Nonprofits organizations can profit from resources available at library

Imagine that your nonprofit organization has all the resources it needs to serve more clients, deliver more programs, strengthen its staff, spread its message extensively and increase its financial stability. In an ideal world, this is what nonprofits would look like.

In reality, there usually is never enough funding, space or staff for most nonprofits, especially smaller ones. Where can dedicated individuals who work with nonprofits find the resources to make these things possible?

Whether you’re just starting your nonprofit or would like to enhance your existing one, the Bartholomew County Public Library offers a wealth of resources that include books, periodicals and databases.

Your library can support the work of nonprofits by providing access to and assistance with information resources. The information needs of nonprofits include prospect research, startup assistance and referrals to local nonprofit networks and support services.

Let’s begin with books. We currently have more than 300 volumes with information dealing with everything from boards and budgets to fundraising, grant writing and social entrepreneurship. Overdrive has quite a few business e-books that can be downloaded, and Hoopla has at least 25 titles dealing with nonprofits.

The library also carries two periodicals, the “Chronicle of Philanthropy” and “Grassroots Fundraising Journal” that give up-to-date and timely information about the nonprofit world.

One of the best resources we have is the “Foundation Directory Online Professional” (available only in the library); located by clicking on “resources” on the library’s home page at mybcpl.org. This will take you to the library’s resource page. You will find the “Nonprofit Resources” drop-down on the left hand-side. The description of this resource reads:

“Foundation Directory Online Professional provides subscribers with access to an unprecedented wealth of timely, comprehensive information on grantmakers and their grants. Included is a database of the entire universe of over 140,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S.; a database of over 4,000 sponsoring companies, offering a quick pathway to corporate funders … .”

You get the idea.

Another website, also located under “Nonprofit Resources,” is Grantspace. Also provided by the Foundation Center, Grantspace is free and is available anywhere there is online access. Here you will find easy-to-use, self-service tools and resources to help nonprofits worldwide become more viable grant applicants and build strong, sustainable organizations.

The library can also connect you with Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County and the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network. And last on the list is a place to “contact us” with your questions.

Regardless of their size or focus, organizations that operate under the nonprofit banner face the same challenge — how to find enough funds and enough people to do all that needs to be done. The library recognizes this and has gathered top-quality information and resources to assist in accomplishing these tasks. We can connect you to information, training and how-to assistance. There is a wealth of information available.

And the best thing about it? It’s all free.

Michele Bottorff, a reference librarian at the Bartholomew County Public Library and one who has worked in the nonprofit realm, can be reached at mbottorff@mybcpl.org.