness)

Social Media for Nonprofits

State registration forms for soliciting donations

TechSoup (resource for discounted technology products for nonprofits)

TechSoup Global (an international association of individuals and nonprofits using technology for social change)

U.S. Census Bureau (a source for population data)

U.S. Department of Labor (for employee benefits information)

Volunteer Match

Web surveying

Books and print materials

You’ll find these books and other publications helpful as you discover the nonprofit sector. You’ll also find books to help you through the incorporation process and guides to writing grant proposals.

  • Americas Nonprofit Sector, A Primer by Lester Salamon (Foundation Center)

  • The Board Members Book: Making a Difference in Vol. Organizations by Brian O’Connell (Foundation Center)

  • E-Mail Marketing For Dummies by John Arnold (Wiley)

  • Facebook For Dummies by Carolyn Abram (Wiley)

  • Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to Do It Right by Gregory L. Colvin (Study Center Press)

  • The Foundation Centers Guide to Proposal Writing by Jane C. Geever (The Foundation Center)

  • Foundation Fundamentals (The Foundation Center) (a guide to researching funding sources)

  • The Grantseekers Guide to Winning Proposals, edited by Judith B. Margolin and Elan K. DiMaio, 2008 (The Foundation Center) (contains examples of successful grant proposals)

  • The Foundation Directory, Directory Part 2, and Supplement (The Foundation Center)

  • Foundations Today: Foundation Yearbook (The Foundation Center)

  • Fundraising Online: Using the Internet to Raise Serious Money for Your Nonprofit Organization by Gary M. Grobman and Gary B. Grant (White Hat Communications)

  • Fundraising When Money is Tight: A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Thriving in the Future by Mal Warwick (Jossey-Bass)

  • Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals by Mary S. Hall and Susan Howlett (Continuing Education Press)

  • Grant Proposal Makeover: Transform Your Request from No to Yes by Cheryl A. Clarke and Susan P. Fox (Wiley)

  • Grant Writing For Dummies by Dr. Beverly A. Browning, MPA, DBA (Wiley)

  • The Handbook of Nonprofit Governance by BoardSource (Jossey-Bass)

  • How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation by Anthony Mancuso (Nolo)

  • How to Write Successful Fundraising Appeals by Mal Warwick with Eric Overman (Jossey-Bass)

  • Human Resources Kit For Dummies by Max Messmer (Wiley)

  • The Idealware Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits by Laura S. Quinn, Chris Bernard, Andrea Berry, Elizabeth Pope, Kyle Henri Andrei, and Tyler M. Cummins (Idealware)

  • The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management by David O. Renz and Robert D. Herman (Jossey-Bass)

  • Managing a Nonprofit Organization: Updated Twenty-First Century Edition by Thomas Wolf (Free Press)

  • Managing Nonprofit Organizations by Mary Tschirhart and Wolfgang Bielefeld (Jossey-Bass)

  • Marketing Kit For Dummies by Alexander Hiam (Wiley)

  • Models of Proposal Planning and Writing by Lynn E. Miner and Jeremy T. Miner (Praeger)

  • National Directory of Corporate Giving (The Foundation Center)

  • The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives by BoardSource (Jossey-Bass)

  • Nonprofit Boards: Roles, Responsibilities, and Performance by Diane Duca (Wiley)

  • Nonprofit Bookkeeping & Accounting For Dummies by Sharon Farris (Wiley)

  • The Nonprofit Sector: A Research Handbook by Walter W. Powell and Richard Steinberg (Yale University Press)

  • The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution by David La Piana (Fieldstone Alliance)

  • Philanthropy Annual (The Foundation Center) (a look back at the prior year in philanthropy)

  • Public Relations For Dummies by Eric Yaverbaum, Ilise Benun, and Richard Kishenbaum (Wiley)

  • The Public Relations Handbook for Nonprofits: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide by Art Feinglass (Jossey-Bass)

  • Securing Your Organizations Future: A Complete Guide to Fundraising Strategies by Michael Seltzer (The Foundation Center)

  • Small Business Marketing Kit For Dummies by Barbara Findlay Schenck (Wiley)

  • Stanford Social Innovation Review, journal about the nonprofit sector

  • Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization: A Legal Guide by Bruce R. Hopkins (Wiley)

  • Storytelling for Grantseekers: A Guide to Creative Nonprofit Fundraising by Cheryl A. Clarke (Jossey-Bass)

  • The Twenty-First Century Nonprofit by Paul Firstenberg (Foundation Center)

  • Twitter For Dummies by Laura Fitton, Michael Gruen, and Leslie Poston (Wiley)

  • Winning Grants Step by Step by Mim Carlson, Tori O’Neal McElrath, and The Alliance for Nonprofit Management (Jossey-Bass)