Libraries Serving Nonprofits: A Grants Collection Story

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By Paul Chasen

As individuals, we have our various reasons for visiting a public library: borrow a copy of the latest James Patterson novel, find the required amount of articles for your research assignment, or meet up with friends for the lecture by a famous author. How about learning how to find grants for a nonprofit? Diversify your fundraising plan? Become a better nonprofit leader?
Foundation Center
I recently had the opportunity to promote the Grants Collection, a statewide service located in the Central Library's Social Science and History Department and a Funding Information Network partner of the Foundation Center, that provides resources and training for nonprofits on fundraising and nonprofit management. The big difference in marketing the Grants Collection was that I did a radio promotion on the Maryland Humanities Council's Humanities Connection radio show on WYPR.

The studio experience was painless thanks to the communications staff at the Maryland Humanities Council. In 4-5 minutes, a nonprofit organization, or anyone interested in fundraising and nonprofit management, can learn about the Grants Collection.

From the radio segment:

A fundraising professional comes into the library, not really knowing what to expect, relying on what she’s heard from colleagues. While she is successful in her career winning grants, leading capital campaigns, finding individual donors and cultivating strong relationships with funders, she feels the pressure to secure new funders and limited in cost-effective ways to find them. What does “cost-effective” mean? Is this a work performance test? The fundraiser talks to her colleagues, and they reach a consensus on what to do as a next step to finding new funders: visit the library.

Listen to the podcast below as well as on the Humanities Connection webpage on

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