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Welcome to the Nonprofit Resource Center, a special collection located in the Business/Sciences Department (3rd floor, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library). For over 40 years, Memphis Public Libraries has supported the Memphis community, first as a Foundation Center Funding Information Network (FIN) partner, and now as a Candid Community Partner. Whether you are inspired to begin a new nonprofit venture or would like help with an existing one, we have a wealth of information available in print and online.

Candid Resources

As an Access level member of Candid’s network of nonprofit serving organizations, Memphis Public Libraries provides visitors to the Central branch with free onsite* access to the following subscription tools:

Foundation Directory
Foundation Directory Online (Professional) helps nonprofits find funding faster. Build robust prospect lists from 242,000+ grantmakers. Know which funders are more likely to provide support. Connect with key decision makers through the LinkedIn integration. Find collaboration opportunities and join forces with other nonprofits.

Grants to Individuals
Grants to Individuals helps reduce student debt. Search for grantmakers who fund scholarships, fellowships, and student aid.

GuideStar Pro is the most comprehensive source of nonprofit information. Community members can easily find local nonprofits where they can donate, work, or volunteer. Connect those in need to resources they rely on, such as food banks or shelters. Access 2 million+ nonprofits.

*No remote access available. Customers have the option to use a dedicated nonprofit research computer, any library desktop or laptop computer, or a personal device connected to the library’s public wireless network. For more information, please call (901) 415-2734 or visit the Business/Sciences Department to speak with a librarian.

Additional resources available free to anyone, anywhere:

Candid Learning
Access all of Candid’s live and on-demand trainings, webinars, and other resources designed to improve fundraising, overall sustainability, grantmaking, and transparency.

Candid OverDrive eBooks Collection
Access free books on fundraising, nonprofit management, marketing, and more.

Candid staff are also available to answer any research- or nonprofit-related questions via email or live chat.

Candid’s Go for the Gold! Campaign allows eligible nonprofits who earn their Gold Transparency Seal to receive one year of free access to the Foundation Directory Online (Essential). Visit Candid’s website for information on how to participate.

Financial Management for Nonprofits

Candid Learning
Candid’s learning community offers a wealth of information concerning the financial management of your nonprofit. Explore their Financial Management section to access free webinars, podcasts, and links to further resources.

National Council of Nonprofits Tools & Resources
Financial management is one of several subjects the National Council of Nonprofits has curated resources for. Results can be filtered with topic tags, and may relate to other subject areas.

Basic Guide to Nonprofit Financial Management
This website, compiled by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD is a collection of links to information on a variety of topics including accounting, assessments, budgeting, bookkeeping, and financial statements.

Free Nonprofit Workshops and Events

The Nonprofit Resource Center is a Funding Information Network (FIN) partner of the Foundation Center by Candid. Central Library has a dedicated nonprofit research computer with Foundation Directory Online and Grants to Individuals Online subscriptions as an Access FIN. We invite you to explore Candid Learning, formerly GrantSpace, Candid’s online learning community for the social sector, where free webinar versions of the popular introductory trainings (and more!) are available 24/7. Our community partnerships, including those with LIVEGIVEmidsouth and Momentum Nonprofit Partners, open doors for relevant programming at Memphis Public Libraries and in the greater Memphis community. If you manage a nonprofit organization in Memphis and need help with your LIVEGIVEmidsouth profile, please visit their Nonprofits & Training page.

For more information please call the Business/Sciences Department at (901) 415-2734.

Grants for Nonprofits

A grant is a transfer of money usually from a nonprofit agency or government agency to another nonprofit or government agency. A grant may be given to an individual (such as a scholarship or fellowship) but it is more often given to an organization. When a grant is given, there are usually no requirements to repay the money. The library often gets inquiries about how to get “free” money or grants to meet a particular need. While grants might not be available in every situation, other forms of assistance are still very valuable. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions and answers about locating grants and other types of assistance.

Memphis Public Libraries, as a Candid Community access level partner, offers access to the following databases in the Business/Sciences Department (3rd floor, Central Library):

Foundation Directory Online by Candid

Updated weekly, Candid’s premier fundraising tool gives grant-seekers unprecedented access to the largest amount of clean and coded philanthropic data that currently exists. By combining exhaustive data with intuitive search functionality and informative data visualizations, FDO makes fundraising quick and efficient. See the Philanthropy Classification System for tips on how to navigate the philanthropy classification system.

An online database of nearly 10,000 foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grant seekers. NEW: The application also provides direct access to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for individuals not associated with a nonprofit right on its homepage.

Access all of Candid’s live and on-demand trainings, webinars, and other resources designed to improve your fundraising, overall sustainability, grantmaking, and transparency. For more information about how to find grants, please visit the Candid Learning Knowledge Base.

Additional resources for finding grants can also be found on the websites below:

Grants for Nonprofits is a webpage provided by the Michigan State University Library. It is a compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

TGCI, the Grantsmanship Center, offers links to grants including international funders. Search by geographic region.

Job Opportunities in Nonprofits

Momentum Nonprofit Partners features a local nonprofit job board. Mid-South nonprofits can post job openings and descriptions for operations, programs, development, and executive roles.

Philanthropy News Digest by Candid has a national job board.  Browse job postings by state or search by job function, state, keyword, or type of organization.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s job board lists hundreds of job opportunities in nonprofits, as well as sector-specific career advice.

Visit the Council on Foundations’ Philanthropic Career Center to search for job opportunities or to post your resume. On this site, employers may submit job announcements and also browse submitted resumes.

Idealist.org is a comprehensive resource for jobs, internships, information on nonprofit organizations, and learning about the nonprofit work experience.

Legal and Tax Information for Nonprofits

IRS Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits
The IRS has in-depth information on various types of tax-exempt organizations.  This site gives details on how to apply for tax exempt status, how to conduct annual reporting and filing, and also provides tax forms for nonprofit organizations.

The Tennessee Secretary of State: Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
This website has a wealth of information and forms of interest to nonprofits.  Visit the Charitable Organization FAQs for an overview of registration requirements, fees, and application guidelines.  The Division will allow you to apply online or access printable forms through the Charitable Organizations Forms page.  Many forms and online services are also accessible on the Nonprofit Corporations page.

Office of the Attorney General for the State of Tennessee
The Attorney General’s website gives detailed legal information regarding nonprofits in Tennessee.  In collaboration with the Secretary of State’s office, they have created a Guidebook for Tennessee Nonprofits.  The AG’s page also provides links to instructions and forms for filing nonprofit affidavits, dissolutions, mergers, and sales.

A Guide to Starting a Nonprofit in Tennessee
A 28-page online publication created by United Way’s Center for Nonprofits and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.  It lists the steps to starting a nonprofit in Tennessee and provides links to tax information and state-specific legal requirements.

Your Nonprofit’s Tax-Exempt Status
Nolo Press, a well-known publisher of self-help legal guides, has created this resource with links to several useful articles about applying for tax-exempt status, maintaining status, and filing 990s.  Legal Updates for Nonprofits, another Nolo Press resource, details legal changes affecting nonprofits over the years.

Help with Incorporation & 501(c)(3) Paperwork 
Candid has compiled a list of resources that will help you fill out your start-up forms.

To view past 990s that have been filed with the IRS, try searching Candid’s 990 Finder Database.  Guidestar also has a free search option that will allow you to search up to three years of 990 Forms.

LIVEGIVEmidsouth is a community information system with information that helps citizens better understand community conditions and the nonprofits serving the Mid-South. LIVEGIVEmidsouth is a free resource of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

Local Nonprofits: To create your own profile and be included in this community database, consult LIVEGIVEmidsouth’s Nonprofits & Training page.

Momentum Nonprofit Partners is the next generation of the long-serving Grant Center and Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence. In Fall 2017, after a comprehensive evaluation and planning process, Momentum was launched to build the momentum of the nonprofit sector to drive equitable, measurable, and lasting change. Focusing on supporting essential services for organizations, learning for individuals, and learning for organizations, Momentum Nonprofit Partners serves over 250 nonprofit member organizations in 10 Mid-South counties.

In 2018, the Nonprofit Resource Center began hosting Momentum’s Meet Momentum Fridays, a regular casual Q&A office hours program at Central Library. Check out Momentum’s Calendar for more information for this and other programs.

LINC/2-1-1, the Library INformation Center at Memphis Public Libraries, works in partnership with the United Way of the Mid-South as the local source for community resources. LINC maintains a large, comprehensive database of human services organizations, government agencies and volunteer groups, which can now be accessed by dialing 2-1-1. Many nonprofits in the greater Memphis area have a presence in the LINC database.


First started in 2006 as a searchable, browseable website set up to collect and share the social sector’s knowledge, IssueLab became a service of Foundation Center, now Candid, in 2012. Since then, IssueLab’s mission has grown beyond the “simple” collection and distribution of knowledge products to include the support of social sector organizations in adopting the practical and necessary steps to openly publishing what they fund and produce.

Basic Guide to Program Evaluation (Including Outcomes Evaluation)
Part of the Free Management Library, this site provides guidance toward planning and implementing an evaluation process for for-profit and nonprofit organizations.  It gives direction on a variety of evaluation strategies, including goals-based, process-based, and outcomes-based.

The National Council of Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits offers a number of tools to help nonprofits conduct effective self-assessment and evaluation of outcomes.  Click on each topic for a list of specific resources.

Innovation Network
Offers online help preparing an assessment/evaluation plan for your nonprofit.


LIVEGIVEmidsouth features an online local directory listing nonprofit organizations in the Greater Memphis area.  This resource provides comprehensive verified information on each organization, including their mission statement, financial information, a management profile, contact information, and the ability to donate to the organization through the LIVEGIVEmidsouth site.

Tennessee Secretary of State: Division of Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
The TN Secretary of State’s Charity and Business Filing system, TNCaB, is where nonprofits can create an account to view or file documents. The public portal allows anyone to search for registered charities and gaming events. Each listing will include contact and financial information filed with the the Division. If you are looking to file a complaint against a particular charity or nonprofit organization, please use the link from the TNCaB page.

Tennessee Office of the Attorney General
If you have information or a complaint about a TN Nonprofit corporation that you might believe helpful to Office in fulfilling its obligation to protect public interest please complete and return a Nonprofit Complaint Form.

Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool
This service, provided by the IRS, allows users to verify the name of a tax-exempt organization and find information about its federal tax status and filings.  This is an efficient way to search for organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, have had their tax-exempt status revoked, and/or have filed a Form 990-N.

GuideStar by Candid
Known as “the donor’s guide to the charitable universe,” GuideStar by Candid features familiar tools like the free GuideStar Search as well as subscription-based professional features.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance collects and distributes information on over 1,000 nationally soliciting charities.  The BBB Wise Giving Alliance evaluates each organization based on Standards for Charity Accountability, and compiles their findings into a single report on each charity.

Charity Navigator
This site provides ratings of over 8,000 charities based on their financial performance. Charity summaries provide such information as overall rating, organizational efficiency, revenue, expenses, and mission statement. Summaries may be searched by charity name, keyword, category, or region.

One Stop Shop for Nonprofits

In 2019, The Foundation Center and GuideStar merged to form Candid, a new combined 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Candid maintains the prior Foundation Center resources like Foundation Directory Online and Candid Learning (formerly GrantSpace) as well as GuideStar offerings like GuideStar Search.

Candid Learning, formerly GrantSpace, provides easy-to-use, self-service tools and resources to help nonprofits worldwide become more viable grant applicants and build strong, sustainable organizations.

IssueLab (formerly TRASI) is Candid’s free research base. IssueLab is the platform for #OpenForGood, a knowledge-sharing initiative to boost access to quality data in the social sector.

Candid Learning for Funders is Candid’s open resource to address questions funders have across strategies and issue areas. It’s also a helpful resource for grantseekers to gain perspective on engaging with potential funding sources.

Idealist offers a list of useful websites for nonprofit information.

National Center for Charitable Statistics hosts the NCCS Data Archive, the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, and the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) codes.

Michigan State University Libraries offers an extensive collection of internet resources including a list of newsletters (with some region-specific information).

Start-Up Information for Nonprofits

Candid Learning offers resources on nonprofit start-up. Their Starting a Nonprofit section in Knowledge Base is a wealth of resources for each step along the way.

A Guide to Starting a Nonprofit in Tennessee is a 28-page online publication created by United Way’s Center for Nonprofits and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.  It gives an overview of the nonprofit sector, designed to help you decide if starting a new nonprofit is the most effective way to do your good work.  The publication lists the steps to starting a nonprofit in Tennessee and provides links to legal information and state-specific requirements.

How to Start a Nonprofit The National Council of Nonprofits put together this step-by-step guide that includes links to in-depth information and suggestions for additional assistance.

Help with Incorporation & 501(c)3 Candid has compiled a list of resources that will help you fill out your start-up forms.

Starting a Foundation, by the Council on Foundations, includes links to basic information such as a glossary of terms and a list frequently asked questions.

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