When you think of people who chose to work for nonprofit organizations, what comes to mind? You probably picture someone with a big heart.
But a big heart is not the only requirement to for helping others. If you fill your brain with tips and specialized nonprofit knowledge, you can help even more people. There are a number of organizations in Austin that provide excellent assistance to community sector professionals. But there are three that I “geek out” at when I visit them or take a class from them – and I think you will too.
Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College (CNS @ ACC)
Check out CNS @ ACC’s web site for their list of services. But as a nonprofit geek, I’d like to focus here on their learning opportunities. I have enjoyed offerings such as grant writing, social media, and team-building. One thing I like is that they have classes of various lengths and price-ranges. I have seen free brown bag lunchtime offerings and I have seen multi-week classes culminating in a certificate. There is something for every nonprofit professional at CNS @ ACC.
The Regional Foundation Library (RFL) at the University of Texas at Austin
Do you ever wonder what the secret to obtaining grant funding is? Stopping by the RFL is the first step toward finding out. For more than 50 years, the RFL has served as a bridge between the grant-seeking and the grant-making communities. The staff at the RFL can answer your questions about ways to approach grant giving organizations. But this geek’s favorite tool at the RFL is the Foundation Directory Online Database. You can use it to search for the foundations that are most likely to give you grants. The RFL staff can coach you on the best way to use the Foundation Directory Online and their other free tools.
Greenlights’ mission is to strengthen nonprofits for extraordinary performance and impact. This 501(c)3 organization provides management consulting services, professional development, customized training, in-depth research and more. Visit their site for examples of what you can learn; but one example of a recent Greenlights research report is On the Verge: Value and Vulnerability of Austin’s Nonprofit Sector. This study reports the surprising facts that: Austin is home to nearly 6,000 nonprofits – but 72% have less than $100K in income – and less than 15% have ANY paid staff.
If you start building your knowledge of how to help a nonprofit organization succeed, then visit any or all of these resources – and tell them the Greater Good Geek sent you.
Fill your brain with information about nonprofit organizations – Resources:
Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College (formerly known as Center for Community Based and Nonprofit Organizations – CCBNO): 5930 Middle Fiskville Rd, #414, Austin, TX 78752, (512) 223-7051; http://sites.austincc.edu/npo/
The Regional Foundation Library: At UT’s Community Engagement Center, 1009 East 11th St., Austin, TX. A call is recommended before visiting: (512) 475-7373′ http://ddce.utexas.edu/foundationlibrary/
Greenlights (formerly known as Greenlights for Nonprofit Success): 8303 N MoPac Expy Suite A201, Austin, Texas 78759, (512) 477-5955; http://www.greenlights.org/
Have you used any of these resources? If so, what did you think? Are there other resources that you have found helpful?
Image Credits: S. Erler (first image); Internet Archive Book Images (second image).