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Some starting links for Non-Profit OrganizationsFinding information on the web is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Working on this project required us to look at a lot of websites. Some sites were simple and direct, others were technically confusing, and the majority of them tried to sell you their ideas, products or services. The following is a list of websites that we think are good places to start to look at the funding issues for NPO's.
Charity Village.com is a site we used a lot as a jumping off point. We would say that this site is definitely worth spending time exploring resources and suggested sources of information.
Another good jumping off point is the Voluntary Sector Knowledge Network, They have a wide array of links to interesting articles and sites from funding plans to setting up non-profits. Some of the sites they provide links to are profit and non-profit service providers that do have some free resources, but they are for the most part selling their experience to you.
Though non-profit guides is an American website and some of their material is geared to their charitable laws, we found most of the information to be clear and straight forward. What is especially nice about this site is that they are simply giving you access to tools and thought and not trying to sell you anything.
Western Economic Diversification Canada and rural.gc.ca are important sites for funding opportunities for non-profits who are considering access to federal programs and initiatives.
If you are interested in developing a social enterprise, then the following two sites would be a good place to start enp (enterprising non profits) and the BC Centre for Social Enterprise. They are not primarily grant giving bodies, but they do help you to plan, think and present your ideas.
The Free Management Library is a good resource for just about any management issue. They also have some topic areas that are strictly written for the non-profit sector, like their fundraising and capacity building for non-profits.
Imagine Canada is another site worth spending some time on. If you use their library catalogue search programme you can make a distinction between materials available online vs otherwise.
We know of one local organization who has purchased the services of One Big Database and feels that it is worthwhile for them. This database purports to have a current and enhanced database of grant providing groups, grants that they provided as well as assistance that can be purchased in either working with the databases and or preparing proposals. We have spoken to them, and they were very helpful. Whether or not their product would be of value to your organization really depends on the funding plan of your organization. If you don't have a funding plan, buying tools seems to be putting the cart before the horse.
At the time of putting this information together, we were unable to find a balanced website that clearly laid out the pros and cons of using social media for NPOs. It really comes down to what is your funding strategy. If your funding strategy is to target people 45 years of age then Facebook might not be for you. Chekfacebook.com says that there are 16 million Canadians, of which 21% are over the age of 45, with Facebook accounts. Statistics Canada says that over 40% of Canadians are over the age of 45, which translates into approximately 13 million out of our 34 million population. So using Facebook as your only communications tool would mean that you will miss about 75% of your target group. But if you are already a user of social media, you may be able to use facebook to more effectively give your donors who themselves use facebook a better return for their generosity.