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Library & Foundation Center

Individuals seeking to improve their grantwriting skills, development personnel, nonprofit executives, and Board members will find the CVNL self-service Library Resource Center extremely valuable.

CVNL Library Overview

The CVNL Library provides visitors with free access to books and periodicals on fundraising and philanthropy subjects including nonprofit management, board development, fundraising, grantseeking, nonprofit careers, volunteer programs, and how to start a nonprofit.

The Library also provides access to The Foundation Center’s electronic databases, The Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals which contain information on over 150,000 grantmakers across the United States. Using Library computers, visitors can utilize The Foundation Center’s online bibliographic catalog, The Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, to find additional materials.

Location: Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. 101, San Rafael, CA 94903

Drop-in: If you are familiar with the database, you can drop-in to use one of CVNL’s two computer terminals to conduct your research. The Library is open Mondays-Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Guide to Funding Research

The CVNL Library Resource Center is a great place to begin grant research — for nonprofits and for individuals. The Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership is a Funding Information Partner of the Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. The Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants. At the CVNL Library Resource Center you will find current Foundation Center online databases including:

Foundation Directory Online Professional
The Foundation Directory Online is searchable by county, metro area, and ZIP code as well as by city and state. Users are able to save searches and store them in a password-protected ‘My FDO’ e-folder; tag records with any reminder word or phrase; e-mail, print, and save records; export lists of up to 100 search results at a time into Excel with a single click; and exclude grantmakers that don’t accept unsolicited applications.

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
Foundation Grants to Individuals Online provides online access to accurate,up-to-date information on foundations that fund: educational support – scholarships, fellowships, loans, and internships; students and graduates of specific schools; arts and cultural support; awards, prizes, and grants by nomination; international applicants; employees/families of employees at specific companies; research and professional support; and general welfare and special needs.


Foundation Center Print Publications
Board Member’s Book
The Foundation Center’s Guide to Winning Proposals
Foundations Today Series (3 publications)
Guide to Funding for International and Foreign Programs
Guide to U.S. Foundations, Their Trustees, Officers, and Donors
National Directory of Corporate Giving
Securing Your Organization’s Future
Harvard Business Review
Stanford Social Innovation Review
SF Business Times
North Bay Business Journal
Grassroots Fundraising Journal
Nonprofit Compensation Associates Fair pay for Northern California nonprofits

Computer Use & Library Policy

Using CVNL Library Resource Center Computers

Visitors may access the Foundation Center’s online directories and nonprofit literature at the Library Resource Center. Please refer to the Library Computer/Internet policy below. 

Library Policy

The CVNL Library Resource Center is a self-service facility open to visitors seeking information related to philanthropy, fundraising, and nonprofit management. The CVNL Library Resource Center is not intended for use as an office, meeting place or public space.

Computer/Internet Policy

Use of computers is limited to research on philanthropy, fundraising, and nonprofit management. Visitors may not use computers for any purpose unrelated to fundraising and philanthropy research.

The Library’s public computers are available on a first come, first served basis. Computer use is limited to 30 minutes when others are waiting. Wireless access is available in the library and throughout the building.

Printers and print facilities are not available in the Library. Research results may be downloaded or saved to a user supplied flash drive or to the desktop for email purposes. User files and personal information should be deleted at the end of each computer session.

The Library reserves the right to deny computer privileges to anyone who misuses the computer equipment or does not follow the established computer policies and procedures.

Visitor Policy

CVNL is eager to help you learn more about philanthropy and fundraising. Library usage is subject to the same provisions and limitations as similar, public library facilities. Please complete the registration form each time you use library facilities. Personal information will be treated as confidential, not to be disclosed outside CVNL.

The CVNL library is not a lending Library. Library publications may not be removed from the premises. Library publications are available for use in the Library Resource Center free of charge. Copying library publications is permitted at the cost of 10 cents per page, subject to the availability of staff.

Visitors are expected to comply with Library policy and to treat staff and other library users with courtesy. Loud, disruptive speech or conduct is prohibited. No eating or drinking is permitted. Cell phones may be used in the hallway outside the CVNL Library Resource Center.

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