Associations and Listings

California Association of Nonprofits: California’s main association, membership-based. They host a yearly conference and keep updated on issues affecting the state’s nonprofit sector.

Encyclopedia of Associations: Reference guide to associations, societies, and other nonprofit organizations in the U.S. You can list your organization or order a copy.

GuideStar: Database of U.S. nonprofits, using augmented IRS data. Find other nonprofits based on your geographic area or field of interest. International database of over 20,000 nonprofits in 140 countries, based on self-submitted information.

IRS Exempt Organization Search: Federal government database (Publication 78) of tax-exempt charities and nonprofits.    

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California Nonprofit Corporation Kit: The all-in-one kit for starting and running a nonprofit that provides a corporate records binder and forms on CD-ROM. from Nolo Press. Also see, “How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation” below.

Chardon Press: Progressive and grassroots nonprofit publications. Their list includes well-known resources such as the Grassroots Fundraising Journal, also those on organizational development, strategic planning, public policy, the media, and community organizing.

Charitable Contributions: IRS Publication 526.  Guide on how to claim deductions for making donations to nonprofit organizations.

Charitable Contributions: Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements: IRS Publication 1771.  Useful guide for understanding how to document and acknowledge nonprofit contributions.

Fiscal Sponsorship: Describes 6 models of financial sponsorship, for nonprofits that wish to receive donations but don’t have their own tax-exempt status. It details how these models are supposed to work and why, how they differ, and how they are similar. by Gregory Colvin.

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation – National Edition: by Anthony Mancuso, the often-quoted starting point for how to create a nonprofit organization.

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California: The definitive guide to forming and running a California nonprofit.

Tax-Exempt Status for Your OrganizationIRS Publication 557.  A document outlining the qualifications for becoming a public charity.  

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Classes and Workshops

CompassPoint Nonprofit Services: A prominent SF Bay Area center for workshops for nonprofits. Some classes can be more theoretical than practical, others are quite interesting.

Free Nonprofit Grassroots “MBA”: 12-course program covering the complete range of basic skills needed to start and run a nonprofit organization. The program is not accredited or degree granting. Ideal for self-directed learners.  

The San Francisco Foundation:  Offers workshops on grant proposal development.  Attending workshops helps to learn more about the foundation and meet staff.

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Fiscal Sponsorship

The San Francisco Foundation: Provides fiscal services for agencies and organizations that have not yet received nonprofit designation from the IRS. Focuses on community projects of limited duration that are efforts responding to crises and urgent calls to action.

Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs: Fiscal sponsorship for nonprofits with an application process that is simple, and sponsorship includes comprehensive services for assisting new nonprofits.

The Tides Center: Serves as a bridge between funders and projects (national and international) by providing a wide range of services including financial management, human resources management, grants and contract administration, and project management, while encouraging projects to focus on their programmatic work.  

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Funding An initiative of Ashoka – Innovators for the Public that provides “inspiration, resources, and opportunities” for social entrepreneurship, nationally and internationally.

GrantsNet: A site maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides online grant information about this departments’ and other Federal Grant programs. Also offers an interactive electronic mailing list service.

Excess Access: Connects nonprofits with in-kind donations (i.e., office equipment, furniture, etc.)

Gifts In Kind International: Links business in-kind products and services with non-profits around the world.

 Comprehensive instructional resource center and on-line library for grant writers.

The Foundation Center: A nation-wide network of funding libraries – your one-stop shop for finding foundations, grants, and grant-seeking information.

The Paladin Group: General overview and description of the basic elements of a grant proposal. References are especially helpful for new non-profits.

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Industrial Surplus Foundation: Has used furniture that it will donate to 501(c)(3) organizations.

Kantor’s: Warehouse business in Alameda, California that has a large selection of new and used furniture at very reasonable, negotiable prices.  Administrative offices in Oakland, California.

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General Nonprofit Information

Free Management Library: General information library. Topics include boards to fundraising to planning and much more! Developed by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, and hosted by The Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits.

Board Source: A web site that provides comprehensive information on nonprofit Board development.  (formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards).

NonProfit Gateway: Created by a White House Task Force, the site is designed as a central starting point to help nonprofit organizations access online federal information and services. Linked to all Cabinet Departments and many federal agencies, it contains information about grants, regulations, taxes, and other services, as well as information on a wide range of other topics and programs.

Business and Charity Reports: Information collected by the Better Business Bureau to help consumers make informed decisions in dealing with charitable organizations. The Charity Reports typically include information on the group’s background, current programs, governing body, fund-raising practices, tax-exempt status, finances, etc.

International Directories and Resources for Nonprofits: A list of nonprofit resources in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, UK, and the U.S.  

Internet Nonprofit Center: Includes the Nonprofit FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Nonprofit Locator., Action Without Borders: An online directory of nonprofit resources arranged by both topic and geographic location, a ‘Virtual Contact Center’, and web-based system that allows any nonprofit or community organization – whether it has a website or not – to have a presence on the Web through which to promote its mission and activities.

Network for Good: An e-philanthropy site where individuals can donate, volunteer and speak out on the issues they care about. The organization’s goal is to connect people to charities via the Internet — using the virtual world to deliver real resources to nonprofits and communities.  Good nonprofit resources section.

Nonprofit Genie: The Genie provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about nonprofit management. The Frequently Asked Questions are arranged by category.

Online Compendium of Nonprofit Regulations: This web site provides a central resource for nonprofit organization (NPO) administrators, regulators and the interested public to find information about the laws and regulations controlling NPOs in the U.S.

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General Start-up Information

Business Planning and Startup Manual: Guide to planning and starting nonprofit. Includes planning materials and checklists.

California Business Portal: Instructions on how to identify and reserve a business or corporate name in the California.  

California Business Search: State of California site – Useful tool as a basic preliminary search of businesses and corporations in California.

California Trademark and Service Mark Office – State government site for for registering Trademarks and Servicemarks.

IRS Charities and Nonprofits search: Federal government site for locating nonprofits.  Useful as a preliminary name search.,,id=15053,00.html

Starting a Nonprofit Organization: Short overview by Stan Hutton, your nonprofit guide at

United States Patent and Trademark Office: Federal government site for registering Trademarks, Servicemarks, and Copyrights.  Useful as a preliminary name search.

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PR, et Cetera:  An experienced public relations and marketing firm that serves the communications needs of nonprofit organizations, and small public, privately held firms. Specializing in written materials and custom e-marketing documents, the firm can address all business and personal communications needs – from press releases to personal biographies.  PR, et Cetera distributes electronic promotionals to an email list of several thousand.

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Art Deadlines List: Monthly newsletter providing information about exhibitions and competitions, call for entries/proposals/papers, grants, writing contests, jobs, scholarships, casting calls, and other opportunities for artists, art educators, and art students.

Charity Channel: A gazillion email lists on numerous nonprofit areas. Hosted by the American Philanthropy Review.

Food for Thought: SF Bay Area nonprofit email newsletter. Topics range from grant opportunities to trends in the nonprofit sector.

Long list of NP newsletters: On-line newsletters, groups, & how to find more.

Youth Today: Independent national newspaper focusing on those who work with youth. Covers issues such as child advocacy, juvenile justice, youth development and health, after-school programs, and other topics.  

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Computer Software – Charity Village: Contains links to dozens of software companies in all areas of nonprofit operations. Some software programs are more affordable than others.

 Free database program from Desktop Assistance, a nonprofit. Tracks names, memberships, donations, activities, voting history, and responses to organizational mailings.;=6 and  

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Clearinghouse for Volunteer Accounting Services: Nation-wide online service that links volunteer accountants to nonprofit organizations with annual administrative budgets less than $500,000.

Rowbotham & Company: International corporation that offers volunteer accounting support and in-kind donations to charitable organizations that promote education, health, human services and the arts.

The Volunteer Center of Contra Costa: Matches volunteers in Contra Costa, California with nonprofit organizations, and advises the organizations on how to work with volunteers.

Volunteer Recruitment, Relations, and Management – Charity Village: Useful articles related to getting, motivating, and keeping volunteers.

VolunteerMatch: National online service that connects volunteers with local nonprofit and sector organizations.

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