Tools of the Trade

If you wish to add tools to your nonprofit toolkit, find information on how to start a nonprofit, collect data about the contribution of the nonprofit sector or locate useful websites for your nonprofit to use, you are in the right place!


Washington Nonprofits is a state association formed in January 2010 that provides Washington’s 50,000+ nonprofits with better representation in state and federal policy decisions – acting as a knowledgeable resource for elected officials in the process. Focused on building a strong, collaborative network of nonprofits serving Washington communities through advocacy, education and capacity building.  Some great resources include:   “Boards In Gear” and Finance Unlocked for Nonprofits (FUN) , actionable information and practical tools.

501 Commons provides services and resources to help nonprofits attain more solid technology, sound planning, robust administrative systems, engaged boards and staff, and sustainable funding.  501 Commons’ programs and services support organizations so that they have what they need to make a world of difference. is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives. 

The Washington Secretary of State office was established with the adoption of the Washington State Constitution in 1898.  The Agency mission promotes public trust by:

  • Safeguarding vital government records, documents, publications and process
  • Preserving the integrity of elections in Washington State
  • Providing the business community and public with easy access to information about corporations and charities
  • Performing public outreach to improve civic knowledge and participation
  • Leveraging technology to improve efficiency and enhance customer service 

The National Council on Nonprofits offers resources, networking, and information including tips on grant writing.  

The Online Compendium of NPO Regulations (Federal and State) for U.S. nonprofits provides a central resource for nonprofit organization (NPO) administrators, regulators and the interested public to find information about the laws and regulations controlling NPOs in the U.S.

Independent Sector is the nonpartisan coalition offering a leadership forum for charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs committed to advancing the common good in America and around the world. 

Bellingham Public Library’s Nonprofit Resource Center, a collection of information and tools to help grantseekers find funds and to help nonprofits grow into vital community organizations.

King County Library System’s Nonprofit Philanthropy Resource Center provides an excellent all encompassing information resource for exsiting and start up Nonprofits. 


The Foundation Center provides information on fundraising, identifying possible supporters of your programs, and other financial aspects of nonprofits including how to find and arrange a fiscal sponsorship for projects lacking 501(c)(3) status. 

AFP/Advancement NW  is your local, Washington state connecton to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the largest organization of professional fundraisers in the world.  AFP exists to foster professional growth, promote high ethical standards that build donor trust and preserve and enhance philanthropy and volunteerism. 

501 Videos featuring “Movie Mondays” an online resource providing free fundraising and awareness videos for nonprofits. 


Nonprofit Jobs provides listings of jobs open with various nonprofits across the country.

TechSoup is a wonderful resource for all things technological. Check out the section for discount software titles and some hardware available to help nonprofits meet all their technology needs.

Seattle University Nonprofit Leadership Program (MNPL) is oriented toward working professionals who currently are nonprofit executives or who expect to be in such positions within three years of completing the program.

Guidestar gathers and disseminates information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization.  They provide as much information as they can about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and so much more.  Guidestar’s mission is to revolutionize philanthropy by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.

National Center for Charitable Statistics  mission is to develop and disseminate high quality data on nonprofit organizations and their activities for use in research on the relationships between the nonprofit sector, government, the commercial sector, and the broader civil society.  

Standards for Excellence Institute an assessment to measure a nonprofit’s adherence to the benchmarks in the Standards for Excellence Code.