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
02/8/22 - Creating Social Media Videos to Drive Fundraising
03/2/22 - Handling Leadership and Staff Transitions

Featured Publications
New! January 2022 Featured Publications

2021 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

Happy New Year from VNR! We look forward to another year of serving Valley nonprofits in 2022.

Creating Social Media Videos to Drive Fundraising This free workshop will teach you a step-by-step process to create video content for social media. Well-made short videos can turn views into donations, especially with younger audiences. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms are purpose-built to show off your nonprofit’s stories of success and highlight your clients’ needs. And they are inexpensive too - just open the camera on your smartphone, record your mission in action, and upload!  The videos you create also can be posted on your website and embedded in emails. Social media expert and VNR Program Administrator Brian Frankel will lead this workshop, offered on Zoom on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 from 4-5:30 pm. Register for this Event.

Handling Leadership and Staff Transitions Today many nonprofit CEOs are retiring or thinking of retiring, and hiring new staff at all levels can be difficult - especially during recovery from the pandemic. This workshop will address both challenges, and it will be the first in-person learning event Valley Nonprofit Resources has had in two years!  Speakers will be:

  • Julie Truong, founder and principal of Leadership Savvy, an expert consultant on transitions
  • Dr. Joan Maltese and Tessa Graham, co-CEOs of Child Development Institute as it makes a major leadership transition; and
  • Pierre Arreola (Executive Director) and Ninette Ayala (Board Member), of AWOKE, a youth development agency which is quickly hiring employees and consultants thanks to a major increase in revenues.

The workshop is free and will be held Wednesday, March 2, 2022 from 1:30-3 pm, in a large and well-ventilated tent on the grounds of Child Development Institute’s Reseda campus, with easy parking adjacent. It will be moderated by VNR Executive Director Dr. Tom Backer. Due to COVID requirements the event will be limited to fully vaccinated participants, and to a maximum of 30 (there will be a waiting list if needed). Also note the earlier time, so we can meet in daylight. To register click here: Register for this Event.

January 2022 Featured Publications

2022 Nonprofit Talent Management Priorities Survey Results This report summarizes results from a survey that assesses and reveals what nonprofit organizations are most concerned about regarding managing their people resources for 2022. Nonprofit HR researchers collected information pertaining to the full lifecycle of talent management and other related topics such as talent acquisition, culture and employee engagement, and total rewards. Access this article.

Best Practices in Sending Year-end Statements to Donors Year-end tax statements provide donors with a convenient summary of their charitable contributions. They also offer an additional opportunity for the nonprofit to express its appreciation. These simple guidelines will help guide such expression, and an example is given. Access this article.

5 Tips for Creating Effective Online Fundraisers In general, the most successful online fundraisers prioritize the donor experience from start to finish. Seasoned nonprofit professionals are used to managing donor experience during in-person fundraisers, but doing so in a digital space takes some special considerations. This article shares five tips to prioritize donor experience and make online fundraisers as effective as possible! Access this article.

Talking About Outcomes, Not Outputs: How Nonprofits Can Shift Donors’ Mindsets on Funding Sometimes nonprofits confuse and conflate outcomes and outputs in their marketing and fundraising campaigns. Outputs are the different things a nonprofit makes and provides, while outcomes are the differences made by those things. In fundraising, outcomes are king, because, as the strategist Deb Mills-Scofield notes, “Outcomes are the difference made by the outputs.” Access this article.

How to Launch a Campaign When Everyone’s Launching a Campaign This article offers advice for timing of a fundraising campaign launch, as well as new approaches to volunteer leadership, and more. 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 (
  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 (

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 a dozen 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 offered by CSUN Professor Allen Lipscomb, consultant to VNR). A survey of recovery challenges and opportunities is being conducted in Spring 2021, funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Valleys. VRI is supported by grants from California Community Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Ralph M. Parsons 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. Updated: July 2, 2021

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

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 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:

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.


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.