Love Your Library!
Do you know about all of the FREE information and services you can access with your Knox County Public Library card? Their website, www.knoxlib.org, is a veritable goldmine for nonprofit resources. You can access grant and funder information, detailed demographic data and statistics, e-books and audio books on fundraising and leadership, and so much more. Reference librarians are also available to assist you in person at Lawson McGhee Library in downtown Knoxville and by telephone, email, text, or chat. Go ahead, ask them anything!
If you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, I suggest starting by using the website’s Subject Guides to narrow down your focus. To get there, click “Explore the Collection” on the homepage, and then click “Subject Guides” in the sidebar. Then, choose your subject. “Organizations and Fund Raising” is a great choice for nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers. So is “Business and Investing.” Under the subject, you can access correlating databases, reference guides, websites, and books. You can also find specific resources quickly by searching in the search bar at the top of the page.
Highlights of available resources include:
Directory of Local Organizations
This directory lists approximately 600 community organizations in the Knox County area, with browse categories including Hobby and Recreation, Retirees and Senior Citizens, Appalachia, Environment, and many more. Each listing contains a description of the organization along with basic contact information. You can explore further by searching with keywords such as "scholarships" or "volunteer," and download records for mailing lists.
Foundation Directory Online
Search local and national foundations for your nonprofit’s next fundraising project! The Foundation Directory Online provides access to timely, comprehensive information on grantmakers and their grants. Included is a database of over 140,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S.; a database of over 4,000 sponsoring companies, offering a quick pathway to corporate funders; a database of over 3.8 million recently awarded grants; and a keyword-searchable database of over 1 million recently filed IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF. This resource is available only at Lawson McGhee Library, and an appointment with the Foundation Center librarian is recommended. Call 865-215-8700 for more information.
This database provides detailed U.S. demographic information including data on income, age, education level, consumer spending, and housing, combined with a powerful mapping tool and reporting capabilities you can use to assess business viability, analyze trends in a given population, and compare demographic characteristics among multiple geographies.
Statista has over 1.5 million statistics on 80,000 topics presented in an easily understandable visual format. Read industry forecasts and find dossiers on many topics compiled by expert analysts. Download graphics and raw data for use in your own presentations and reports.
OverDrive provides 24/7 online access to a collection of downloadable ebooks and audiobooks. You can view or listen to books on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Featured collections include books on leadership, management, and personal growth. A couple of my favorite available ebooks are Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
These are just a few of the many resources available to you with your library card. For more information, go to www.knoxlib.org or call (865) 215-8700. Happy searching!
Tiffani Mensch is the Director of Community Engagement for the Alliance for Better Nonprofits (ABN). With over a decade of experience in nonprofit fundraising and community outreach, Tiffani is passionate about helping nonprofits achieve greater mission impact. Before joining ABN, she worked for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the University of Tennessee, and Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. Tiffani currently serves as vice president of the board of trustees for Girls Inc. of Knoxville, sits on the 91.9 Inc. WUOT advisory board, and is a peer reviewer and Standards Council member for the Standards for Excellence Institute. She also volunteers with several local nonprofits. She earned her MA from Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology.