Cut Through the Clutter: Top Information Resources for Nonprofit Professionals by Lindsey Fila

As the nonprofit sector and our roles within it continues to evolve and grow, so too do the number of resources, case studies, and issue insights available and dedicated to nonprofit professionals, frequently for free. However, honing in (or simply locating in the first place) resources that are truly valuable can still be a struggle, so I have curated over the years a list of my trusted and proven resources. I hope these resources can help you combat information overload and lead you to feel more informed and inspired.

To fuel my general interest in the nonprofit and social sector, I explore exciting initiatives and remain informed about big developments through:

  • Nonprofit Quarterly: NPQ’s daily newswire features short articles covering interesting and unique news from the sector, and their thought-provoking print publication features research-based articles on management and governance. 
  • Foundation Center: Their Philanthropy News Digest (PND) Connections newsletter provides in-depth analysis of how philanthropy is used to combat social issues via interviews with renowned practitioners. 
  • Social IMPACT Research Center: A Heartland Alliance program, they measure the impact of social initiatives and release trend reports, particularly focusing on poverty. To solve social problems, we must first understand them, and their work is an amazing stepping stone in pursuit of that goal.
  • Guidestar: We all know Guidestar for their online database of 990s, but they’re so much more than that! One great resource they offer is a LinkedIn community, The Nonprofit Conversation, full of knowledgeable practitioners eager to engage.

For broad guidance and resources to improve my work as a nonprofit professional, I turn to:

  • The Bridgespan Group: This leadership development and consulting group produces on-point resources on hiring, leadership, evaluation, and their focus spans numerous issue areas. 
  • Blue Avocado: This monthly publication from American Nonprofits offers great advice on board management, program evaluation, and human resources, with a side of humor.

As a finance and operations professional, it’s also imperative to understand the legal developments shaping the sector, so I subscribe to announcements from:

For practical and proven marketing advice, I turn to:

For all things technology, I turn to:

  • NTEN
  • TechSoup – If your nonprofit doesn’t use them to get discounted technology, you’re doing it wrong.

And when I simply need some in-person professional development, I turn to the Axelson Center, Donors Forum, or, shameless plug, YNPN Chicago. I also turn to The Law Project (TLP), though they’re so much more than your typical resource. Not only does TLP issue news alerts and offer trainings, they also connect organizations to pro bono legal services. My organization would not be where we are today without their assistance.

Now it’s your turn to share. What do you use to get your nonprofit news? Spread the love and let me know the resources I’ve overlooked in the comments section.

Lindsey Fila serves as Executive Co-Chair for YNPN Chicago and Director of Finance and Operations at Resolution Systems Institute. She entered the nonprofit sector after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the unseen parts of the city and hula hooping.

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