Useful links

Following is a list of useful resources and links to the websites of other philanthropic organizations, including e-newsletters, blogs, nonprofit ratings sites, associations and donor networks, and much more. If you are affiliated with an organization that you think you should be listed here, please send an email with your organization name, url, and one-sentence description to

Philanthropy E-Newsletters and Blogs

Blue Avocado
An online news magazine, Blue Avocado speaks for and from the people in community-based nonprofits.

Family Giving News
The National Center for Family Philanthropy's monthly e-newsletter highlights key issues and new resources in family giving. Sign up today to receive the monthly newsletter and view archived issues.

Philanthropy Journal
This weekly newsletter covers new and emerging stories in the world of nonprofits. It offers a special highlight on its home state of North Carolina.

Philanthropy News Digest
This is the Foundation Center's weekly e-newsletter on foundation funding trends and nonprofits.

Philanthropy Update
The Philanthropy Roundtable offers this weekly email summary of news of interest to donors.

Featured Nonprofit Ratings Sites

Guidestar's mission is to revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving. GuideStar provides "unbiased information on more than 1 million nonprofit organizations. We don't tell you which charities to support because we believe that only you know which causes are important to you. Nor do we rate or evaluate charities."

Philanthropedia, a division of Guidestar, provides ratings for "verified, financially responsible charities according to how much great work they're doing". The site features the research of more than 2700 experts, providing reviews on nearly 500 top nonprofits across 32 causes.

Charity Navigator
Over the past 10 years, Charity Navigator's free charity ratings have enabled millions of donors to access relevant information before they make a donation --- giving them the peace of mind they desire. As we celebrate this momentous occasion, it is our birthday wish to double the number of charities we rate and expand the information we provide on each charity.

GreatNonprofits is a place to find trustworthy nonprofits. It's mission is to inspire and inform donors and volunteers, enable nonprofits to show their impact, and promote greater feedback and transparency.

The Social Impact 100
The Social Impact 100, launched in November 2012, provides a new investment platform and index of high-impact nonprofits. The launch and name coincides with our reaching the milestone of 100 evidence-based nonprofits on the platform and nearly 16,000 local affiliates that are implementing their solutions.

Additional Ratings Sites and Online Donation Portals

American Institute of Philanthropy
The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) is a nationally prominent charity watchdog service whose purpose is to help donors make informed giving decisions. This web site provides information about the charities rated by AIP, and their method of grading charities. Special features focus on top salaries, top-rated groups, and hot topics in America's most popular causes such as: Abortion, Animal Protection, Cancer, Child Sponsorship, Environment, Human Rights, International Relief, Senior Citizens, and more.

Catalogue for Philanthropy: Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy was launched in 1997 as a collaborative project of about 20 leading foundations, corporations, and individual donors statewide, "to increase and improve charitable giving through donor education." It was conceived and coordinated by the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation of Boston, with active participation by all of the Massachusetts community foundations. The Catalogue was published annually from 1997-2007, and distributed each November to over 200,000 affluent homes as a showcase of excellence in Massachusetts philanthropy—articles about the nature and history of philanthropy, demonstrated by reference to 100 diverse, competitively selected, small-to-mid-sized charities, in all fields, all across the Commonwealth.

Catalogue for Philanthropy: Washington, DC
The Catalogue's family of nonprofits is over 300 strong and represents the tremendous range of good works in the greater Washington nonprofit community. Since November 2003, its inaugural year, the Catalogue has helped raise more than $19 million from new donors for featured nonprofits.
This index provides stories of 300+ US charities that meet the 10 accountability standards of the Combined Federal Campaign. The site also provides contact information and brief profiles of each.

Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the Coalition seeks to increase government effectiveness through the use of rigorous evidence about what works. In the field of medicine, public policies based on scientifically-rigorous evidence have produced extraordinary advances in health over the past 50 years.

An online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you. - BBB Wise Giving Alliance
The Alliance reports on nationally soliciting charitable organizations that are the subject of donor inquiries. These reports include an evaluation of the subject charity in relation to the voluntary BBB charity standards. The BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers guidance to donors on making informed giving decisions through our charity evaluations, various "tips" publications, and publishes the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide three times per year.

GiveWell is an independent, nonprofit charity evaluator. We find outstanding giving opportunities and publish the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give. Unlike other charity evaluators, which focus solely on financials (assessing administrative or fundraising costs), we focus on how well programs actually work – i.e., their effects on the people they serve.

Humane Charity Seal of Approval
The Humane Charity Seal of Approval is the easiest way for donors to spot charities that are committed to providing vital services and care to patients or advancing research without the use of animals.

Innovations for Poverty Action
Innovations for Poverty Action is a nonprofit dedicated to discovering what works to help the world's poor. We design and evaluate programs in real contexts with real people, and provide hands-on assistance to bring successful programs to scale. IPA uses randomized evaluations because they provide the highest quality and most reliable answers to what works and what does not. We also repeat studies in different countries to test if findings are really transferable.

IRS Database
This searchable database includes all nonprofits that are registered as charities with the IRS.
JustGive is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect people with the charities and causes they care about and to increase overall giving.

National Center for Charitable Statistics
The National Center for Charitable Statistics is the national clearinghouse of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States. NCCS is a program of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) at the Urban Institute. The NCCS Data Web provides new ways to interact with nonprofit and philanthropic data. Users can view, extract, download, and analyze data on nonprofit organizations and charitable behavior. Virtually all files are available through this system, although you will need permission to extract data from some of them.

RootCause Social Innoviation Forum
Since 2003, Root Cause's Social Innovation Forum has been working to create a social impact market that distributes resources to organizations based on performance in order to most efficiently and effectively solve social problems in Greater Boston. Our aspiration is to build a social impact investment community that will invest and re-invest resources in innovative, results-oriented nonprofits, thus advancing innovation in social impact.

Associations and Donor Networks

Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers
Regional associations exist to enhance the effectiveness of private philanthropy in distinct geographic regions (city, state, or multi-state area). They respond to the specific needs and interests of their members. In addition to holding annual conferences and offering various educational programs, many regional associations support peer networking groups for the trustees and staff of family philanthropies. A growing number also offer publications geared toward donors and trustees. Visit the Forum's website to locate a regional association near you.

Bolder Giving (and More than Money)
Bolder Giving's mission is to inspire and support people to give at their full lifetime potential.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy
The mission of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is to provide data and create insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact.

Council on Foundations
This national association of foundations and corporate giving programs serves the public good by promoting and enhancing responsible and effective philanthropy.

Exponent Philanthropy
Exponent Philanthropy is a membership organization for foundations with few or no staff. The organization provides peer learning opportunities, targeted resources, and a collective voice in and beyond the philanthropic community.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a coalition of grantmakers committed to building strong and effective nonprofit organizations. Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success.

Independent Sector
This national association works to encourage philanthropy, volunteering, not-for-profit initiatives, and citizen actions that help to better serve people and communities.

One Percent Foundation
OPF seeks to make philanthropy accessible to Millennials+ and empower them to change the world together. One Percent Foundation's goal is to inspire young adults to give at least 1% of their income to philanthropic causes.

Philanthropy Roundtable
The founding principles of this national association are that voluntary private action offers the best means of addressing many of society's needs, and that a vibrant private sector is critical to creating the wealth that makes philanthropy possible.

Resource Generation
Resource Generation organizes young people with financial wealth to leverage resources and privilege for social change.

Social Venture Partners International
These are networks of individuals, couples, and families who pool their grantmaking funds to leverage their impact in agreed-upon areas. Many offer training seminars and advice on other forms of philanthropy.

Youth Philanthropy Connect
Youth Philanthropy Connect (YPC), a program of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, is a youth-led, new and exciting way for youth involved in philanthropic work to connect through a peer advisory network.

Family Offices and Family Businesses Family Business Center
This site offers executives and owners of family-controlled companies articles and resources on a wide variety of family business-related topics.

Family Firm Institute
This global, U.S.-based professional organization is dedicated to helping family firms by increasing the interdisciplinary skills and knowledge of family business advisors, educators, researchers, and consultants.

Family Office Exchange
This professional association for private investors and their family offices offers consulting and executive search services, as well as access to professional advisors in the wealth management industry.

Institute for Private Investors
This organization provides a networking, research, and educational resource around areas of investment for individuals who have substantial assets and their advisors.

Philanthropy Advisor Networks and Referrals

Advisor Networks Providing Referral Tools

American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
Academy Members are among the most knowledgeable estate planners in the nation, in part because of our stringent Continuing Legal Education requirements. We require 36 annual CLE credits in the areas of Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, or Trust Administration.

Referral tool: Find an Attorney

The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
A national organization of approximately 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. Our members, "Fellows," are the best and brightest in the trust and estate practice, with decades of experience representing and advising families.

Referral tool: Find an ACTEC Lawyer

Association of Philanthropic Counsel
An international professional association of consultants working with non-profit organizations. The Association of Philanthropic Counsel promotes best practices and upholds ethical standards in the delivery of professional philanthropic services to nonprofit organizations and enhances members' business operations through professional development and interaction.

Referral Tool: Find a Professional in Philanthropy

International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy, Inc.
AiP is a network of diverse professional advisors who are devoted to mastering and promoting the principles and practices of client-centered planning.

Referral Tool: Find a Professional in Philanthropy

National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
NAEPC is the national network of affiliated estate planning councils and credentialed professionals drawn together to achieve excellence in estate planning. Founded in 1962, the NAEPC is a professional organization for estate planners and for estate planning councils. NAEPC also serves as an accreditation agency for attorneys as Estate Planning Law Specialists (EPLS).

Referral tool: Find a Lawyer

National Institute of Certified Estate Planners
The NICEP is one of our nation's foremost professional educational and support organizations in the area of estate planning. Our graduates include some of the most sophisticated and astute Financial Advisors, Attorneys, CPAs and other related professionals in the industry.

Referral tool: Find a Planner

National Network of Consultants to Grantmaker
NNCG is a learning community and forum for open discussion among consultants dedicated to strengthening philanthropy and increasing its impact.

Referral Tool: Directory of Philanthropy Consultants

National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys
The National Network is a cooperative alliance of nationally recognized estate planning attorneys from across the country. Together they provide one another with the support and tools needed to serve their clients better while building highly successful and rewarding practices.

Referral tool: Find an Attorney


Additional Philanthropic Advisor Networks

Investments & Wealth Institute
The Investments & Wealth Institute supports and promotes the highest level of ethics in the profession. Our Code of Professional Responsibility helps advisors enhance the quality of service offered to the public.

Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) | The American College
The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) provides you with the knowledge and tools you need to help clients articulate and advance their highest aspirations for self, family, and society. CAP® holders become members of a growing network of top planners who are working to make our towns and cities better places to live for generations to come. Courses provide an insight into the process of philanthropic planning, including, but not limited to, tax, tools and techniques.

Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning
The 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute will feature an in-depth look at what estate planners need to do in 2018 to prepare for the new partnership centralized audit rules. Every partnership (including large, small, and family partnerships) must amend its agreement beginning with its 2018 tax year. Partnerships with trusts, grantor trusts, limited liability companies, other partnership or disregarded entities as partners, cannot elect out of these new rules, and every partnership must appoint a Partnership Representative for each tax year even if it elects out of these new rules. The new rules create complexity and decisions that must be discussed with every partnership you represent. Our 90 minute program will provide an overview of the new audit rules as well as practical advice on how partnership agreements should be amended to address the issues.

Planned Giving Design Center
The primary mission of Planned Giving Design Center, LLC is to develop products and services for the charitable gift and estate planning industry that assist others in their efforts to increase philanthropy.

Purposeful Planning Institute
The Purposeful Planning Institute (“PPI”) attracts individuals and firms who believe there is a better way, a better process, a better practice lying just ahead of us and that our past experiences and knowledge are merely a prelude to our finest hours in service to our clients.  It is the most affordable and easily accessible educational and training platform for advisors to HNW and UHNW clients.  PPI offers great value through our easily accessible educational content, programs, and training for financial advisors, estate planning attorneys, and other professionals and consultants serving families of wealth and families in business.

Other Useful Philanthropy Resources

BoardSource focuses on strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of nonprofit organization governing boards by providing ideas, information, resources, and consulting services.

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University is dedicated to increasing the understanding of philanthropy and nonprofit management and improving the practice of these disciplines. Created in 1987, the Center pioneered and seeks to advance philanthropic studies as an academic field. The Center has also developed graduate degree and certificate programs in philanthropic studies and offers undergraduate through doctorate-level academic programs.

Community Foundation Locator
Many families set up donor-advised funds, supporting organizations, or other funds at community foundations, which focus their giving in a city, state, or region. This site provides a national database of community foundations across the U.S.

Foundation Center
The Center fosters public understanding of the foundation field. This site includes the "Foundation Finder," a listing of phone numbers and addresses for thousands of foundations, as well as an orientation to grantseeking, an introduction to proposal writing, links to foundations websites, and more.

This website features an extensive list of links to funding resources on the web and an online forum for nonprofits.

The Grantmaking School
The Grantmaking School presents the first university-based, practitioner-led curriculum designed to advance the effectiveness of philanthropic practice.

Grantsmanship Center
The Grantsmanship Center provides fundraising training and information for the nonprofit sector. It offers seminars throughout the country and generates a wide range of publications, including a free magazine on grant-related issues.

Inheritance Project
This nonprofit consulting firm worked for many years with heirs to enhance their understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with inherited wealth.

InnoNet Toolbox
This website offers step-by-step guidance on how to develop program, evaluation, and fundraising plans. Plans can be created on the site and then printed out.

Media Impact Funders
Media Impact Funders is a network of funders, working broadly on media and technology issues, in order to create social change. Media Impact Funders serve as a learning resource for grantmakers interested in using media to further their missions; a catalyst for philanthropic partnership and networking.

Minnesota Toolkit for Giving
The Minnesota Toolkit describes basic options for giving, and presents inspirational stories of donors and families. The site also includes a list of helpful resources, both online and in print.

National Alliance for Nonprofit Management
The mission of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management is to provide leadership in enhancing a civil society by challenging and strengthening those who deliver management and governance support services to nonprofit organizations.

National Council of Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits is a trusted resource and advocate for America's charitable nonprofits. Through its powerful network of State Associations and 25,000-plus members – the nation's largest network of nonprofits – they serve as a central coordinator and mobilizer to help nonprofits achieve greater collective impact in local communities across the country. The Council of Nonprofits identifies emerging trends, shares proven practices, and promotes solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve.

This first-of-its-kind research examines the next generation of major donors and studies this crucial group directly, rather than summarizing what others think about them.

Newtithing Group
This group was founded to encourage individuals and institutions to increase their charitable giving by helping prospective donors determine their ability to give based on current income, investment assets, and expenses.

The Nonprofit Good Practice Guide
The Nonprofit Good Practice Guide captures and organizes good practices to assist nonprofits in improving their efficiency and effectiveness. The offers content in 10 topic areas, and is designed as a free-of-charge, one-stop-shop for nonprofit leaders, foundation staff, and university faculty and students.

Nonprofit Information provides information from experts in the field who have extensive experience in such operations as starting a nonprofit, choosing a board, retaining volunteers and fundraising. Its writers provide up-to-date information on this site as a means of sharing their knowledge in the hope that others may benefit and do not have to repeat the same mistakes that they made at the beginning.

Center on Wealth and Philanthropy
This research institute is housed at Boston College and studies trends in family giving and what motivates that giving.

The Philanthropic Initiative
TPI, based at the Boston Foundation, promotes philanthropy through various national initiatives and provides philanthropic design and management services to individuals.

The Redwoods Initiative
The Redwoods Initiative is a nonprofit venture focused on family sustainability through wealth education.

The Philanthropy Workshop West (TPW West)
The Philanthropy Workshop West is a distinctive provider of lifelong strategic donor education and networking with philanthropic communities. TPW West's mission is to educate, inspire, and activate a peer network of effective, engaged, and innovative philanthropists.

Women in Philanthropy
This site includes links to annotated lists of books, articles, and Internet sites related to the topics of women and philanthropy.

Women's Philanthropy Institute
The Women's Philanthropy Institute inspires, educates, and encourages women to effect change in the world through philanthropy.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana
The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII) is a special project of the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Foundation, with the mission to grow lifelong philanthropists who give their time, talent, and treasure for the common good.   YPII provides practical information and trainings in response to local community needs through the use of innovative training, resources and nationally recognized educational materials like Phil and His Family’s Adventures in Giving.