As a nonprofit organization, you engage in many different activities in order to operate successfully—from fundraising and grant writing to marketing and recruiting volunteers.
These necessary tasks require a lot of work and resources. In this article, we’ll outline 15 free resources that offer shortcuts to success. They’re categorized into groups based on how they can help you.
News and Trends
The Nonprofit Times is the leading business publication for nonprofit management. Their mission is to help nonprofit managers stay informed and educated on how to run their organization more effectively.
It covers everything from fundraising, grants, and legal issues to financial management, public relations, and technology. The publication tries to blend news and educational “how-to” reports, ensuring nonprofit executives succeed in their charitable efforts.
As a nonprofit organization, you need to remain current so that you can better anticipate issues your board might raise. The Nonprofit Times is one of your best sources to do just that—to stay informed, educated, and thinking proactively.
Philanthropy News Digest (PND) is a publication that publishes daily news articles and features on philanthropic-related topics and issues. The content is culled and aggregated from various print and digital media sources worldwide.
The daily articles and features summarize the sourced articles, press releases, and features. Citations are used so that readers of Philanthropy News Digest can find the original content from print and digital media.
Every Tuesday, the Philanthropy News Digest releases a newsletter by email. Subscribe to receive a week’s worth of news in a condensed format. Requests for proposals (RFPs) are published daily, detailing funding opportunities for nonprofit organizations. You can also subscribe to a weekly RFP Bulletin email. There’s also a job board where you can post jobs.
Running your nonprofit organization is a busy, time-consuming endeavor. Trying to keep up with all the latest nonprofit news is a challenge. Philanthropy News Digest can make this much easier — it rounds up all the important stories, articles, and features for you.
Nonprofit Quarterly is a magazine publication that seeks to inform and educate the nonprofit sector. Research-based articles and resources are provided to all nonprofits, such as membership-based organizations, charities, and foundations.
The publication covers a range of topics, including the following:
- Nonprofit news: All the latest news and important details in the nonprofit sector.
- Management: Issues relating to governance, ethics, and finance.
- Philanthropy: Corporate social responsibility, donor-advised funds, foundations, impact investing, research, and workplace giving.
- Policy: Education, healthcare, housing, government, and taxes.
- Economic justice: Demographics and economics—particularly race, class, and gender.
- Racial equity: Issues of race in the nonprofit sector.
- Social movements: Community development and organizing, culture change, education, environment, and gender equality.
Aside from a magazine and featured articles, there’s a podcast, daily newsletter, and webinars—both free and premium.
Grant Writing Advice
GrantAdvisor is a review website where grant-seekers and grant makers can give and receive feedback anonymously. It’s a platform where both parties to the grant making process can get honest, transparent feedback for free.
It was created by a group of nonprofit colleagues who believe there should be transparency when it comes to philanthropy. If your nonprofit organization needs to secure funding from grants, GrantAdvisor will let you uncover the best quality grant makers and hear what your fellow grant-seekers are saying.
The Philanthropy Massachusetts Request for Proposals Database is a resource that lists grant makers looking for grant-seekers. Only members of Philanthropy Massachusetts are available to view these requests for proposals.
If your nonprofit organization is an associate or fellows level partner of Philanthropy Massachusetts, you can also access the database. This database is an excellent resource if your NGO meets the requirements. It’ll give you access to an exclusive list of RFPs from grant makers.
Learn Grant Writing is an online educational platform that helps individuals and nonprofit organizations learn how to write grants. It offers free grant writing classes as well as a more extensive paid option. There’s also a page where you can apply to find a writer.
As a nonprofit organization, staff often wear many hats. It’s not uncommon to have someone untrained in grant writing assigned to the task. But if your organization is competing for grant funds against grant writers who are more experienced and knowledgeable, an untrained writer is less likely to win the grant. This site is helpful to bring new grant writers up to speed or to hire an experienced writer if you are looking to outsource.
NonprofitReady is an online learning platform that helps nonprofit organizations and professionals succeed with their missions. It offers free training and resources such as courses and certificates.
The courses NonprofitReady offer cover topics including:
- Grant Writing
- Nonprofit Leadership Training
- Starting a Nonprofit
- Nonprofit Board Governance
- Nonprofit Finance
- Volunteer Engagement
- Nonprofit Marketing
- Nonprofit Human Resources
- Nonprofit Sector Introduction
There are also four NonprofitReady certificates you can earn:
- Nonprofit Essentials certification
- Fundraising Essentials certification
- Grant Seeking Essentials certification
- Personal Safety and Security certification
The Nonprofit Essentials certification covers nonprofit basics. The Fundraising Essentials and Grant Seeking Essential certifications address the topics of fundraising and grant seeking. The Personal Safety and Security certification details nonprofit risk preparation and mitigation.
NonprofitReady can also train your entire team.
The Fundraising Authority is a website that seeks to give nonprofits the best tools, information, and counsel available. It offers a beginner’s guide to fundraising which includes fifteen articles that cover all the essential information you need to know to begin fundraising. Instead of training a new development staff member, you can refer them there.
Also included is an article archive section, allowing you to access over 100 articles on topics about nonprofit organizations. These are grouped into seventeen categories, including subjects such as:
- Fundraising basics
- Strategy and planning
- Endowment fundraising
- Fundraising by mail
- Fundraising events
- Planned giving
- Fundraising ideas
- Internet fundraising
- Fundraising organization
- Donor cultivation
- Fundraising resources
The website also includes a webinar section that features six webinars you can purchase. These include:
- How to Rapidly Grow Fundraising at Your Non-Profit
- How to Write a Successful Non-Profit Fundraising Plan
- How to Get Your Board Enthusiastic About Fundraising
- How to Launch and Market a Planned Giving Program at Your Non-Profit
- How to Write and Design Great Newsletters for Your Non-Profit
- How to Become a Successful Fundraising Consultant
There’s also a weekly newsletter that sends tips, strategies, and advice to your email inbox. If you want to learn how to get donations for your nonprofit, The Fundraising Authority can help.
Nonprofit Tech For Good is a fundraising and social media blog that provides informative and actionable news and resources. The topics it covers include nonprofit technology, online communication, and mobile/social fundraising.
The blog receives over fifty thousand monthly visitors and has over one million followers on social media. It’s considered a top resource for nonprofit technology issues.
On the website, you can explore the archives for blog posts. These are grouped into the following categories:
- Social media
Their page 101 Best Practices covers practical advice regarding website design, email marketing, online fundraising, and social media. It aims to provide best practice guidelines for nonprofits, NGOs, and charities all across the globe.
Something unique Nonprofit Tech For Good also offers is the Open Data Project. This is freely available data from an annual global technology survey. You can participate annually and also view real-time live results. It seeks to understand and reveal how organizations use technology.
Like other nonprofit blogs and publications, Nonprofit Tech For Good offers webinars. They’re scheduled a few times a month. If you want to gain access, you’ll need to register in advance.
The Social Side of Giving is a blog that covers digital marketing relating to fundraising. It was created and run by Justin Ware—the founder of Groundwork Digital—a digital fundraising consultancy. He’s also considered a thought leader in the nonprofit sector.
The blog covers everything from social media, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, and much more.
If you’re looking for high-quality information about nonprofit digital-marketing-related topics, this blog is for you.
The Fundraising Coach is a philanthropic blog primarily about fundraising for nonprofit organizations founded by Marc A. Pittman—an international fundraising trainer and leadership coach.
The blog offers free articles about fundraising and social media for nonprofits. There are twenty-one articles included. Examples of these include:
- How to Fundraise for Your Next Walkathon
- 11 Experts on How to Get New Donors
- Twitter for Nonprofits and Fundraising
The blog section of the website also includes an additional thirty posts. Through The Fundraising Coach, Marc also offers training, coaching, and an email newsletter.
As a comprehensive resource, The Fundraising Coach offers lots of great free content, advice, and insight.
Idealist.org is a job board specifically designed for the nonprofit sector. They are actually a nonprofit organization itself. Using this platform, graduates, interns, and volunteers can find employment at a nonprofit organization.
Alternatively, nonprofit organizations can post jobs, find, and hire employees, interns, and volunteers.
As a nonprofit organization, you’re going to need people on your team. Idealist.org will help you find them. For US-based nonprofit organizations, it costs $105 to post a job. It costs $25 to post an internship opportunity.
VolunteerMatch is a platform that connects volunteers with nonprofit organizations. Using it, you can find individuals who are willing to volunteer for your NGO.
If your nonprofit organization needs many helping hands, consider using VolunteerMatch. It’s one of the best online solutions for finding volunteers who genuinely want to help.
Marketing and Communications
The Storytelling Non-Profit is the website of Vanessa Chase Lockshin—a nonprofit storytelling, communications, and fundraising consultant. Vanessa offers training programs, webinars, workshops, and blog posts on her website. It also provides free resources for communications.
As a nonprofit organization, being able to market yourself is vital to success. You need to be able to communicate clearly with potential donors and members. Vanessa’s website is a great free resource that can help educate and better you in this area.
J Campbell Social Marketing is the website of Julia Campbell, a nonprofit digital marketing consultant. Julia offers online courses, an active blog, tool recommendations, and plenty of freebies on her website.
If you’re looking for marvelous free and actionable nonprofit marketing content, try checking out Julia’s blog.
The internet is full of useful resources for nonprofits, but searching for them can take up a lot of time. So we hope that you appreciated the research we did for you! Did we miss anything? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.