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The nonprofit experts around the corner

By Samantha Ryder
March 30, 2021

Reprinted from Candid Learning.

Are you new to the nonprofit world? Hoping to learn more about what nonprofits do, how to start a nonprofit, or how to get a grant? I’m happy to report that there’s a way to learn the ins and outs of nonprofits and fundraising, and it’s way better than Googling each question.

Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar) has been helping nonprofit newcomers for 40+ years. So much so, that we created a program and began partnering with hundreds of organizations across the United States (and a few points abroad) to help them become go-to hubs for their local nonprofit communities. Briefly, let me introduce you to these amazing partners and how they can help.

Candid’s partners come in many forms: public libraries, community colleges, nonprofit resource centers, and foundations. Regardless of institution type, they all have staff trained to provide access and guidance to Candid’s premier applications, such as Foundation Directory Online (FDO) and Grants to Individualsfor free. Our partners are so committed to helping sustain and grow their nonprofit communities that many have built up impressive local fundraising resources in addition to the Candid resources they receive from us.

Many staff at these locations have extensive experience in the field of fundraising and nonprofit management. They’ve been coaching and skillfully assisting local nonprofits for years. They know the key players, like community foundations and funders, and often who is doing what in the nonprofit community. They’ve accumulated all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get started, and then some. Some of our partners also serve on boards and do development or outreach for nonprofits. They can give you first-hand insights into how to get the job done.

Let me give you a few examples of our partners in action. We all know that public libraries are critical social infrastructure in any community, but what if your local library also had certified staff in-house to help you with the daunting task of finding funders who could potentially support your nonprofit project? They do! And better yet, they can help you figure out the steps you need to take to be competitive and apply for funding. There are 380+ locations across the country that offer such services for free. These are located in both metro and rural areas. Some locations where I’m from in Ohio, such as the Westlake Porter Public LibraryLorain Public Library System, or the Public Library of Youngstown-Mahoning County also offer free live trainings, where you can learn skills like how to craft a proposal budget or get introduced to topics like corporate giving programs.

Our network of partners is collectively known as Candid’s Funding Information Network. To find the nearest location to you, visit our interactive map. Most locations have reopened to the public, but it makes sense to call or email ahead to verify hours and accessibility. Even those that have had to close their doors due to coronavirus (COVID) have taken their work online throughout the past year to continue helping local nonprofits.

If you’re unsure where to begin—whether it’s learning how to start a nonprofit, how to find a grant, or where to find nonprofit training—your local Funding Information Network partner is the right place to start! Save yourself some time and stress and visit one today.

Psssst—if your organization is interested in becoming a local nonprofit capacity builder through partnership in Candid’s Funding Information Network, visit candid.org/FIN to learn about joining us.

Tags: Candid