Resources for nonprofit organizations

Posted on June 22, 2020 at 6:00 am

By Crystal Miller

The library offers free resources and training to anyone involved with or interested in starting a nonprofit organization.

You will find a variety of digital resources and services to help you find success with your nonprofit organization. You can enhance your soft skills, search for funding from grantmakers, and learn to use technical skills to aid in your venture. All you need is a library card!


LinkedIn Learning

This on-demand, training resource offers classes in technology, creative, business, and more, taught by industry experts. Here are just three of the classes specifically for nonprofits.

Nonprofit Management Foundations

This course covers topics such as defining your vision statement, mapping out a winning strategy, how to build a nonprofit board, distinguishing different legal entities for social purpose organizations, and becoming a nonprofit leader.

The Data Science of Nonprofit Service Organizations

Learn how to use data science to do good. Data science can be a huge help to nonprofits that are struggling to identify donors, understand their communities, evaluate their impact, and be more productive.

Social Media for Nonprofits

Social media is a great way for nonprofits to share their mission and find potential donors. It doesn’t have to cost your organization a lot of money to run effective campaigns. Learn the best free and paid tactics for marketing nonprofits on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. You’ll get a look at the most popular social media tools and “quick win” tactics for improving your reach, no matter your budget.

Gale Courses

Gale Courses offer hundreds of high quality courses on professional development and personal enrichment topics that are only 4–6 weeks long. Gale has several courses that are relevant to nonprofit organizations, whether you’re starting at the beginning or have been involved in the nonprofit world for years.

Here’s a list of classes for nonprofits.

Starting a Nonprofit

This highly interactive, hands-on course is ideal for anyone who is interested in forming a new nonprofit, converting an informal group to tax-exempt status, or reorganizing an existing organization. It provides practical how-to information about incorporation, organization, and other issues pertinent to anyone involved with a nonprofit start-up.

Marketing Your Nonprofit

This course will show you how to use powerful marketing techniques to compete more effectively for customers, donors, members, and volunteers. You’ll also learn how to persuade the media to communicate your organization’s message and further its ideals and goals. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to improve your market share by learning to evaluate and implement effective promotions, advertising campaigns, and communication techniques. If your organization relies on a diverse mix of fees, events, and/or contributions for support, you’re sure to find this information-packed course indispensable.

Nonprofit Fundraising Essentials

Learn the basics of fundraising for nonprofit organizations, from annual and special fund drives to more advanced projects involving corporate and foundation relations, major gifts, and planned giving.

Introduction to Nonprofit Management

Develop the skills and strategies you need to become an integral part of one of America’s fastest growing service sectors. Learn how to transform your good intentions into a professional plan of action, and understand the unique characteristics of nonprofit organizations while mastering the core knowledge necessary to become an effective leader in the nonprofit arena. Gain a full understanding of the roles of the executive director and the board of directors, special event and meeting management, and public relation strategies.

Writing Effective Grant Proposals

Preparing successful grant proposals to receive funding from corporations and foundations requires careful research, meticulous preparation, and graceful writing. Learn how to become fully familiar with the institution or project for which you are requesting support. You will get valuable guidance in preparing a background statement and a brief financial statement to support your request. You will also learn how to research some charitable foundation and corporate giving sources. Then, you will learn how to put everything together, so you can assemble, write, and submit complete grant proposals to foundations, corporations, and wealthy individuals for your nonprofit or charity.

How to enroll in Gale Courses:

  1. Visit our Gale Courses website.
  2. Find courses by browsing through the categories or by using the search feature.
  3. Click the “Enroll Now” button next to the course of your choice.
  4. Select your course start date and click the “Continue” button.
  5. Create a free Gale Courses account, or sign in to an existing Learn4Life or ed2go account.
    • New Students: Enter your email address in the New Student area and click “Create Account.” Complete the Account and Student Information page, and then click “Continue.”
    • Returning Students: Enter your account email and password, and then click “Sign In.”
    • You will use your Gale Courses account email and password to log in to the My Classroom area to view your lessons once your session begins.
  6. Enter your library account (barcode) number in the box labeled Submit, and then click “Use Library Card” to complete your enrollment.

Foundation Directory Online

Note: This digital resource is only available for in-library use, including while using library Wi-Fi on a personal device, at three of our libraries: Cheney, North Spokane, and Spokane Valley.

Around 90 percent of grantmaking foundations in the US don’t have websites, so finding funding for your nonprofit takes more than a search of the internet. That’s where Foundation Directory Online can help.

Foundation Directory Online is the most comprehensive database of all US grantmakers and the millions of grants they have awarded, making it the go-to resource for nonprofits, charitable organizations, and individuals seeking grants.

The research tools to help you narrow down by topic, geographical region, and various other search filters to find foundations that align with your goals and mission. It’s the smartest, fastest way to win more funding.


Business library cards are free and available to businesses and organizations in Spokane County and grant immediate access to our digital resources, including the resources listed above.

The business library card also gives you access to the Spokane Business Library, a collaboration between Spokane County Library District and Spokane Public Library. In developing a single county-wide platform featuring combined business resources, our goal is to provide all Spokane County residents with greater access to the business resources currently offered by the Spokane County Library District and Spokane Public Library.

In-library resources for nonprofit organizations (when our libraries are open):

  • Free Wi-Fi (also available in library parking lots)
  • Printing and photocopying (80 pages per week)
  • Free meeting room space at 10 of our libraries, throughout the county
  • Books, magazines, and downloadable materials on marketing, management, finance, and more
  • One-on-one virtual Book a Librarian appointments for technology and research questions

All of these resources are available at no cost to anyone who lives in and works for businesses and organizations located in the Spokane County Library District’s service area.

Our library has resources and services that would benefit anyone involved with a nonprofit organization. I hope you are able to find one (or more) in this blog that will be of use to you.

If you aren’t finding the online training or information you seek, you can use our Ask a Librarian form to get a call or email from library staff with assistance. Our librarians are always happy to help!

Librarian Crystal Miller

Crystal Miller is a Business and Career Development Librarian and has been working in libraries for 15 years. She has a Masters in Library Science from Simmons College and has worked at the Harvard Development Office Library, MIT Libraries, and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. When she’s not at the library, she can be found at the dog park with her three fur babies or with a cookbook in hand, flipping through the pages, looking for the next recipe to try out.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,