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Course & Subject Guides
What is a nonprofit?
A nonprofit is defined as:
A group, organization, institution or corporation formed to provide goods and/or services for a charitable, educational, religious, literary or scientific purpose. Nonprofits' assets are usually donated by companies, foundations or individuals who do not expect to be repaid. These contributions are tax deductible. If a nonprofit meets the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service's Code, section 501(c)(3), it can obtain tax-exempt status, and does not pay federal or state income taxes.
Getting Started: How to Use This Guide
This guide will help you conduct research on nonprofit organizations. The information and resources included here should be treated as entry points for further documentation and bibliography.
Through this guide, you can access the following kinds of information:
PittCat is the main searching tool for all of the materials owned by the University Library System (ULS), including articles, books, ebooks, journal articles, ejournals, audio and video, digital images, government documents, microfilm and movies.
Access PittCat directly or use the ULS homepage.
Find online books, articles and more on what a nonprofit is, how it is formed, funded and managed. Use the Advanced Search to combine keywords in a search string. Here are some sample search terms :
- nonprofit organizations AND fundraising
- nonprofit organizations AND management
- nonprofits AND business models
Nonprofit Organizations: Theory, Management, Policy by
Publication Date: 2014-05-15
Cases in Nonprofit Management by
Publication Date: 2016-02-24
The Nonprofit Almanac: The Essential Facts and Figures for Managers, Researchers, and Volunteers by
Publication Date: 2016-10-12
Pitt Newspapers Databases
Newspapers are a great source of information on local nonprofits
Pittsburgh Business Times
Current Pittsburgh and regional business news, updated throughout the day. Includes access to Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists.
Interactive online edition of the Post Gazette that contains current information. The web site includes a wealth of information about the Pittsburgh region, current events and activities, in-depth looks at major news stories, and world and national news.
Trib Live (Tribune Review)
Interactive online edition of the Tribune review. Contains current information. Trib Live is an online community dedicated to bringing the best of the region's news, sports, entertainment and directory services to the Internet.
Provides full text and citation access to information in the reference, business, medical, and legal disciplines. [Formerly titled: Academic Lexis-Nexis]
Pitt Article Databases
Article databases may contain trade and scholarly publications on nonprofits
Business Source Complete
Business Source Complete provides full-text business journals and hundreds of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals covering all aspects of business; marketing, management, economics, finance, accounting, international business and more.
Policy File Index
Covers all public policy issues and it draws its content from public policy think tanks, university research programs, research organizations and publishers.
AccessUN (1945 - Present)
Provides access to documents and publications of UN periodicals.
SocINDEX is a comprehensive sociology database featuring citations with subject headings from a sociology specific thesaurus. It contains informative abstracts for more than 590 core journals dating back to 1985.
CountryWatch provides up-to-date information and news on the countries of the world.
Comprised of scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports, GreenFILE offers perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the ecology.
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations, Charities Section
The Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations administers the state's charitable solicitation law. It also maintains registration and financial information on over 13,000 charities soliciting in the Commonwealth, as well as more than 450 professional solicitors and fundraising counsels.
Foundation Center Network Partners
Nonprofit Resource Center at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
The Nonprofit Resource Center provides a collection of materials and services relevant to the topic of philanthropy. In particular, we provide free access to print and online resources on all aspects of managing, fundraising and grantseeking within the nonprofit sector.
The Pittsburgh Foundation
The Pittsburgh Foundation, established in 1945, works to improve the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy, and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.
Trade Organizations and Associations
Ratings, Reports and Statistics
The Foundation Center NOW Candid
Click "Get Started" and then "Get Answers" to access the Reference Guide for Researchers, the Topical Resource Lists, or the Online Librarian feature to submit quesitons. Click "Gain Knowledge" to find nonprofit reports, research studies, statistics and trends.
Requires free registration. Financial information on nonprofits and about nonprofits' programs.
the premier independent charity evaluator, studied the 30 largest metropolitan areas and the financial health and efficiency of their charities to determine the rankings.
National Center for Charitable Statistics
A project of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) at the Urban Institute, the NCCS provides brief information on nonprofit organizations including financial information, recent 990 forms and programming information. Search for nonprofits by name or by location or by National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) code.
Also find profiles of the U.S. and individual state nonprofit sectors and search for information on nonprofits by state, county or zip code.
Blogs and Podcasts
A project of Action Without Borders, Idealist is itself a nonprofit organization. Find nonprofit, volunteering, career, and funding resources.
IRS- Starting a Nonprofit
Includes links to IRS and tax information, disaster resources, and publications focused on management, operations grants and funding, like the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.