A career in the non-profit sector can be incredibly rewarding. It can also be difficult without the support of others with a similar vision. From getting started to finding ongoing sources of funding, building a successful nonprofit organization takes a lot of work. Make it easier on yourself by tapping into the many resources offered by the trustworthy groups profiled in this guide
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Use these sites and pages to help you get going with your nonprofit venture. Find planning tools to help you set goals, and sound advice to help you figure out how to achieve them. You’ll also find lots of important information about everything from creating your board of directors to filing all the right tax papers.
How to Start a Nonprofit — This page, from the National Council of Nonprofits, outlines the exact steps you’ll need to take in order to start your nonprofit business or project. Follow the links for detailed information about how to go about completing each task.
Volunteering and Nonprofit Careers — Learn How to Become is a group that helps people to map out their future in order to achieve their highest goals. These pages can help guide you toward success in the nonprofit sector.
Center for Nonprofit Advancement — While the center is based in the greater Washington, D.C. area, you can find some excellent resources to use from wherever you are. There’s lots of helpful information for starting a non-profit, including tax how-to’s and FAQs.
About.com Nonprofit Pages — In this collection of articles, you’ll find lots of excellent information to help you start and manage your nonprofit or charitable organization.
Nonprofit Good Practice Guide — This organization was founded to help charitable and nonprofit organizations in Michigan, but the resources it offers can be useful to nonprofit managers anywhere. Find tips, advice, and insights about finding funds, managing finances, governance, communication, and more.
Marketing and Networking
Just like any business or project, it’s important to get the word out. The idea of marketing can be a little scary when you’re working with limited funding. The good news is that in today’s world of social media and instant information, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Use the sound advice and information in this section to help you grow your nonprofit by getting others excited about what you’re doing.
Kivi’s Nonprofit Communication Blog — This blog is a treasure trove of marketing resources for nonprofit businesses and organizations. Every post is full of great tips, and you can even sign up for training courses.
Beth's Blog — Beth Kanter specializes in teaching nonprofits to use social media for networking and creating positive change. Find plenty of valuable insights, or sign up for personalized mentoring.
Selfish Giving — This blog focuses on providing marketing solutions for nonprofits and charitable groups. Posts cover everything from cool opportunities to participate in charity projects to things you can do to boost your nonprofit’s visibility.
RAD Campaign — Want some expert marketing and networking tips for your nonprofit? This blog is a great place to find them. Learn how to grow a social media following, how to raise money, and how to inspire future nonprofit leaders.
Connections and Volunteers
Look here to connect with others who are undertaking nonprofit or charitable projects, and with volunteers around the world. Help someone else out by donating your time and expertise to their nonprofit, or search for volunteers who would like to help make your project a reality. There are even some great avenues to explore if you’re looking for financial help.
Idealist — Visit Idealist to find volunteering opportunities, learn about local events and gatherings, and find funding for your amazing project or idea.
Volunteer Match — This group connects volunteers with opportunities to do good things. Find people who want to help with your nonprofit, as well as some insight into how to find volunteers who are a good match for your nonprofit.
A Small Change — On this site, there’s a wealth of information for people looking to find ways to fund their non-profit projects. Get insights and tips, and connect with others to share stories or ask questions.
Nonprofit Information — As the name indicates, this site is full of information for leaders of nonprofit organizations. Learn smart business strategies, get leadership training, and find plenty of fundraising advice. You can even get discounts on services especially for nonprofits
Free Resources and Tools
These nonprofit groups work to make information, tools, and other resources available to charities and nonprofits at no charge. Find tools to assess and manage your level of financial risk, stay abreast of relevant policy changes, and enjoy entire libraries full of articles, studies, and other publications.
Hurwit & Associates Law Resource Library — This online library is free to use for nonprofit managers and administrators. It contains a wealth of valuable information about everything from state-by-state filing statutes to relevant tax laws for domestic and international nonprofit operations.
Compass Point — Compass Point works to provide resources to nonprofit organizations including industry publications, information about policies and initiatives, and networking opportunities like workshops and conferences.
The Alliance for Nonprofit Management — This collaborative works to improve the effectiveness and impact of businesses in the social sector. On their site, you can find a free resource library full of articles and studies. Paid members can access additional resources.
Nonprofit Management and Leadership — Digital issues of this journal are made available through the Wiley Library. Each issue contains studies and research articles by nonprofit professionals and students.
The Nonprofit Times — Bookmark this site for a steady stream of articles, tips, and news from the nonprofit sector. You can also search for and post available nonprofit jobs.
Advocacy Groups and Nonprofit Associations
The groups in this section have one thing in common: they all exist to support and educate leaders in the charitable and nonprofit sectors. Join a group to give nonprofit projects a louder collective voice in the world’s marketplaces, or just browse through materials and publications that can help answer your questions about everything from general ethics to targeted fundraising.
American Public Works Association — Founded in 1937, the APWA has chapters across the country and is the world’s oldest organization for nonprofit professionals. Join and enjoy the advocacy, education, and networking opportunities afforded to members.
The Nonprofit Risk Management Center — The center provides risk management resources for nonprofits like tools, oversight, and training — both online and in-person.
Association of Fundraising Professionals — The AFP helps to foster fundraising around the world with a focus on ethics and effectiveness.
Stanford Social Innovation Review — Check out the SSIR’s resources for nonprofits and NGOs, with articles full of tips and insights to help nonprofit leaders become more effective in creating the changes they want to see.
BoardSource — BoardSource works to help nonprofit boards of directors by providing a vast amount of resources like free online libraries, board self-assessments, and recruitment tools.