Guidestar is a 501(c)(3) public charity that collects, organizes, and presents about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization. The Guidestar blog offers numerous free articles with emphasis on fundraising and philanthropy.

The Midwest Center is a service and outreach unit of the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. It has a national reputation as a preeminent source of research and information on nonprofit governance and effectiveness. Follow the links in this web page to access some of MCNL’s nonprofit board resources.

Non-profit consultant Joan Garry publishes regular blog posts and podcasts about many topics about all aspects of not-for-profit management and practices for volunteer leaders as well as professionals.

The relevant tax information from the IRS.


  • MailChimp is the email marketing service used by many nonprofits, including OVI.  MailChimp Style Guide was created for users of this email marketing platform, but it can give valuable advice to anyone looking to improve online communication.
  • MailChimp  Email Marketing Essentials: Writing Effective EmailsKate Kiefer Lee, a writer and editor at MailChimp, gives an online class in the specialized craft of writing emails that get attention and accomplish the desired action. This brief workshop is offered as a free class through Skillshare, an online learning community with emphasis on freelance artisans.
  • Abstract Edge: Digital Marketing for Do-Gooders
    The how and why of attention-getting headlines for Facebook posts from a digital consulting firm.


Energize, Inc. publishes a free blog as well as fee-based books, articles and newsletters about volunteer management. Energize, Inc. offers a range of consulting and speaking services.

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada.  They have been committed to increasing and supporting volunteerism and civic participation since 1977.  Their 2013 Volunteer Recognition study surveyed preferences around volunteer recognition and identified links between motivation and recognition practices.  Also on Volunteer Canada’s website is the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement, a set of comprehensive guidelines including recruitment, risk management, training and more.

This website for a company selling fee-based volunteer management software includes a blog with free articles about many aspects of volunteer management such as recruitment, recognition and fundraising.

Seven studies on motivation that might be applied to any leadership situation.


  • Managing Meetings“The North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services published this basic guide to meetings that covers agendas, time management, facilitation, and more with many references.

“Robert’s Rules of Order – Simplified”

This ‘cheat sheet’ gives the basics of “Robert’s Rules of Order” in two pages. It was devised by Cornell University.

BoardSource is a fee-based membership organization that outlines practices intended to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit boards. Their website includes a free blog.  Their annual signature study, Leading with Intent, conducted biennially for the past 20 years, provides important information about current board composition, practices and performance, and charts important trends and changes in board leadership.  The report is free to download.  Recommended Governance Practices is free to download as a pdf.  This report includes BoardSource recommendations on the expectations for board member conduct to issues of oversight and reporting.