Greetings and salutations from the work-at-home location of the SLPL Grants & Foundation Center (a/k/a, the dining room of the GFC librarian, Lisa Thorp). While we would rather be standing by at SLPL Central to serve your nonprofit and individual grant-seeking and professional development needs in person, we wanted to gather in one convenient location information about and links to resources that you can access from your remote location as we all do what is necessary to "flatten the curve" and take care of each other and our community. While some SLPL resources referenced require a Library card, getting an ecard is super easy if you live, work, or own property in St. Louis City or County or St. Charles County.
Foundation Directory Online & Grants to Individuals
We are thrilled to share that our partner Candid (formerly the Foundation Center before they merged with Guidestar in 2019) has provided us with (a) remote access to Foundation Directory Online Professional and Grants to Individuals, the databases generally available only at Central Library in the SLPL system, to provide "concierge service" (concierge service = sending records, performing searches) and (b) a temporary, free public FDO Essential account, to allow our community partners to search for grant funding remotely on their own during the COVID-19 emergency.
In other words, I would be happy to perform searches for potential nonprofit grant funding using FDO Professional (or individual grant funds using Candid's Grants to Individuals) and send you those results - please fill out and submit this form (adapted with permission from our friends at the Texas Grants Resource Center) to let me know what search parameters to use. If you would like to use FDO Essential (still a pretty robust database) to perform your own nonprofit grant searches remotely, here is a FDO Essential link that should give you remote access. (See Candid's chart that I modified somewhat to fit the circumstances in which we find ourselves). I recently created this brief video to give an overview of how to explore FDO (here is a link to an earlier blog post that does much the same in text form; FDO also has a YouTube channel, if you'd rather have a Lisa-free overview), and I am also sharing (with permission) this video created by our Philadelphia Free Library counterpart, Caitlin, to walk you through exploring FDO Essential. Please email me at email@example.com with any questions about FDO access.
The Library offers a number of resources with respect to starting and succeeding with your nonprofit, including of course books - we've included some suggested titles above, or you can search the SLPL catalog to find both physical & digital books to check out. The Library also offers some great online tools that can be accessed with a St. Louis Public Library card, including Gale Online Courses, which are 6 week online courses that are free with your library card and can be taken remotely and/or at the Library. If you enter the word "nonprofit" in the search box, you'll see several course offerings, including "Starting a Nonprofit." Another Gale product available through the Library website is Gale Business: Plan Builder, an online tool that will help a new or existing nonprofit or small business develop their business plan and address other important practical considerations - it helps take a dream ("I'm going to save ALL the puppies!") to a reality ("We're going to need a building, and some vehicles, and a source of pet food and veterinary care, and insurance, and volunteers...."). Both can be accessed through the Library's website on the "Digital Resources" tab, click on the letter "G" under "A-Z Resources".
Much of the Library's collection can be accessed remotely with your Library card or ecard - in terms of nonprofit materials, go to the Library's website at slpl.org, enter "nonprofit" in the keyword search, scroll down and click on "Titles I Can..." along the left side of the page, then click "Access online" and you will see 67 items that might be of interest as you "hunker down," including Steward Leadership in the Nonprofit Organization, HBR's 10 Must Reads on Nonprofits and the Social Sectors, and Make Your Mark. Candid also offers eBooks and streaming audiobooks via Overdrive (one of the platforms used by SLPL as well), among the many resources that can be found on their Grantspace website.
Local Community Partners
There are a lot of great folks working locally in the nonprofit space; visit their websites to see what training or other resources they may have to offer (apologies for any I may have overlooked - please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add their name and link):
National Resources - again, there is a lot out there, but here are a couple of sites that might be useful:
Chronicle of Philanthropy - visit us at Central once we reopen to browse the physical copy, but for now you may want to visit them online and sign up for one or more of their free newsletters.
Guidestar - mentioned and linked above, Guidestar by Candid is where many foundations go to learn more about nonprofit organizations they are considering funding. This would be a great opportunity to make sure your nonprofit's profile is up-to-date.
National Council of Nonprofits - "a trusted resource and proven advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits."
Nonprofit AF - a must-follow for all nonprofit professionals (in this librarian's opinion)
St Louis Public Library is here for you and ready to help - please do reach out and let us know what we can do for you. We look forward to seeing you in person as soon as that is safe, but for now, please wash your hands, keep your distance, and be well.