Great nonprofit resources from A-Z

The nonprofit world is filled with great resources and most of them are free. Here are some of our Hampton Roads Community Foundation staff's favorite resources. If you have favorite nonprofit resources to share, please let us know.

Starting and Nurturing Your Nonprofit

Creating an Effective Board

Strategic Planning and Management

  • Academy for Nonprofit Excellence- (based in Hampton Roads) The Hampton Roads Community Foundation partners with Tidewater Community College for one-day, two-day and online classes that lead to a Certificate in Nonprofit Management
  • Alliance for Nonprofit Management - learn how to improve nonprofit management and governance
  • Artswave - New! offers a toolbox helping arts groups gather meaningful data to show their impact
  • Blue Avocado - delivers intriguing and uplifting nonprofit news and tips to help you stay ahead of the pack
  • Free Management Library - strategic planning and management tools
  • Independent Sector - provides ways to partner with other nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
  • Leap of Reason/Performance Imperative - free books, videos and other tools from Venture Philanthropy Partners to help your nonprofit improve its outcomes and performance
  • Monitor Institute - free resources to help nonprofits close the gap between today's solutions and tomorrow's challenges
  • Nonprofit Finance Fund - helps your organization strengthen its mission and services
  • Nonprofit Risk Management Center - offers webinars on timely nonprofit topics
  • PerformWell - free tool enabling human service nonprofits to measure program quality and outcomes
  • Social Solutions - free blog and news related to measuring outcomes and evaluating programs
  • VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads - (based in Hampton Roads) half-day training sessions and other resources helping nonprofits in southeastern Virginia
  • Wallace Foundation - free resources focused on improving nonprofits' financial management

Technology Improvement

  • Charity Advantage - helps with web site development, computer donations and computer purchase-assistance programs
  • CommonCraft - helps you create easy-to-understand videos that make complex topics simple
  • IdealwareGives - insight into computer software that may help your organization
  • Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) - blog and free monthly newsletter keeping you up-to-date with technology
  • Tech Soup - helps your nonprofit receive donated and discounted technology products

Fundraising and Development

  • Adventures in Giving - free online tool to help people assess their philanthropic styles and consider ways to have more impact.
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals - (chapter in Hampton Roads) our regional chapter strives to advance philanthropy in Hampton Roads
  • Candid -- New in 2019: Consolidates nonprofit information contained in GuideStar and Foundation Center, including Internal Revenue Service filings. Includes areas nonprofits can customize to help guide potential donors and funders. Note: If your nonprofit has not checked or updated its GuideStar profile recently, make it a priority to log on to Candid and do that.
  • Commonwealth of Virginia Grants Information -  this site is maintained by the commonwealth to help organizations and individuals explore funding options
  • Community Foundations in the U.S. Locator - connect to more than 750 community foundations serving specific geographic regions of the United States
  • Community Foundations of Virginia Locator - provides contact information on the community foundations serving specific geographic regions in Virginia
  • The Curtis Group blog - (based in Hampton Roads) keep up with trends in philanthropy and fundraising by subscribing to this timely blog with regional ties
  • Diane Leonard's Grant Writers Blog - provides advice on grantseeking and grantwriting
  • Endowment Development Institute - sign up for the free weekly tip from Helen Monroe and keep your development staff focused on what is most important
  • Fired-Up Fundraising - sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter produced by Gail Perry, an expert in innovative ways to raise funds for nonprofits
  • The Foundation Center - (available at libraries in Hampton Roads) search the database to find grantmaking organizations nationwide (Note: You must physically go to one of the libraries to use computers with the grant information network software on them)
  • Future Fundraising Now - blog and website sharing tips for connecting with potential donors
  • - tips for both experienced and novice grant writers
  • Grant Resource Center (available at the Virginia Beach library) - The Virginia Beach Public Library offers a searchable database of grantmaking organizations from around the country and other information to help you master applying for nonprofit grants
  • Grant Seekers Gazette - (Hampton Roads Community Foundation nonprofit newsletter) Subscribe to this monthly e-newsletter from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to keep up with grant opportunities
  • Grassroots Fundraising Inc. - tips and tools for effective fundraising
  • Hampton Roads Gift Planning Council - (based in Hampton Roads)connects professionals interested in staying current on gift planning topics
  • Mal Warwick Associates - check out the free resources and sign up for the free monthly e-newsletter created by Mal Warwick, an expert in using direct mail to raise funds for nonprofits
  • Michael Rosen Says - subscribe to this blog on improving donor relations written by the author of Donor-centered Planned Gift Marketing
  • Sea Change Strategies - downloadable study focused on how nonprofits neglect "middle donors" with mid-level incomes who have the potential to be great supporters of nonprofits
  • Planned Giving Design Center- current information on planned giving topics written by national experts
  • SOFII (Showcase of Fundraising Innovation and Inspiration) - browse a database of the best nonprofit fundraising materials

Communications and Marketing

  • Ahern Communications Ink - learn from Tom Ahern, an expert on writing to donors
  • Alltop - help with public speaking and presentations from all kinds of blogs that share free tips
  • Animoto - create video slideshows with your own images using a drag-and-drop feature
  • American Marketing Association Hampton Roads - connect with marketing professionals in Hampton Roads and learn something new at monthly meetings and other events
  • Beth Kanter's Blog - keep up-to-date with social media and learn from a pioneer in the world of nonprofit technology
  • Bitly - free online tool lets you shorten URLs to easily share with others
  • Canva -- free and low-cost online tool that helps you create graphics for electronic use.
  • Cause  Communications - Has a variety of free resources including a downloadable guide to nonprofit communications
  • Chris Brogan’s Blog - learn ways to put your organization's website and social marketing tools to work
  • The Communications Network - check out this nonprofit communications advocacy organization's blog and other helpful resources
  • The Duck Pond blog - free resources in this blog and related newsletter come from a company that focuses on nonprofit communications
  • Free-Range Thinking newsletter - communications expert Andy Goodman's monthly e-newsletter shares tips for effectively using storytelling to connect people to your organization
  • Gather: The Art of Effective Convening - a hands-on guidebook to help organizations bring people together to find effective solutions to issues. Produced in 2013 with Rockefeller Foundation funding, this guidebooks remains relevant today.
  • Getting Attention - subscribe to the blog or e-newsletter created by Nancy Schwartz, a nonprofit marketing expert, and learn how to improve your nonprofit's marketing efforts
  • The Grow Report - free weekly enewsletter helps one-person nonprofits marketing and communications departments
  • Mention - clues you into what media, bloggers and other online places are saying about your organization
  • Nonprofit Marketing Guide - nonprofit communications and marketing expert Kivi Leroux Miller gives you lots of helpful information through her blog, e-newsletter and webinars
  • PicMonkey -- Free and low-cost photo editing tool
  • - check the results of recent polls by CNN, NBC, CBS and other organizations to see how people think about issues your organization may be tackling
  • Public Relations Society, Hampton Roads Chapter - connect with other communications professionals in South Hampton Roads and learn from regular meetings
  • The Publicity Hound - although public relations expert Joan Stewart doesn't focus solely on nonprofits, much of her easy-to-use advice works well in this sector
  • Smart Chart by Spitfire Strategies -  free interactive chart to guide you as you create a communications plan
  • Social Media Policy Tool - create a social media policy that protects your organization's brand

Publications, E-newsletters and miscellaneous resources