Resources for Nonprofits

This page will include resources on a wide range of topics important to running a successful nonprofit organization. This list is a work-in-progress and new resource categories will be added each month.  If there is specific content you would like to see listed, let us know at nonprofitcenter@aacounty.org

The Nonprofit Center also welcomes resources submitted by the members of the nonprofit community. Resources must be created by a nonprofit organization, government entity, or educational institution. We are unable to post resources provided by for-profit business. If you are aware of a great resource that you'd like to share with others, please complete the resource submission form below.  

Click "Grant Opportunities & Resources" to the left for resources specific to finding grants and grant writing.

Advocacy - Maryland Nonprofits - Outlines the difficulties facing individuals in Maryland and highlights the need for nonprofit involvement. Includes a list of advancement opportunities that covers topics such as housing, equitable access, and employment. Provides six broad principles to help guide nonprofit advocacy. 

Advocate for My Mission - Maryland Nonprofits - Compiles a list of resources to help nonprofits advocate while maintaining a tax-exempt status. Organizes resources by the nonprofit life cycle; some resources require a membership to Maryland Nonprofits. 

Public Policy Agenda | National Council of Nonprofits - Outlines the NCN’s role in advocating for nonprofits. Organizes policy by topics such as tax policy, budget and spending, and the economy. Provides a link to a PDF format of the 2024 NCN Public Policy Agenda.

Everyday Advocacy | National Council of Nonprofits - Details the difference between advocacy and lobbying. Includes links to relevant web pages such as Advocacy in Action and Why Should Your Nonprofit Advocate?

Nonprofit Advocacy for Boards - Advocacy helps nonprofits advance their mission, increase their funding sources, and solve community and societal problems. Unfortunately, there is still a persistent misconception that nonprofits cannot lobby. This site, focused on boards, explains the benefits and the limits. 

Nonprofit Advocacy Research - Independent Sector conducts landmark research on the state of nonprofit influence through advocacy, and recent data shows it’s in decline. The website highlights the statistics, offers downloadable resources, and offers easy ways to take action without reading the full report.

Nonprofit Power - Highlights the nonprofit ability to increase underrepresented demographic voting because of deep community involvement. Displays positive findings of nonprofit engagement with minority and youth groups as it pertains to voter turnout.

National Council of Nonprofits: Governance and Leadership - Provides links to governance and leadership articles. While it does include resources on topics less relevant to board governance, many of the links are board-focused (e.g. Board Engagement, Board Orientation, 10 Steps to Create a More Diverse Board, etc.)

Board Source: Common Nonprofit Board Responsibilities - Offers recommendations for nonprofit boards based on legal and ethical standards. Provides links to templates covering board-related topics (e.g. The Board’s Role in Reviewing Form 990: A Checklist, Every Board’s Must-Have Documents, Nonprofit Board Member Code of Conduct and Ethics, etc.) Also includes links to various other resources; however, some are “member-only” and require a subscription.

Boards & Governance Resources from 501 Commons - A list of board and governance resource links. Includes links to websites as well as books. Provides a brief overview of the difference between a board and a boss.

Fiduciary Duties of Directors of Charitable Organizations - Specific to Minnesota, but outlines many of the necessary responsibilities of board members in any state. Organized by three individual duties (Proper Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, and Duty of Obedience), which are then broken into key components of each duty, accompanied by explanations. Check with the MD Comptroller’s Office, MD Attorney General’s Office, or an attorney to confirm information in Maryland.

The Fiduciary Responsibility and Nonprofit Boards | Maryland Philanthropy Network - A concise article that outlines nonprofit board responsibilities, defines the term "fiduciary relationship", and explains the fiduciary role as it pertains to nonprofit boards. Covers themes such as responsibility, transparency, and sustainability.

Nonprofit Board Resource Center | Bridgespan - Includes a number of resources from reliable organizations. Organizes resources by topic (Nonprofit Boards 101, Becoming a Nonprofit Board Member, Building a Nonprofit Board, Being a Nonprofit Board Member, etc.) Covers a range of board-related information.

Communications: Annual Reports    

Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Annual Report | Tips & Best Practices -  Includes useful tips to creating an impactful nonprofit annual report as well as examples. Covers topics such as expressing gratitude, inspiring action, and using visuals to convey impact. Also includes what to leave out of an annual report, such as information that readers may not find valuable and irrelevant data.

5 Goals of a Great Nonprofit Annual Report - Provides five essential goals when crafting a nonprofit annual report. Also prompts the reader to consider and provide their own goals when designing an annual report.

Communications: Artificial Intelligence

Evaluating Suitability of Artificial Intelligence for Nonprofits | NetHope - Describes the ever-growing presence of AI, as well as how nonprofits may take advantage of these tools in an ethical and sustainable manner. Includes a link to the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Suitability Toolkit for Nonprofits, aimed at helping nonprofits decide whether they may benefit from AI usage and how to use it.

Unlocking Time-Savings and Cost Efficiency With AI Tools for Nonprofits -  Explores twelve useful AI tools that nonprofits can use to increase time and cost efficiency. Discusses the value of AI technology for nonprofit use. Organizes tools by themes such as marketing, design and digital experiences, and task automation.

Communications: Communication Plans

The Ultimate Guide to Strong Nonprofit Communications » Philanthropy Circuit - Offers a comprehensive guide to nonprofit communications. Covers topics such as types of nonprofit communication, how to formulate a nonprofit communications plan, and how nonprofit communication plans differ from corporate communications.

The 5 Steps You Need for Strong Nonprofit Communication - Getting Attention - Discusses the four types of nonprofit communications: storytelling, marketing, fundraising, and engagement. Includes a five-step plan to develop a nonprofit communications plan according to the SMART goals framework.

Communications: Media Relations

Why is Public Relations Vital for Nonprofits? | Building a Smart PR Strategy - Highlights the importance of a public relations strategy for nonprofits, as well as provides the six necessary steps to creating a successful nonprofit PR strategy. Includes examples of successful nonprofit PR campaigns and discusses their merits.

Top 10 Media Relations Tips for Nonprofits - Provides ten useful media relation tips for nonprofits. Covers themes such as appealing to an audience, keeping your message concise, and using visuals to promote your message.

Communications: Social Media

Social Media for Nonprofits -  A useful guide for nonprofit organizations seeking to increase their social media presence. Outlines the steps to implementing social media for your organization and facilitating online fundraising. Includes a handy “tips and tricks” section that provides tools based around popular social media outlets.

Five ways nonprofits can leverage social media for greater impact | - Provides five strategies for using social media to increase nonprofit impact. Includes information on topics such as storytelling, expanding outreach through collaboration, and fundraising via social media.

Hosting an Event in Anne Arundel County

Special Events 

Anne Arundel County defines a special event as an activity, athletic event, concert, parade, or public assembly (500 people or more) that is held on a designated day or a series of days and: 

  • exclusively uses public streets, alleys, right of ways, County waters, or other public property or;
  • will physically impede or block the safe flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic or;
  • will necessitate the use of county services exceeding normal operations.
  • This page outlines the application process for a special events permit. It includes FAQs and related forms and documents as well as a link to the Special Events Calendar that lists available dates. 

Block Parties

Block parties are a type of special event that require additional permits. This page includes a checklist of requirements to host a block party in Anne Arundel County (e.g. location, date, time, etc.), as well as contact information for the Traffic Engineering Division, which oversees all block party requests. Reach out to TED early in the process if you have questions.

Available County Spaces   Download Printable Document

Anne Arundel County Libraries offer meeting spaces across the county during library operating hours. Requests can be made up to 60 days in advance using their online system. Spaces cannot be used for fundraising events. The page includes FAQs and meeting room policies.

The Department of Recreation and Parks is responsible for scheduling events at school facilities and county/community parks. For all facilities other than regional parks, groups must go through an accreditation process. See the DRP Guidelines and Reference Manual for details. Fundraising events are allowed with special permits and a fee.

The County’s regional parks (maintained by DRP) have a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting / event spaces for use by outside organizations. Each facility has different rules and rates.

General Event Planning Resources

Nonprofit Event Planning: 9 Simple Steps (+ Downloadable Checklist)

Includes a downloadable checklist and step-by-step guide to nonprofit event planning. Offers additional tips for a well-attended event, such as using text-to-give, thanking donors, and keeping your team informed.

Build Community with Nonprofit Event Planning

Offers a list of ten essential steps to consider when planning a nonprofit event, such as determining goals, establishing a budget, and identifying your audience. Also provides additional information on nonprofit event marketing.

A Nonprofit's Guide to Event Planning: 4 Essential Steps 

Outlines the four mandatory steps to planning a nonprofit event. Offers links to payment processing tools, as well as constituent relationship management tools. Provides links to additional nonprofit event planning resources, such as creating a fundraiser invitation and using local outreach to engage the online generation.

Canva for Nonprofits - Canva for nonprofits offers all the premium features of Canva for Teams, free of charge. Nonprofits can complete the simple eligibility verification form that requires your 501c3 tax-exempt paperwork and start designing with access to over 400,000 templates today. 

Givebutter - Givebutter is the first completely free engagement platform for nonprofits. Sign up - for free - and enjoy unlimited access to their fundraising platform, CRM platform, and even their event platform, with no hidden fees - ever.

Google - Google for Nonprofits gives nonprofits access to Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, Sheets, and even Classroom for $0/month. Plus, you’ll get access to Google’s security and management controls.

Microsoft Office - Microsoft hosts nonprofit-specific training for how to get the most out of their tools. They also offer grants for eligible nonprofits. 

TechSoup - TechSoup offers over 375 discounted products from over 100 of the technology sector’s leading brands. From Microsoft Office to Intuit Quickbooks, nonprofits can get access to the hardware, software, and services they need at a price they can afford. 

Note: The Nonprofit Center and Anne Arundel County do not endorse these, or any, specific products. They are listed as a service.

A Quick Guide to Compiling Donor Prospect Profiles - Highlights the importance of creating prospective donor profiles. Outlines seven areas of importance when compiling donor profiles, such as personal history, familial information, and organizational connections. 

Wealth Screening vs. Prospect Research: Know the Difference - Identifies the differences between wealth screening and prospect research, as well as when to use each.

Determining Donor Capacity: Why It Matters and How to Use It  - Notes the differences between donor capacity, donor propensity, and donor affinity. Includes tips for using donor capacity information to promote fundraising. 

Discovering Donors: Prospect Research Basics - Defines prospect research in simple terms, as well as introduces the three ways nonprofits can determine their prospects: Do-It-Yourself, a consultant, or a prospect research company.

Grant Seeker's Toolkit Step 2: Prospect Research - Includes a multitude of links to help nonprofits identify potential foundation donors. Part of a larger toolkit for grant seekers.

The Art of Closing the Fundraising Ask - A blog post highlighting the main points to hit on during “the ask”. Highlights the importance of forming a relationship with a donor, rather than treating the request like a transaction. 

Asking for Donations Without Pressuring Donors - While the “making the ask” section is only part of the article, it does contain valuable information surrounding the fundraising process, such as identifying undue pressure, understanding your fundraising audience, and ensuring the donors have an interest in the nonprofit.

9 Tips on How to Ask for Donations in Person  - An informational blog post that focuses on setting reasonable donation goals, building concrete relationships with donors (such as showing interests in their personal and professional endeavors), and the benefits of donor research before “making the ask”.

All You Need to Know About Fundraising Scripts - Outlines the necessary steps to creating a fundraising script, as well as provides sample scripts for different fundraising scenarios (such as acquisition calls, reactivation calls, and calls to major donors).

Making the Ask - Even Virtually - Gives a basic overview of the steps necessary to “making the ask”. Also gives information on how to fundraise in a virtual setting. Includes a link to an extensive presentation focused solely on how to complete “the ask”.

Relationship-Management Toolkit - A comprehensive toolkit that includes information from soliciting donors to preparing to make the ask to stewardship. Includes templates for cultivation strategy and contact report. 

Donor Retention Toolkit - Article discusses the importance of donor retention. Includes a sample donor timeline, stewardship checklist, and “Thank You Letter” template.

4 Strategies to Build Stronger Major Donor Relationships - Blog post with information on how to develop lasting donor relationships. Includes ideas such as connecting the donor with the organization through volunteering, creating impact reports, and asking for donor input.

Not-for-Profit Toolkit - While the toolkit is meant for nonprofits based out of Indiana, there are plenty of valuable resources that apply to nonprofits everywhere. Under the “Fundraising” section, there are several resources for donor relations and stewardship, including a “Donor Stewardship Guide” and “Donor Stewardship Plan”. Each link contains a brief description.

Welland Hospital Foundation Donor Recognition Categories - The contents of the PDF focus largely on donor recognition as it relates to this organization, however contents may also be applied to other nonprofits as well. Lists donation amounts and corresponding levels of recognition and stewardship.

CCF’s 10 Principles of Community-Centric Fundraising - Identifies the 10 principles of fundraising and philanthropy, as to ensure the process is based in “racial and economic justice”. Principles include themes such as partnership, healing, and anti-racist policies. Click on each box for more information.

Why Disaggregating Data by Race is Important for Racial Equity - Promotes the importance of breaking down aggregated data as it relates to racial groups to highlight the struggles certain minority groups face that may be overlooked when viewing only aggregated data. Identifies the benefits of disaggregated data as it concerns identifying the root cause of an issue, as well as the increased comprehension of such data when viewed in a visual presentation.

Racial Equity - Defines racial equity and poses thought-provoking questions concerning a reality in which society is truly racially equitable. Also posted: links to a plethora of articles concerning equitable futures and the comprehension of racial equity.

Equity, Diversion, Inclusion: Action Toolkit for Organizations - A toolkit to be used by organizations to self-assess, understand, and learn about racial equity within the nonprofit sector. Includes action goals, self-assessment tools, and links to promote further understanding for each topic. 

Resources for Racial Equity - Identifies numerous resources concerning racial equity, including the author and a summary below each link. Organizes links within three major themes: Thought Leadership, Internal Operations, and Philanthropic Practice. 

Writings & Resources - A series of resources/links to further promote equity within a nonprofit organization. Includes video, journals, and articles.

Nonprofit Leadership - The Ultimate Guide for a Real Difference - Highlights the importance of allocating resources to leadership programs. Includes five steps to developing effective nonprofit leadership and nine practical methods for promoting nonprofit leadership. 

8 Essential Nonprofit Management Skills and Development Tips - Outlines and describes the eight skills necessary for effective nonprofit leadership, such as marketing, public speaking, and interpersonal communications. Descriptions include an overview and tips.

18 Essential Nonprofit Leadership Skills [+ Career Tips] - Covers topics such as nonprofit leadership, nonprofit leadership as it differs from leaders in the for-profit sector, and nonprofit leadership styles. Promotes the importance of communication, respect, and strategic thinking within the nonprofit world.

How Nonprofit Leadership Development Sustains Organizations and Their Teams | Bridgespan - Highlights practices to develop and maintain leadership within a nonprofit organization. Includes a Nonprofit Leadership Development Toolkit, free to download.

NLCDD Resources: Links for Nonprofit Leadership - Provides a series of links and resources concerning nonprofit leadership development. Links mainly reference various leadership programs, case studies, and education opportunities. Includes a brief description of each resource.

Vision vs Mission Statement for Nonprofits -Describes the difference between mission and vision statements for nonprofits. Offers additional information on crafting a vision statement. Includes examples of effective vision statements.

Nonprofit Mission Statements – Good and Bad Examples -Delineates the importance of mission statements, as well as the attributes of well and poorly written statements. Provides three fundamental elements of mission statements, such as cause, action, and impact.

Codes of Ethics/Values Statements for Nonprofits -Explains the purpose behind crafting a value statement for your nonprofit, as well as a list of practice pointers on integrating a value statement within a nonprofit. Includes links to sample value statements from verified nonprofits.

20 Exceptional Nonprofit Vision Statement Examples -A list of twenty valuable nonprofit vision statements, as well as why the statement works. Describes the importance of a strong vision statement. 

Developing a Mission Statement -A step-by-step guide to creating a mission statement. Includes a worksheet that helps define an organization’s goals, and how that may be crafted into a mission statement.

Business and Nonprofit Program Planning and Management - Defines programs as they relate to nonprofits. Provides links to additional resources on the different components of nonprofit program management, such as basic guidelines, evaluations, and a feasibility study.

Programme and project management tools and techniques | Department of Finance - While not directed towards nonprofits, the information is applicable to a variety of organizations. Includes descriptions and links to multiple techniques such as SWOT analysis, a RACI diagram, and stakeholder mapping.

Program Management Toolkit - AITS - A comprehensive program management toolkit that includes links to examples. Provides information on topics such as program governance, communication, stakeholder analysis, and more.

Program Planning | ECLKC - A government resource that focuses on the planning aspect of program management. Offers links to helpful tools such as an annual planning calendar for program management, community assessment standards, and a self-assessment that focuses on the process of planning and finalizing a program.

Best Practices for Nonprofit Project Management — 501 Commons - A list of the four best practices to implement when facilitating nonprofit program management. Covers themes such as problem-solving, crafting lasting relationships with stakeholders, and project management software.

Arizona State University | How to improve volunteer retention - Outlines the importance of volunteer retention, as well as ways to increase volunteer satisfaction and attendance.

Getting Attention | 16 Proven Strategies - Provides resources for recruiting and retaining volunteers. Offers a free volunteer job description template, as well as sixteen tips on how to increase recruitment.

National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Executives | Recruitment Best Practices - Provides insight on the volunteer recruitment process. Promotes social media use, connecting with local media, and utilizing the internet to garner attention.

Nonprofit Hub | Recruitment Strategies - An informative article covering three simple, cost-effective strategies to promote volunteer recruitment. Strategies include social media use, recruitment events, and finding volunteers through word of mouth.

Penn State University | Volunteer Management - Summarizes information from a variety of sources on the topic of volunteer management into three succinct phases. Includes references.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration | Recruiting, Utilizing, and Training Volunteers - A comprehensive guide for faith and community-based service providers. Covers topics on the different aspects of working with volunteers, such as recruiting, training, and managing. 

University of Florida | Keeping Volunteers - Delineates the importance of ensuring volunteer satisfaction, and how it relates to volunteer retention over time. Offers recommendations for nonprofits looking to improve the volunteer experience.

The University of Kansas | Recruiting Volunteers - Illustrates the various methods in which a nonprofit organization may recruit volunteers, as well as offers insight into why volunteers might feel motivated to participate in a nonprofit event. 

Did you know that volunteering can have positive impacts on your mental health? Check out the Nonprofit Center's three-fold brochure which highlights the physical, social, and emotional benefits of volunteering, plus a list of resources!

Board Source | Five Phases of Strategic Planning (.pdf)

Bridge Span | Nonprofit Strategy - a series of articles and downloadable toolkit licensed under Creative Commons.

Funding for Good | Strategic Planning - offers some interesting (and free) blog posts 

Illinois State University | Strategic Plan - focused on higher education, but includes examples and templates that can be adapted to other sectors.

Syracuse University | Strategic Planning Resources - focused on higher education, but includes adaptable templates and a rubric to evaluate a plan. Many colleges and universities have similar resources.

Examples of Nonprofit Strategic Plans

Nonprofits upload their strategic plans in Guidestar to earn a seal of transparency. Simply search “Guidestar Strategic Planning” to find several examples. Add “food” “youth” or another defining search term to identify a more narrow field of organizations. Looking at current strategic plans can be very helpful to organizations embarking on their own process.

8 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health - Provides useful strategies for managers to implement in the workplace. Highlights the importance of healthy communication, flexibility, and establishing regular check-ins with staff.

Resource Guide - A comprehensive guide to available mental health and substance use resources; employers may choose to include these for their company resources. Provides links to anonymous mental health screenings, crisis intervention organizations, and general assistance.

Create a Mental Health-Friendly Workplace - Breaks down the steps to creating a mental health-friendly work environment into the “4 A’s.”: awareness, accommodations, assistance, and access. Each section includes various resources such as toolkits, training videos, and checklists.

The Mental Health Movement in the Workplace | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Lists the actions companies may take to promote mental health in the workplace, such as implementing policies, allowing for accommodations, and requiring supervisor training.

Workplace Mental Health and Wellness Toolkit - An extensive toolkit that looks at the detrimental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on employee mental health and highlights ways to promote mental health in the workplace. Offers links to additional toolkits and mental health resources.



The NPC will continue to add resources as we find them, but we could use your help. If you have found a resource that has truly saved your organization time or money, or has helped you acheive your goals more effectively, please considering sharing it with your nonprofit colleagues by submitting it on the form below.