Thursday, October 02, 2008

Creating a List of Non-Profits

I had a tough e-reference question, and wanted to ask for advice. A graduate student wants to compile a list of International NGOs (non profits) in NYC. In this list, she would like to have data for: budget, staff, members of the board, mission statement, web site address, and locations of other offices in the world.

She was using Guide Star, but to get all the info she needed she needs access to the premium edition (which I presume isn't cheap). She is also using a site called Charity Navigator, and said it has a lot of the info she needs, but not budget info.

I suggested that finding a single source that has the list of everything she needs is probably unlikely, and that she would have to compile data from several sources. Which ones?

I searched through this blog and found references to previous posts about this topic which suggest looking at the IRS 990 forms, and I gave her the link to those posts. I'm guessing that even if the NGO is international, they still have to file this form if they have an office in the US.

I looked in our business directories but there was no way to filter for non-profits. I had a hard time searching the encyclopedia of associations, and even if I was searching it correctly I don't think it has the info she needs. I tried some public websites, like, but they don't go far beyond the basics of name, address, etc.

Then I searched CUNY+ and found this at BMCC:

Encyclopedia of associations. International organizations : a guide to more than 22,000 international nonprofit membership organizations including multinational and binational groups, and national organizations based outside the United States, concerned with all subjects or areas of activity.

It's a paper copy and is from 2002, which is rather dated for something like this. But NYPL Research has an electronic version which is updated. I am going to contact the student to let her know about this, but does anyone have any additional suggestions?


Michael said...

I believe unfortunately that the NYPL one is the same online resource we have since it seems to go to Galenet. We have the Enc. of Association for 2007 in paper but I don't know if it includes the international part. Not sure if The Foundation directory (we have a paper copy of this).

Michael said...

Not sure if The Foundation directory (we have a paper copy of this) would have any useful information for this project (sorry hit the wrong key before finishing!).

Stephen Francoeur said...

If you have to refer the student to another place to find the information, the best bet is the library at the New York office of the Foundation Center, which is open to the public and has lots of directories of nonprofits (in fact, they publish the leading directories and databases of the nonprofit sector).