We value and honor the vital role – or spoke – each nonprofit organization plays in the community it serves. Here are a variety of free resources to keep your organization moving toward its goals. Click on one of the categories below to browse this extensive list of resources. Become a member to access our Online Resources Library for more extensive resources, tools, and templates.
Spokes’ Online Resources Library
This members-only library provides access to operating documents, such as Conflict of Interest Policies, Contractor Agreements, IRS regulations for raffles, and hundreds more – from your home or office 24/7!
Searchable database of all IRS-recognized agencies, including foundations. Includes information from IRS tax form 990. Can conduct free searches based on keyword and city.
The Balance Small Business has resources for launching and managing your small business or nonprofit, with topics such as operations, law and taxes, and management.
Council on Foundations – A nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations.
Foundation Center offers grant maker information, an online library, fundraising news, books, CD-ROMs, and seminars.
Idealist (Action without Borders) is a global directory of nonprofit-related information, including non-profit organizations, consultants, products, services, publications, events, and jobs and internships.
Blue Avocado is a free online magazine for community nonprofits. Published on the 1st and 15th of every month through an HTML newsletter.
The National Council of Nonprofits is the nation’s largest nonprofit network, and works through its Member state associations to help community-based organizations manage more effectively and engage in policy issues.
The Nonprofit Quarterly, a print and online magazine, has an overarching editorial goal to strengthen the role of nonprofit organizations to activate democracy.
Tech Soup is a portal for all topics dealing with nonprofits and technology.
Hootsuite provides the tools necessary to successfully manage your organization’s social media along with resources such as guides, webinars, and blogs.
Nonprofit Technology Network is dedicated to connecting and supporting individuals and organizations that empower non-profits to use technology to achieve their missions.
The Storytelling Nonprofit offers consulting services, trainings, and blogs to help your nonprofit market by telling engaging and inspiring stories.
Hubspot offers marketing, sales, and service software along with free courses and guides to help grow your organization.
Mailchimp has marketing and campaign tools to connect with your audience and a blog with marketing tips and tutorials.
- Fundraising Communications Toolkit for Board Members
Fundraising is a key responsibility of nonprofit board members, but in order to be successful, they must have the appropriate tools. BoardSource provides this free toolkit to help board members communicate with potential donors by providing concise, easily-digestible information about the organization.
- Planning and Writing a Grant Proposal: The Basics
The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin provides this nice overview of the process.
- Introduction to Proposal Writing
A free, on-demand presentation from Candid Learning.
Grant Proposal.com is a site devoted to providing free resources for both advanced grant writing consultants and inexperienced nonprofit staff.
The San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation offers grants available to local nonprofits for a variety of needs.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals is a membership organization with fundraising courses, programs, tools, resources, and initiatives.
California Association of Nonprofits is a statewide organization of 2,000 nonprofit organizations with a mission to strengthen and expand the professionalism, governance, influence, and effectiveness of California nonprofit organizations.
The Nonprofit Centers Network provides information for creating affordable office and program space for nonprofit organizations. It contains information and tools for managing multi-tenant facilities and explores the policy and business decisions necessary to meet the real estate needs of nonprofits.
Management Assistance for Nonprofits offers the Free Management Library, including articles, templates, and other materials for nonprofits.
National Center for Charitable Statistics is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the US.
Board Source (formerly National Center for Nonprofit Boards) is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by strengthening their boards of directors. Provides topic papers, books, and other publications.
Energize is an international training, consulting, and publishing firm specializing in volunteerism.
VolunteerMatch assists individuals nationwide find volunteer opportunities posted by local nonprofit and public sector organizations.
A resource provided by the State of California Governor’s office to help California’s nonprofit and human service providers find volunteers.
Propel Nonprofits offers nonprofits financial consulting, training, and assistance with loans and accounting.
Online resource for legal information. Users can purchase books or request free books that span a variety of legal and financial topics related to nonprofit management. Also features blogs specific to law.
Nonprofit Risk Management Center helps minimize risks for nonprofit staff and volunteers, offering publications, a newsletter, library, consulting, and audits.
Nonprofits’ Insurance Alliance of California provides information and works with local brokers to provide insurance coverage exclusively for the needs of California nonprofit organizations.
- StrongNonprofits Toolkit
The Wallace Foundation provides a toolkit with customizable resources, calendars, guidance, and checklists to strengthen your nonprofit financial management.
Bolder Advocacy, a program of Alliance for Justice, promotes nonprofit engagement in the policy making process by providing free resources and information on how nonprofits can lobby.
Independent Sector is a membership group of nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporate philanthropy programs working to promote a just society of active citizens, healthy communities and a vibrant democracy. Offers free data on the nonprofit sector.
Sam.gov allows you to search a database to find assistance programs meeting your requirements and eligibility. Includes several aids to guide in the writing of proposals.
GetGrants! (Governor’s Office for Innovation in Government) allows users to identify grant sources within California’s departments through a single search.
Internal Revenue Service – Charities & Non-Profits has tax exemption information to determine if an organization is eligible to apply for recognition of exemption from Federal income taxation.
Find information and services for nonprofits, including grants, loans, assistance, taxes, management and more.
Office of the Attorney General-State of California. Many resources related to charities.
Community Career Center is dedicated to the employment needs of individuals and organizations in the nonprofit world.
National Nonprofits is a platform that connects nonprofits with talent and resources across the country.
Work for Good lists classified ads for jobs nationwide in the nonprofit sector.
California Association of Nonprofit’s (CAN’s) New “Job Seeking” and “Recruitment” resource focused on California employment opportunities.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy is a widely read bi-weekly news publication.
Nonprofit Times, published biweekly, provides news to nonprofit executive managers.
Philanthropy News Digest is the news digest of the Foundation Center.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review is an award-winning magazine that covers best strategies for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses.
- American Bar’s DE&I in Nonprofit Bylaws
The American Bar provides information about including DE&I in your nonprofit’s bylaws and additional DE&I readings.
- Bloomerang’s 5 Things Nonprofits Can Do to Intentionally Lead on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Bloomerang gives tips on advancing DE&I efforts in your organization.
- BoardSource’s DE&I Resources
BoardSource provides DE&I resources such as blogs, research, articles, and other tools to create an organization that prioritizes, supports, and invests in diversity, inclusion, and equity.
- National Council of Nonprofits’ Why DE&I Matters for Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits offers pointers and resources on how to build the core values of DE&I into your nonprofit’s operations.
RACE Matters SLO provides a list of anti-racism resources such as articles, national and local organizations, books, films, and podcasts.
The San Luis Obispo Newcomers Club is a social organization whose purpose is to extend a welcoming hand to people in the San Luis Obispo area.
Every year since 1991, Leadership San Luis Obispo has brought together a group of 36 strangers from across the Central Coast and asked them to step out of their everyday lives, open their everyday minds, and imagine a better San Luis Obispo county—and their role in creating it.