There is a wealth of information available on searching for grants, writing proposals, establishing nonprofits, and fundraising. The following lists are provided as an introductory guide to some of these resources.

General Resources

Candid was formed in 2019 by the merger of the Foundation Center and GuideStar, bringing together the Foundation Center’s decades of experience in the field of philanthropy and GuideStar’s expertise in nonprofit research. Institutional access to the Foundation Directory and the Grants to Individuals databases is available onsite at the Central Library.

  • Visit their website to research and verify nonprofits, find funding, learn skills, tips, and advice on improving one's nonprofit or foundation, locate data and statistics on nonprofits and foundations, and explore issues related to philanthropy.
  • FDO Quick Start - Provides free access to essential information for information on U.S. foundation. Search by name, EIN, location, assets or giving range. Searching includes results from IRS forms 990 and 990-PF.
  • - Low-cost short-term access to Foundation Directory Online - Select either the FDO Essential or the FDO Professional subscription level to quickly research prospective funders.
  • Grants to Individuals by Candid - Subscription database to research foundation and public charity programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers.
  • GuideStar by Candid - Sign up for a free account to research up-to-date information on nonprofits. Subscription option available for professional researchers.
  • Candid Contact Us - Email or chat with the Candid experts who can answer general questions about foundations, philanthropy, fundraising or nonprofits.
  • Candid's Find Us - Funding Information Network locations provide online access to selected Foundation Center publications and other resources for grantseekers. Click on "Find Us" to search for the closest location by zip code, city or state.

Urban Institute: Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy
Conducts and disseminates research on the role and impact of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy through research reports, briefs, and technical papers.

Council on Foundations
Council on Foundations, founded in 1949, is a membership organization that supports grant-makers in various aspects of foundation management.

NOZA is a subscription-based database of charitable giving organizations. Free foundation searching is available with registration.

Government Websites For Nonprofits
Information on starting a nonprofit, the various nonprofit categories recognized by the IRS, and grants, loans and other assistance.
Provides a common website for federal agencies to post discretionary funding opportunities and for grantees to find and apply to them.

  • Search for grants by keyword, category, or agency
  • Fill out your application online and track the progress of your application
  • The Grants Learning Center provides basic information on grant terminology, grant lifecycle and management, grant eligibility, and much more.

Assistance Listings (replaces Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance)
Official source for the many grant programs from the federal government

  • Database of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
  • Assistance Listings includes loans, grants, business and nonfinancial aid.
  • Detailed description of types of assistance available and how to file applications.


California Attorney General's Office - Registry of Charitable Trusts
All charities must file the Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report, and those with gross revenue or assets of $25,000 or more must file annual Form 990 financial reports with the Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts.

  • Charities Search provides descriptive information about the charity as well as financials
  • CFR Commercial Fundraiser Financial Database provides financial disclosure of fundraisers
  • Resources lead to information for individuals seeking assistance in establishing, operating and managing nonprofits
  • Forms, laws & regulations are also available

California Community Foundation
Established in 1915, with current assets over $1.5 billion, the Foundation supports nonprofit organizations and public institutions with funds for health and human services, affordable housing, early childhood education, community arts and culture and other areas of need. Click on the relevant categories of "Grant Opportunities" and "Learn How to Apply".

Center for Nonprofit Management of Southern California
Sponsors a variety of programs for training and assisting nonprofit organizations. Visit their Nonprofit Answer Guide for answers to frequently asked questions about nonprofits.

Grants - State of California

Search for all grants and loans offered on a competitive or first-come basis by California state agencies. See all funding opportunities, or limit by applicant type, grant category, or time frame.

Grantsmanship Center

The Grantsmanship Center offers training, webinars and publications on best practices in nonprofit management, organization and grant research.

Southern California Grantmakers
The regional membership association of philanthropists, nonprofit organizations and grant-making foundations for Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Supports effective philanthropy via conferences, trainings, and resources.

Books, Periodicals, and Databases from the Library

Reference Books

Print resources available at Central Library

For more books, search the LAPL catalog using the subject search for the following phrases:

  • Economic assistance Domestic United States Directories
  • Endowments United States Directories
  • Fund raising
  • Grants-in-aid
  • Proposal writing for grants


Print resources available at Central Library

Charity Rating Guide & Watchdog Report
Published by the American Institute of Philanthropy. Large public interest charities are graded on the basis of their openness, amount spent on services, and their cost of raising funds. Charities are listed under their area of interest.

Chronicle of Philanthropy
Provides news, data and resources on the nonprofit world of philanthropy. The magazine is published monthly. The website contains a mix of free and premium articles about grant-makers, fundraising, managing nonprofits, webinars, employment opportunities and much more.

Grassroots Fundraising Journal
Although publication of Grassroots Fundraising Journal ceased indefinitely as of the July/August 2018 issue, the article archive is freely available. Search by title, keyword or author to locate still-relevant articles on fundraising for local, grassroots groups.


Access to these databases requires a valid Los Angeles Public Library card. Don't have a library card? Los Angeles residents can sign up for immediate access with the Library's e-card.

  • Gale Courses
    Offers self-paced online interactive courses on grant funding resources, grant proposal writing, and nonprofit management. New courses begin every month and last for six weeks.
    New users: Follow the directions on the Gale Courses home page to enroll in a course and to create a Gale account.
    Returning users: Click on "Sign In" option located along the top banner.
  • Gale Directory Library (was Associations Unlimited)
    Includes a searchable database of the latest edition of Gale's National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations. Use the Advanced Search option to limit your search to this directory. Search by keyword, or limit the search to results from a specific field (entity name, description); by geography (city, county, state, zip code, area code); by nonprofit officer name; by total assets; and by the IRS-defined foundation types.
    Library users: To access the database, enter your library card number and four-digit PIN (the last four digits of your primary phone number) when prompted.
    Take a video tutorials and courses taught by an industry expert. offers courses primarily in the business, software, and technology fields, but the following two courses are available for grants and nonprofits: 1) Grant Writing for Education (nonprofits with an educational mission will learn how to find and apply for grant funding), and 2) Nonprofit Management Foundations, a primer on nonprofit management and leadership.
    Library users: Enter your library card and PIN at the prompt to create a account. This will allow you to keep track of your class activity.
  • Universal Class
    Start an online course at any time and receive feedback via email from a live instructor. Earn a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) certificate upon class completion. Universal Class offers the following relevant courses: 1) Grant Proposal Writing 101 and 2) Creating and Managing a Non-Profit Organization.
    New users: Enter your library card number at the prompt to begin creating a Universal Class account.
    Returning users: click on the Sign In button to log in.

Compiled by Social Science, Philosophy, & Religion Department