Valley Nonprofit Resources

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Nonprofit Capacity-Building Resources

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: Assessment of the Chief Executive Demo for an online demonstration.

Board Self-Assessment: Assess to Advance is an online tool by BoardSource. The tool helps nonprofit boards reflect on how well it they are meeting governance responsibilities, establish a common understanding of those responsibilities, and discover critical areas for improvement. For more information and pricing, contact BoardSource at 877/892-6273 or visit: SAMPLE Board Self-Assessment.

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 go to:Strategic Planning: Understanding the Process

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 go to: Downloadable E-Toolkits

Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles In this book, authors John Brothers, Senior Fellow at the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, and Anne Sherman, of TCC Group, offer help to nonprofit leaders in figuring out how to effectively navigate change within their organizations, no matter how large or small. They use the theory of nonprofit "lifecycle advancement' as a type of change management that can help organizations build capacities that are appropriate to each stage of their organization's evolution. For more information, go to: Downloadable E-Toolkits

Capaciteria Free service designed to help nonprofits find the best resources to build their institutional capacity; provides a comprehensive, searchable database directory of categorized administrative resources. For more information: www.capaciteria.org.

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: www.calendow.org/chc.

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. To access this section of the website, go to: http://www.calwellness.org/resources/philanthropy_comm_tools.php

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: http://www.agency398.com/
  • 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: http://csundesignhub.org/
  • VISCOM provides students with the opportunity to receive credit and/or financial compensation for graphic-related services provided to community organizations. For more information, please visit: http://viscomcenter.com/

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: www.dafdirect.org

Downsizing: Doing It Right, While Minimizing the Pain is a new publication by PBP Executive Reports, useful for both businesses and nonprofits, that offers reduction-in-force guidelines and suggestions that can help to minimize the pain of lay-offs while maintaining employee morale. It also covers getting positioned to bounce back when the need for minimizing is over. Advice includes: Specific must-do tasks for 7 critical areas within an organization, setting the selection criteria to avoid legal repercussions, and reduction-in-force pitfalls and how to avoid them. 24 pages, price $99. Instant PDF download delivery. For more information and to order go to: PBP Executive Reports

Embracing Cultural Competency: A Roadmap for Nonprofit Capacity Builders No how-to manual exists on cultural competency. And, compared to other topics in nonprofit management, little exists on the skills and strategies needed to address racism and inequity. Building cultural competency is an ongoing journey that nonprofit leaders choose to take because they know the end result will be a more inclusive, connected, and effective organization. Contributing authors help readers grapple with the urgent issues that can transform capacity builders into change agents in the nonprofit sector. To purchase a copy, go to: Embracing Cultural Competency.

Executive Leadership Study - Daring to Lead In partnership with CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation, the Center for Nonprofit Management encouraged participation in 2011 Daring to Lead, a national research project to help learn more about the career paths, tenure, challenges and professional development needs of nonprofit executive directors. To view the results of the Daring to Lead survey, go to: Daring to Lead 2011

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: https://www.blackbaud.com/nonprofit-accounting-software/financial-edge-nxt.

Fortifying L.A.'s Nonprofit Organizations: Capacity Building Needs and Services in Los Angeles County is the report of a study commissioned by the Weingart Foundation and conducted by TCC Group. Hard copies of the report are available by email request to . The full report and its executive summary are also available for download at the Foundation's website, www.weingartfnd.org.

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). http://maps.foundationcenter.org/economic_crisis/RecipTypeUS.php.

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.

Foundation Source Access is an online giving marketplace that allows nonprofits to reach out to multiple private foundations for funding. The site is organized around the philanthropic interests and major nonprofit causes targeted by the foundation world. Nonprofits create profiles in Access for their organizations and for their fundraising projects. There is a small fee to list fund raising projects in the Access directory. To register to use Foundation Source Access, please visit Register for Foundation Source Access or for more information, please contact 

Govern More, Manage Less is a book by Boardsource, designed for chief executives and board members. Author Cathy Trower suggests actions that will help boards balance their responsibilities and understand how to practice macrogovernance and avoid micromanagement, despite increasing demands for procedural accountability. She provides guidance on how to shift the board's central focus from management to governance, from compliance to performance. For a description of the book, to view the Table of Contents and Introduction and/or to purchase it, go to: Govern More, Manage Less.

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

Grants for Capacity Building, Management & Technical Assistance - 2013 Digital Edition is a publication helpful for identifying prospective funders for general support or specific projects of nonprofits. Published by the Foundation Center, it has descriptions of over 10,000 grants worth almost $2 billion from over 800 foundations. It includes grants for fundraising assistance, developing marketing plans, leadership development and staff training, etc. For more information and to purchase the downloadable guide, go to: Grants for Capacity Building, Management & Technical Assistance

H & R Block Company's Affiliate Program allows nonprofits to earn money by referring customers to H&R Block. As Block's affiliate, an H&R Block-approved link to hrblock.com is placed onto the affiliate's own website. When users click on the link or banner and purchase online or software tax solutions the affiliate makes money. H & R Block handles the transaction, processing and customer service. They track all sales through a neutral third party and make online reporting available to the affiliate so it can always know how much is being earned. H & R Block mails a check for every calendar month in which the cumulative commissions total at least $25. For more details and/or to fill in an application go to:www.hrblock.com/universal/alliances_join.html

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, go to: Help a Reporter Out - Free Publicity.

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:www.issuelab.org.

New Purchasing Options for Nonprofit Organizations Every nonprofit organization needs basic office supplies and business services. The Nonprofit Purchasing Group (NPPG) just launched a website to provide a one-stop discounted shopping experience for nonprofits across the nation. Members receive easy and discounted access to supplies and services from all types of business vendors. For more information, go to:www.nonprofitpurchasinggroup.org

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.

Nonprofit Job Seeker, the job board for the Nonprofit Times, provides listings of nonprofit jobs nationwide as well resources for nonprofit job seekers and employers. For more information go to www.nonprofitjobseeker.com.

Nonprofit Resources Center Formerly housed at Flintridge Center, the Nonprofit Resource Center is housed at the La Pintoresca branch of the Pasadena Library. It contains the San Gabriel Valley's only Foundation Center Cooperating Collection which includes extensive reference and circulating materials on fundraising, grant writing and nonprofit management as well as computers for research and online access to Foundation Center resources. For more information, go to: La Pintoresca Branch Library.

Nonprofit Webinars provides educational and professional development offerings for trustees and staffs of nonprofit organizations. This site offers a wide variety of presentations free of charge on a number of topics, including advancement, governance, management, organizational development, and other areas. For more information and to view the webinar schedule go to: Nonprofit Webinars.

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. For additional information, please e-mail Bess Hamilton Foley at:

Product Donations Available for Nonprofit Organizations Good360.org 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, go to: www.good360.org

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. For more information: www.dsyf.org/resources_CBI.asp.

Shared Services: A Guide to Creative Collaborative Solutions for Nonprofits is the first comprehensive guide for nonprofit executives looking to create shared services programs. Written by Jackie Cefola of Third Sector New England's Nonprofit Center, China Brotsky of Tides and Roxanne Hanson of The NonprofitCenters Network, the guide is based on interviews with executives of shared services programs and knowledge gathered through field research across the United States and Canada. From simple equipment sharing to complex multi-service operations, this guide provides the roadmap to create a successful program. To download free sample pages and to order a copy of the guide go to:Shared Services.

Southern California Grantmakers This organization provides information, networking and technical assistance for foundations in Southern California. For more information:www.socalgrantmakers.org.

Starting a Nonprofit? Because VNR’s main objective is helping established nonprofits in the San Fernando Valley, we don’t offer direct services to those wishing to start a nonprofit organization.  Three resources that may be useful for this purpose are:

  • How to Start a Nonprofit Organization in California is an online guide prepared by Harbor Compliance that covers topics like research that should be done about the need for another nonprofit, the cost of forming one, necessary paperwork, tax information and other issues.  Go to https://www.harborcompliance.com/information/how-to-start-a-non-profit-organization-in-california
  • Starting a Nonprofit? is an online guide offered by the Center for Nonprofit Management that provides access to resources about how to start a nonprofit organization - including PDF documents and links to books for purchase. It covers many topics, such as finding free or low-cost legal services needed to incorporate. Go to: http://cnmsocal.org/starting-a-nonprofit/ 
  • How to Start a California Nonprofit is an online guide offered by the California Association of Nonprofits providing a detailed explanation of steps to take when starting a nonprofit, with resources to help with each step. Go to: http://www.calnonprofits.org/resources?catid=0&id=65

Also, the Center for Nonprofit Management offers courses on how to start a nonprofit. The Center can be reached by phone at (213) 687-9511 or online at https://cnmsocal.org/.

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 go to:https://thirdsectorcompany.com/.

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 at:https://tsne.wordpress.com/category/vlog/.

Turn Reluctant Board Members into Enthusiastic Fundraisers is aimed at nonprofit board members who are reluctant to ask for money for their organizations. The report offers 10 steps to maximize a board's fundraising potential, especially during the current hard times. It also discusses how to shift the focus away from the "ask" to building and keeping relationships, and explains how to make fundraising more comfortable and enjoyable. Cost for an immediate PDF download of the report is $99. To order go to:www.pbpexecutivereports.com/er.asp?o=72W&F=A&L=fundraise1&id=537803766

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.