GFC Online Nonprofit Resources

Greetings and salutations from the SLPL Grants & Foundation Center! Below you will find information about and links to nonprofit resources that can be accessed from your remote location during COVID if the Library is closed to the public, or if you simply prefer not to venture out. (While some SLPL resources referenced require a Library card, renewing your card or 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 Access

Foundation Directory Online Professional, the grant search database is generally available only at Central Library in the SLPL system, however we are pleased to share that our partner Candid (formerly the Foundation Center before they merged with Guidestar in 2019) has provided us with 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. We would be happy to perform “concierge searches” on your behalf for potential nonprofit grant funding using FDO Professional 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 us know what search parameters to use. Here is a brief video the GFC librarian created early in the pandemic to give an overview of how to explore FDO (FDO also has a YouTube channel, if you'd rather have a Lisa-free overview); we are also sharing (again with permission) this video created by our Philadelphia Free Library counterpart, Caitlin, to walk you through exploring FDO Essential. Please email us at with any questions about FDO access, including to request a link to use FDO Essential (still a pretty robust database). Note: as of March 2021, FDO Essential access is limited to 24 hours/month, so please do avail yourself of the other grant research options if that is not enough: you can use the Google form (linked above), or visit us at Central Library to do research using FDO Professional.

Gale Resources & Grant Writing 101

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"

In December 2020 Amy Lottes, GPC, joined us “at” the Library to present our first virtual presentation of the ever-popular Grant Writing 101 program; here is a link to the recording if you would like to view it (email us if you would also like copies of Amy’s handouts).


The Library also offers (wait for it…) BOOKS! There are many titles available, in both physical & digital formats, to help you get started and succeed with your nonprofit, which you can find by searching the SLPL catalog. Here is a book list created following an earlier, in-person “Grant Writing 101” program, and there is a lot more where that came from.  In terms of nonprofit materials, go to the Library's website at, enter "nonprofit" in the keyword search, scroll down and if you want to see what books are available digitally, click on "Titles I Can..." along the left side of the page, and click "Access online." You will see dozens of 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 Candid Learning website

St Louis Public Library is here for you and ready to help - please do reach out by phone (314 539-0357) or email (, opens a new window), and let us know what we can do for you. We are very pleased to be able to welcome you back in person, but would also be happy to chat on the phone or have a video meet-up if that would be more convenient. 

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