Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
All Indianapolis Public Library locations will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 and will be closed on Thursday, November 22 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Nurturing the Nonprofit Organization: Nonprofit Resources

Thinking of starting a nonprofit organization? First consider that . . .

“Starting a nonprofit may be the most complicated way to act on your passion to serve your community. It requires much planning, time, effort, and money just to start, but the biggest challenge is to develop and maintain reliable income streams. Estimates vary, but most experts agree that less than half of nonprofit startups survive beyond five years. Of those that survive, perhaps one-third are in financial distress.” (From What are alternatives to starting a nonprofit?, an article in GrantSpace, the Foundation Center’s “learning community for the social sector.”)

But if you decide to explore setting up a nonprofit or you have already done so, or you work for a nonprofit organization, The Foundation Center’s GrantSpace has much to offer. See and check out the TRAINING, TOPICS, and RESOURCES tabs across the top of the page.

Ask Us “Foundation Center makes it easy for you to engage our team of experts who can answer any of your questions about foundations, philanthropy, fundraising and nonprofits.”

From the state of Indiana’s Resources for Nonprofits and Faith-Based Organizations, a detailed forms guide: Starting a Non-Profit Organization: Filling Out the Forms.

Business Plans Handbook Just as with a for-profit business venture, creating a business plan can help a nonprofit organization describe how it intends to implement its mission and achieve its set of goals and objectives. (To access this database outside the library, you will need to log in with your IndyPL library card.)

Recommended Program Development Tool

Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach: by United Way of America’s Task Force on Development.

Need funding? Nonprofits often prematurely think of turning to grants . . .

Before you do, read Is Your Organization Grant Ready? to determine if your nonprofit should invest time and money pursuing such funding at this point.

If you decide the time is right to pursue grants, consider these resources:

The Indianapolis Public Library is a Funding Information Network partner with the Foundation Center, headquartered in New York City. As such we provide access to their subscription databases. (Currently at Central Library only.): Foundation Directory Online, Foundation Maps, and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online.

For help using Foundation Director Online, see FDO Quick Guide and FDO Term Definitions, along with this video presentation, How to use the New FDO.

Considering Government Grants? See General Guide to Government Funding produced by Congressman Andre Carson’s office.


The Value of Volunteer Time “helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide.”

Local Resources

Charitable Allies “Charitable Allies is a charity that provides legal, educational, administrative support, training, and consulting services to nonprofits.”

Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Report “Prior to the 2010 Nonprofit Salary Report, a comprehensive summary of nonprofit 501(C)3 salaries and benefits did not exist, so we were excited to begin a tradition that we feel is very important to the current and future vitality of the
Central Indiana nonprofit sector.”

Indiana State Data Center Grant writers often need demographic data from the Census and other local sources. Contact the Indiana State Data Center, your safety net for stats.

Indiana Nonprofit Database This is a single, comprehensive listing of nonprofit organizations in the state— a joint product of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Indiana Business Research Center as part of the Indiana Nonprofits Project: Scope & Community Dimensions.)

Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators “Whether you’re a grant writer seeking vital funding or an executive director developing a strategic plan, SAVI helps you make informed decisions based on the social, economic and other demographic realities in some 2,000 Central Indiana communities.” Free training on SAVI is available at the Polis Center.  The full course options are available here.

IndyVitals measures the long-term impact of the work of Plan 2020 partners at the neighborhood level.

The Human Needs Index (HNI) is believed to be the first multidimensional measure of poverty in the United States from the nonprofit perspective. The high-quality, monthly data from The Salvation Army goes back to 2004 and illuminates trends in poverty and vulnerability.

Association of Fundraising Professionals-Indiana “The Association of Fundraising Professionals-Indiana Chapter fosters the growth of development of philanthropy, the fund-raising profession, the Chapter, and its individual members.”

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance is a nonprofit membership association of and for the state’s philanthropic grantmaking community. Our members include public and private foundations, corporate giving programs, governmental grantmakers, regranting organizations, philanthropic advisors and other qualified individuals. Collectively, our membership holds about $12.5 billion in assets and awards more than $500 million in grants each year. IPA itself does not make grants.

Investigating Tax-Exempt Organizations

Internal Revenue Service Nonprofit Tax Information

Tax Exempt Organization Search (formerly Select Check) “Exempt Organizations Select Check is an online search tool that allows users to search for and select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings.”

National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations  A comprehensive guide to the growing nonprofit world designed for marketers, sales staff, and nonprofit professionals. Provides contact and basic factual information on the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States.  Go to (To access the databases outside the library, you will need to log in with your IndyPL library card.), click on the  “choose a database” drop down box in the upper right-hand corner and select Gale Directory Library. Then scroll to find National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations.

ProPublica's Nonprofit Explorer Use this database to view summaries of 3 million tax returns from tax-exempt organizations and see financial details such as their executive compensation and revenue and expenses. You can browse IRS data released since 2013 and access over 9.6 million tax filing documents going back as far as 2001.

Online Newsletters and Blogs

The GrantSpace Blog “highlights the knowledge you need to be a better grantseeker. Join the conversation.”

Indianapolis Not-for-profit News “For 15 years, Charitable Advisors has worked to provide relevant information and is designed to be your “one-stop” nonprofit-sector resource. The weekly e-newsletter is sent directly to your email and is now mobile friendly. If you want information that is important to your work and keeps you up to speed on what your peers are doing, Not-for-profit News is the information source for you.”

Periodicals (paper format)

Giving USA
361.7 GIV



Library Computer Catalog Searches