Valley Nonprofit Resources

  • San Fernando Valley vista, Valley Nonprofit Resources

Welcome to Valley Nonprofit Resources

Established in 2007, Valley Nonprofit Resources offers both information and services to strengthen the 4,300 nonprofit organizations in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles. Welcome to VNR's website! Click on the buttons above and at the top to access many resources that can help you increase the effectiveness of your nonprofit. VNR is a program within the Center for Southern California Studies, at California State University Northridge.

October 2015 VNR Workshop at Strength United Featured Events
06/15/22 - Interpersonal Violence Education for NE Valley Health & Human Services Nonprofits
06/28/22 - Getting Sponsorships for Your Nonprofit
07/26/22 - Making Board Membership More Compelling - Workshop Intensive

Featured Publications
June 2022 Featured Publications

New! 2022 Resource Directory for Nonprofit Capacity Building in Los Angeles County (.pdf)



October 2015 VNR Workshop at Strength United. ;Photo (above) of the San Fernando Valley courtesy of Randy Witt Productions.

In the News

Interpersonal Violence Education for NE Valley Health & Human Services Nonprofits This free event is being done in partnership with Strength United and is co-sponsored by Valley Providers Collaborative.  It will provide helpful information to nonprofits that do not offer IPV services, but may come into contact with clients, staff or their family members who have challenges in this area.  Referral information also will be offered about agencies that DO provide such services. Alejandra Sandoval of Strength United will lead the workshop. It will be held Wednesday, June 15, 4-5:30 pm by Zoom. Register for this event

Getting Sponsorships for Your Nonprofit In this free workshop, A.J. Steinberg, CFRE, of Queen Bee Fundraising, will provide an overview of what business or individual sponsors are looking for, and how to create sponsorship packages that are seen as valuable by the sponsor, so they’ll commit to supporting and be happy with the results.  The workshop will include numerous examples and best practices from nonprofits that have succeeded with sponsorships.  It will be held Tuesday, June 28, 2022 from 4-5:30 pm by Zoom.  Register for this event.

Making Board Membership More Compelling - Workshop Intensive will present strategies for making board membership — and board meetings — more rewarding, and more interesting. Leading the workshop will be VNR Senior Consultant Janet Levine, who has worked with many nonprofit Boards.  It will be limited to six participants - with a waiting list if needed.  Participants will submit information about their Boards in advance, and each will have “airtime” at the workshop to address their particular concerns.  A drawing will be held after the workshop and one selected participant will receive a free consultation on redesigning their board by Janet Levine, valued at $1,000.  The free workshop will be held Tuesday, July 26, 2022 from 4:30-6 pm by Zoom. Apply for a space at this special event.


June 2022 Featured Publications

7 Guiding Principles for a JDEI Policy That Isn’t Just Hot Air. Plus, a Free Sample Policy!

There have been JDEI (Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) assessments, JDEI-driven strategic planning processes, and formal statements in response to important individual events, but strangely there isn’t a lot of guidance for organizations that want to create a binding, board-approved policy that incorporates values, action plans, and accountability. Here are seven guiding principles to go beyond reactive or one-off statements in order to create a DEI policy that indicates a genuine and thorough commitment and has the greatest likelihood to transform your organization and lead to real change. Access this article.

Building a Trust-Based Philanthropy to Shift Power Back to Communities To realize the deep systemic change that America is demanding, philanthropy must reorganize to build and demonstrate a trust-based culture, invest in community leadership capacity-building, and open up decision-making and information-sharing structures. This shift has important implications for nonprofits and community groups, as well as for foundations and donors. Access this article.

Why Nonprofits Should Consider A Legacy Giving Program And How To Get Started A legacy gift is a gift that reflects a person’s deepest desires and longings to “leave their mark” after their passing, make a lasting contribution and impact society and the world long after they are gone. This article has practical suggestions on how to start up a legacy giving program. Access this article

10 Strategic Ways Nonprofits Can Influence Giving From Major Corporations Aligning the social goals of a for-profit with a donation to a nonprofit helps further the social initiatives of both organizations. This article presents 10 ways nonprofits can facilitate this alignment process. Access this article.

Measuring Is an Act of Power: A Call for Pro-Black Measurement and Evaluation This article discusses learning, hopes, and opportunities related to how evaluation professionals in the nonprofit sector can interact best with themes of equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism (EDIAR) in their evaluation work. Access this article.


Video Podcast

VNR now has two video podcasts available for free viewing (on the podcast channel listing, press Play to listen just to audio, press Watch to see the video):

  1. VNR’s Executive Director Dr Thomas Backer talks about the history of Valley Nonprofit Resources, and what kinds of services VNR offers, in this 2-part, 23-minute podcast hosted by BigMediaUSA (bmbc.tv).
  2. CSUN Associate Professor of Social Work Allen Lipcomb discusses concepts of anti-racism, and his work for VNR on this topic - both technical assistance and educational workshops, in this 22-minute podcast hosted by BigMediaUSA (bmbc.tv).

What VNR Workshop Frequent Flyers Say

Over the last 15 years VNR has offered more than 400 free educational workshops.  A few frequent flyer participants have attended 20 or more of these events, and here's what several of them have to say about them:

VNR is my favorite contact to learn about resources that help local nonprofits build a strong, lasting foundation; find collaborators; and figure out the best way to tackle any issue.  Through VNR's workshops, I learned the importance of sustainable programming, networking, communicating with funders, and strategic planning.  I owe our success over the last 10 years of operation, in part, to Tom Backer and VNR!
-Dale Gorman, Executive Director, Kids Community Dental Center

For many years, I have participated in Valley Nonprofit Resources workshops and through them have connected with a wide variety of agency leaders, often sparking collaborations. The workshops provided best practices and other useful information on fundraising, advocacy, governance, marketing, nonprofit laws, board development, succession, sustainability and more.
-Cindy Pease, Executive Director, Musicians at Play Foundation

As a new executive director, VNR was instrumental in providing relevant workshops in an intimate setting that propelled our organization forward.
-Maria Alexander, Center for Living and Learning

San Fernando Community Health Center has found collaboration with Valley Nonprofit Resources very useful over the years.  VNR has great insight into the needs of nonprofits in the San Fernando Valley; the workshops we have hosted and/or attended through the years have been informative and well-organized.
-Audrey Simons, San Fernando Community Health Center


VNR Recovery Resources

As we move into recovery from the pandemic, San Fernando Valley nonprofits face many challenges, and also have learned much from the experiences of the last year. These resources can support planning for recovery and may lead to additional online or in-person resources nonprofit leaders may find helpful. Some of the resources are specific to health, human services and youth development nonprofits, but many are likely to be useful regardless of the type of nonprofit.

VNR Recovery Initiative Launched in July 2020, the CSUN Valley Nonprofit Resources Recovery Initiative (VRI) is aimed at helping San Fernando Valley nonprofits respond to the challenges of recovery as Los Angeles more fully re-opens after the pandemic lockdown. More than 20 free Zoom educational workshops have been offered, and more are planned, on topics ranging from strategic re-structuring to digital strategies for fundraising. Recovery Roundtables in specific communities (Burbank, Glendale, Canoga Park, Reseda, North Hollywood, Pacoima and City of San Fernando) offer a chance for local nonprofits to explore recovery challenges like all the trauma (staff, volunteers, clients and communities) the pandemic has created, and how they might work together. Technical assistance to selected Valley nonprofits also is being offered, along with TA and education focused on anti-racism strategies for nonprofits (supported by grants from The California Wellness Foundation and California Community Foundation, and offered by CSUN Professor Allen Lipscomb, consultant to VNR). A survey of recovery challenges and opportunities was conducted in Spring 2021, funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Valleys (copy available upon request). VRI is supported by grants from Joseph Drown Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Morgan Stanley, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, UniHealth Foundation, Weingart Foundation and Wells Fargo. For more information, contact VNR at 818/677-2774.

Regularly Updated Information Resources

These online resources provide information updated weekly or monthly on various aspects of the pandemic – nonprofits can sign up for them free of charge.

Center for Nonprofit Management COVID-19 Resource Center offers a variety of information resources for nonprofits handling the challenges of COVID-19. Visit the Center for Nonprofit Management COVID-19 Resource Center Website

City of LA Mayor’s Office Updates LA City Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office distributes a monthly newsletter including the latest updates on COVID-19, vaccines, opportunities for aid and upcoming events. To sign up for this newsletter, go to www.lamayor.org.

COVID-19 Weekly Update This e-mail is prepared weekly by the SPA 2 Regional Health Office of Los Angeles County, providing a variety of information and announcements related to COVID-19. It is available free of charge by sending an email to SPA2@ph.lacounty.gov including name, organization, and role in the organization.

HelpGuide – Coronavirus & Mental Health Section This free resource contains a number of articles and meditations to help with the mental health challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. It includes a Coronavirus Mental Health Toolkit, and resources specific to a number of problem areas, ranging from burnout prevention to sleep problems to parenting strategies. To access, please visit the Coronavirus Help Home Page.

VCCC’s Weekly COVID-19 Update Each week, Valley Care Community Consortium sends out an email that includes information on the latest COVID-19 developments, including events, in the San Fernando Valley. These resources are focused on health and human services nonprofits in the Valley. To sign up for this newsletter, email: intern@valleyccc.org.

Virus and the Valley: Newsletter from Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg Every month, Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg publishes a newsletter with the latest information about what is happening in the San Fernando Valley. The newsletter provides updates on Health & Safety (including the vaccine rollout and other Covid-19 resources), Jobs and the Economy, and Valley Life. To sign up for this newsletter, please visit the Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg's website.

A resource specific to youth development nonprofits is updated periodically:
Empower offers a range of COVID-related information and tools specifically for youth development nonprofits, focused on fundraising, and on working with youth. To access, please visit the Empower website.

Publications

COVID-19 Recovery: Preparing Your Organization and Volunteer Program Identifies four phases of disaster management as well as the five steps for nonprofit recovery planning. To access this article, please visit the Galaxy Digital Blog.

COVID-19 Resources for California’s Nonprofits CalNonprofits has compiled a list of resources to support nonprofits and their staff. Topics include Advocacy and Support, COVID-19 Related Funding Opportunities, Federal Resources and Information, California Announcements and Resources (Including Re-Opening Guidance), Employer and Employee Resources, and Resources for Individuals. To access these resources, please visit the CalNonprofits website.

LAEDC's Community Connectory The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.'s Community Connectory provides resources for small businesses, nonprofits and vulnerable residents during this pandemic. To access the directory, please visit the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation website.

Organizational Race Equity Toolkit The Organizational Race Equity Toolkit from the Washington Race Equity Initiative is more than 100 pages of supportive content specifically aimed at organizational equity and the change processes needed to build it. It includes a host of definitions, worksheets, and frameworks to support assessment and planning. To download a copy of this resource, please visit the JustLead Washington website (.pdf).

Safer at Work Los Angeles Reopening Los Angeles County safely will require active participation from every business owner, employee and customer. Safer at Work LA acts as a resource hub for businesses, employers, workers, and residents as everyone seeks to achieve a shared goal of getting Los Angeles back to work safely. The resources on this site are free to use and designed to help businesses across the County communicate to their employees, partners and clients the critical steps they are taking in order to operate as safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to access these resources, please visit the Safer at Work LA website.