Valley Nonprofit Resources

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Nonprofit Capacity-Building Resources

Resource Directory for Nonprofit Capacity Building in Los Angeles The 20th edition of this Directory (July 2023) offers a starting place to identify individuals and organizations providing capacity-building services and resources to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County. This free accessible document includes brief listings of information about: Consultants, Foundations, HR Provider Organizations, Grantseeker Information Centers, Management Support Organizations, Nonprofit Executive Director Coalitions, Nonprofit Management Higher Education Programs, Technology Resources and Volunteer Centers. Contact and brief descriptive information is provided. No verifications or ratings were done of information submitted by those listed, and as said in the Disclaimer at the beginning, no claim is made that the Directory is comprehensive. Download a free copy (.pdf).

American Nonprofit Academy The mission of the American Nonprofit Academy is to bring education, leadership, connectivity and collaboration to the nonprofit community. Its vision is to educate and connect stakeholders in the nonprofit community with low cost educational opportunities and their values orient communities towards building sustainable approaches to philanthropy. To learn more about the American Nonprofit Academy and how they can help a nonprofit organization, visit the American Nonprofit Academy website.

Assessment of the Chief Executive: A Tool for Nonprofit Boards, is an online assessment tool from BoardSource. This tool allows nonprofits to confidentially survey board members and receive summaries of their input on executive performance; it provides an alternative to paper-based surveying. For more information and pricing, contact BoardSource at 877/892-6273 or visit the Assessment of the Chief Executive Demo webpage for an online demonstration.

BoardSource Strategic Planning Toolkit BoardSource's new toolkit, Strategic Planning: Understanding the Process, includes 21 tools that guide boards through the strategic planning process and help define the right approach to planning for their nonprofit organization. Topics covered in the toolkit include: Improving board and organization readiness to engage in the strategic planning process, optimizing resources and personnel, and maintaining and nurturing a plan. For more information and to purchase, visit the BoardSource Product website.

BoardSource Toolkits BoardSource's popular downloadable toolkits feature advice and practical tips from their library of nonprofit governance materials. Featured Toolkit topics include: Recruiting a Stronger Board, Effective Orientation of New Board Members, Assessing and Supporting the Chief Executive, Fundraising, and Surviving the Financial Crisis. All Toolkits are $25 for Boardsource members or $38 for nonmembers. For more information on these and other Toolkits and to purchase, please visit the BoardSource Downloadable E-Toolkits webpage.

California Grants Portal The California Grants Portal (a project by the California State Library) lists grants and loans offered by California state agencies. The site was built with input from a variety of stakeholders, and improvements are already planned for the coming months. To access the California Grants Portal, go to the California Grants Portal webpage.

Center for Healthy Communities The Center is located in downtown Los Angeles and is part of The California Endowment. It provides educational events, hosts community meetings, and works to strengthen the nonprofit health sector, and engage the community in building coalitions. For more information, please visit the Center for Healthy Communities website.

Coaching and Philanthropy Project a CompassPoint Nonprofit Services program, was created to assess and advance coaching as a strategy for building effective nonprofit organizations. To consolidate and share knowledge about coaching, the project has created easy-access materials, including action guides for grantmakers, nonprofits, and coaches as well as an online toolkit that includes FAQs, tools, case studies, and reports to help inform nonprofit and grantmaking decision-making about coaching. To access these materials, go to: Coaching and Philanthropy Project.

Communications Resources for Nonprofit Organizations is a section of The California Wellness Foundation's website, which examines the role of communications and tactics that can help further the missions of nonprofit organizations. Included are resources on developing a strategic plan, advancing policy and advocacy issues, working with the media, creating advertisements and framing issues. Visit the website.

Crowdfunding for Nonprofits is valuable tool for fundraising for charitable nonprofits, but there is much to consider before beginning a crowdfunding effort. For nonprofits considering the idea, The Council of Nonprofits has provided a detailed summary which includes a number of additional resources. To access this summary, visit The Council of Nonprofits.

CSUN Programs Serving Valley Nonprofits California State University Northridge offers three programs, all based within the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, which can provide services to Valley nonprofits:

  • Agency 398 is a student-run public relations agency within CSUN’s Journalism Department. Students organize public relations campaigns for clients, including nonprofits. For more information, please visit the Agency 398 website.
  • DesignHub is a cooperative studio course at CSUN where student designers work with community organizations to solve design problems through design thinking. Design teams offer services in nonprofit branding, design strategy, web presence and other forms of visual media. For more information, please visit the DesignHub website.

DAF Direct is a free, easily-installed web application that enables a nonprofit’s donors to initiate grant recommendations from their donor-advised fund (DAF) directly from the organization’s website or online fundraising compaigns.  In 2013 alone, nonprofits received $8.6 billion in grant recommended by DAF donors.  More information about DAF Direct and the DAFs it currently accesses, such as Fidelity Charitable and Schwab Charitable, is available at the DAF Direct website.

Financial Edge NXT: Cloud Accounting Software for Nonprofits is a total cloud accounting solution designed to meet the unique needs of nonprofits. Financial Edge NXT helps manage financial reporting, monitor and track program success, support fundraising efforts, and ensure overall integrity of the nonprofit. For more information and purchasing options, please visit the Blackbaud Financial Edge website.

Foundation Center's MapShot is an online interactive map providing data on U.S. foundation giving in response to the economic downturn. Part of the Center's initiative to provide information, news, and research on the impact of the recession on the philanthropic sector, the map displays data by state, county, city, Zip code, and congressional district. It presently includes information on more than $56 million in foundation grants and program-related investments (PRIs). For information, please visit the Foundation Center's MapShot website.

Foundation for Financial Planning provides grants to nonprofits for pro bono advice and outreach activities that connect the financial planning community with people in need. For more information go to Foundation for Financial Planning.

Giving USA is an annual report on philanthropic giving in the United States. The 2021 study shows that Americans gave $471.44 billion to charity in 2021, with 69% by individuals, 19% by foundations, 9% by bequests, and 4% by corporations. There is a charge for the full report, but a free summary graphic is available on the Giving USA website.

GrantAdvisor is a web service that facilitates open dialogue between nonprofits and grantmakers by collecting authentic, real-time reviews and comments on grantseekers’ experiences working with funders to encourage more productive philanthropy. Feedback is shared anonymously and once a funder receives 5 reviews, the data on that funder will be posted publicly and funders will have the opportunity to respond to reviews. In addition to aggregating feedback on the grant application process, GrantAdvisor will provide a forum to share views on how funders influence their field. To learn more, visit the Grant Advisor website.

Grant Professionals Association This nonprofit membership association holds annual conferences, publishes a semi-annual journal, and works to establish a formal credentialing process for grant professionals. For more information, go to: Grant Professionals Association

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) provides a chance for nonprofits to get free publicity. Founded in 2008 by Peter Shankman, HARO brings nearly 30,000 reporters and bloggers, over 100,000 news sources and thousands of small businesses and nonprofits together to tell their stories, promote their brands and sell their products and services. HARO is entirely free to sources and reporters, and unlike a majority of social media services, is independently owned and funded and has been profitable since day one. In addition, HARO serves as a vital social networking resource for sources, reporters and advertisers who use the service. To learn more, or to sign up and participate, visit the Help a Reporter Out - Free Publicity website.

IssueLab Forum for Nonprofit Research IssueLab is an online publishing forum for research on the nonprofit sector. All research studies posted are on an open archive that is free for professional as well as the general public to access. For more information visit the website.

Nonprofit Accounting Basics Nonprofit Accounting Basics offers useful guidance on a range of accounting and bookkeeping topics. The site also has articles and “how-to” guides on a range of other topics, including internal controls, budgeting, and financial reporting, as well as webinars available for viewing. Visit the Nonprofit Accounting Basics website.

Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit Once an organization has defined the role it needs to fill, and the skills, experience, and level of education required it's ready to embark on the process of writing the job description. The job description is the primary vehicle for announcing the open position to external and internal audiences, and is a valuable tool for finding candidates best-suited to your organization's needs. This toolkit makes the process understandable and simple to do. To access, go to: Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit.

The Nonprofit Partnership – Resource Library This resource library includes General Nonprofit Resource Pages, TNP Webinars for COVID-19 Response, HR Check-Ins, COVID-19 Nonprofit Response Resources, and Nonprofit Funding Resources- Emergency Funding and General Support. All resources and past webinars can be viewed free of charge. To access, go to the The Nonprofit Partnership Resource Library website.

OMB Uniform Guidance on Overhead Governments at all levels – local, state, and federal – that hire nonprofits to deliver services are now required to reimburse nonprofits for reasonable indirect costs (sometimes called “overhead” or “administrative” costs) they incur on behalf of governments when federal dollars are part of the funding stream. The new mandate is embedded in grantmaking rules that the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) put into effect at the end of 2014. In addition, the new OMB Uniform Guidance streamlines and clarifies cost allocation and other rules related to government grants and contracts, removing some areas of confusion and inconsistency while treating more of a nonprofit’s expenses as direct (reimbursable) costs.  For more information, please visit the National Council of NonProfits Website.

The Operating Reserves Policy Toolkit for Nonprofit Organizations is now available to serve as a technical reference for nonprofit board and staff policy committees, as well as their financial consultants and professionals that wish to build operating reserves policies for their organizations. The two lead sponsors on the project are the National Center for Charitable Statistics, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy of The Urban Institute, and the United Way Worldwide. Download a copy at the Wallace Foundation website (.pdf).

Product Donations Available for Nonprofit Organizations is a project operated by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. Its mission and purpose is to redistribute merchandise donations from participating corporations to nonprofits serving people in need. Goods range from clothing to diapers, mattresses and furniture to office and school supplies, to personal hygiene products and beyond. Inventory changes every day. To register and participate, visit their website.

Roster of Needs Assessment Tools This roster contains 18 self-assessment tools nonprofits may use as part of planning for capacity building. Information on cost, level of complexity (low-medium-high) and estimated time to complete are included for each. Most can be used by any type of nonprofit, though a few were constructed specifically for one subject area, such as the arts (titles indicate clearly which these are). Users can find out more about a tool by clicking on its title, which makes a connection to the developer's website. Visit the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund website.

Southern California Grantmakers This organization provides information, networking and technical assistance for foundations in Southern California. For more information, visit the Southern California Grantmakers website.

Stratiscope’s Community Intelligence Podcast The Community Intelligence podcast features prominent private and public sector leaders who have found success working with and engaging community. Each episode features a conversation between Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie and the guest who shares their experience, insights, failures, and successes related to their work with community. For more information and to subscribe to the podcast, go to Stratiscope's Community Intelligence Podcast.

TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool CCAT is an online questionnaire that assesses a nonprofit based on four organizational capacities: adaptive, leadership, management and technical. It also assesses organizational culture. The 146-question tool generates a list of strengths, challenges and recommendations of the organization, based on replies from staff and board. In addition, it yields a capacity-building plan, with steps an organization can implement on its own or with outside help. For more information about CCAT, contact Alexandrea Ravenelle at 212/949-0990, ext. 202 or via e-mail.

Third Sector Report is a website in partnership with the Long Beach Business Journal as part of its mission to foster a continuity of quality nonprofit leadership in the communities served. On that website are several columns written by Jeffrey Wilcox, as well as accessibility to other publications including a book, also written by Wilcox, titled The Nonprofit Leader Of The New Decade. In order to access the materials it is necessary to register, sign in and pay a fee. To learn more and to access the web site.

Third Sector New England (TNSE) is a nonprofit management support/capacity building organization based in Boston. TNSE has created free online reference tools including a frequently asked questions section in audio-video format on a variety of capacity building and nonprofit management topics. For more information visit their video blog.

Wallace Foundation – Resources for Nonprofit Financial Management This page offers general resources on financial management, including articles and studies by leading thinkers in the field of nonprofit finances. Visit the website.

We Are Family Too Fund supports local animal welfare programs nationwide and addresses the country's difficult financial climate. Grants are available through the Petco Foundation, whose mission is to raise the quality of life for pets and the people who love and need them. Grants are provided to shelters that have seen an increase in surrendered animals due to the rise in foreclosures and evictions, as well as to organizations that have programs that help families in their communities stay with their companion animals during these hard economic times. Examples of funded programs include resources for pet-friendly rentals, spay and neuter services, short term foster homes, etc. Applications may be submitted at any time and generally take up to twelve weeks to process. To submit an online application for help, go to:
"We Are Family Too" Fund.

Wells Fargo Works delivers resources, guidance and services for business owners, offering guidance on topics such as writing a business plan, marketing a business, managing cash flow, and building credit to help business owners (and nonprofits) increase their knowledge and confidence. The site includes hundreds of feature stories, informational articles, and videos featuring national small business strategy experts and business owners sharing their experiences. To access, go to the Wells Fargo Works website.