Tools & Resources

We know that the tools and intelligence needed to do great work as a leader or volunteer with nonprofits is critical. CVNL’s staff, programs and services are crafted to help take you to the next level of performance.

Our team of professionals has extensive experience and deep knowledge of the nonprofit landscape. There are vast resources available online and physically at hundreds of sites. We’ve gathered some of our favorites here for quick access, and will continue to add new discoveries to the mix.

You’re invited to explore resources and tools.

In-depth nonprofit reports… a great place to start.

If you’re interested in nonprofit trends in Marin and Napa, we recommend you read two comprehensive studies that CVNL helped produce — the Marin County Nonprofit Landscape Study 2013, and Creating Community: Napa County Nonprofits at Work, the 2015 report.

CVNL’s Library Resources & GrantStation

One of our most popular resources is our Library. It’s where individuals seeking to improve their grantwriting skills, development personel, nonprofit executives, and Board members will find valuable information and intelligence to advance their knowledge and access valuable tools.

NEW — We are pleased to offer GrantStation as a member benefit to help your organization find local, statewide, and national funding opportunities!

GrantStation is the premiere suite of online grant research resources. Search their thousands of carefully researched profiles of private, government, and international funding opportunities, in addition to using the variety of grants research, writing, and management tools and resources to enhance your grant writing and development strategies.

We now offer GrantStation in our Library as a free tool to the community. Exclusive for CVNL Members: purchase GrantStation for only $75.00, saving up to $624.00/year for your organization. The library also offers 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.

Learn more.




Creating Community: Napa County Nonprofits at Work

Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) and the Napa Valley Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies (Coalition) debuted the comprehensive study of Napa County’s nonprofit sector at a forum on Thursday, June 23, 2016. The report reveals contributions to the local economy, and the significant social and community impact of Napa’s nonprofit organizations.

Forum attendees included over 50 business and nonprofit leaders, government and elected officials as well as philanthropic partners. The report was presented and a discussion followed, exploring ways people can leverage the value of Napa County’s nonprofits both now and into the future.

The report presents baseline information on the state of the nonprofit sector that community members can access in order to more effectively address community needs. CVNL and the Coalition worked with Potrero Group to produce the report.

The study is available here and at Download the report in color. Download the report in black and white.




Marin County Nonprofit Landscape Study 2013

The first-ever study of Marin County’s nonprofit landscape by Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) was published in 2008. The study provided baseline information on the state of nonprofit community members — specifically donors, funders, nonprofit leaders, service providers, and policy-makers — accessing community needs. This report was released just as the U.S. economy suffered what many called the “Great Recession” — one of the worst financial crises in the last decade.

In response, CVNL commissioned a second study released in 2013, to re-examine the state of Marin’s nonprofit community and explore the ways in which organizations have dealt with fiscal challenges against the growing backdrop of increasing service demands. The intended audiences of this report included nonprofit leadership and staff, businesses, foundations, and government entities.

The 2013 report includes a Recommendations section that outlines specific strategies for adapting to the county’s changing demands and demographics. CVNL is committed to aligning its strategies and resources to better support and continue to build the capacity of organizations struggling to manage under the weight of unprecedented demands.

We call upon everyone — philanthropic and public leaders, the citizens of Marin County, nonprofit leaders, and our business community — to read this report and utilize its Recommendations as guideposts to engage, support, and further the impact nonprofits can have on our community.





Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World

(our CEO Linda Davis is a contributor to the book)

This book explores the innovative volunteer engagement approaches that are reshaping nonprofits and their communities, and shows how you can bring these approaches to your own organization. Curated and edited by VolunteerMatch, this insightful collection contains actionable advice on strengthening volunteer programs, as well as broader explorations on the nature of volunteer engagement. Contributors include 35 experts in the volunteer engagement field, from organizations such as CVNL,, NTEN, Realized Worth, LinkedIn and the Corporation for National Community Service.

The world of volunteerism is changing. How will your volunteer program grow and thrive? Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World gives you the innovation and inspiration — you just need to supply the action.

The book may be purchased online at, AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndie Bound, and Wiley. Get 25% Off through the Energize, Inc. Online Bookstore.

Contributors Include: Greg Baldwin, Robert Egger, Tobi Johnson -MA -CVA , Amy Sample Ward, Jenifer R. Benett, Susan J. Ellis, Beth Kanter, Amy Smith & Sue Carter Kahl, Mike Bright, Aria Finger, John L. Lipp, Wendy Spencer, Katherine H. Campbell -CVA, Meg Garlinghouse & Alison Dorsey, Kelly Moran & Taylor Mallia, Beth Steinhorn, Carla Campbell Lehn -CVA, Alethea Haneman, Angela Parker & Chris Jarvis, Mark Surman, Jayne Cravens, Scott Henderson, Dr. Sarah Jane Rehnborg -CVA, Joe Waters, Linda Davis & David Styers, Evan Hochberg & Mei Cobb, Holly Ross, Deirdre White & Amanda MacArthur

Regional, State & National Resources

Marin County Community

Marin Health & Human Services

Community Resource Guide for Marin County. Includes information, services and resources including, carehealtheducationlegalemergencyfoodhousingmoney, and transit.

2-1-1 Marin County

211 in Marin County can help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and more. This resource is particularly beneficial for Marin families in need of assistance — a toll-free phone number that connects callers directly with local community services including, food, counseling, employment assistance, and quality child care.

Canal Alliance

A nonprofit organization that assists low income Spanish speaking immigrants with bilingual skills, technology skills, and access to resources.

Partnership HealthPlan of California

A health-related website which has various resources for health insurance, seniors, persons with disabilities, and offers mental health services.

Napa County Community

Napa Health Matters

A program of Napa County Health & Human Services that assists the community through offering health services for those suffering from depression, substance abuse, PTSD, and stress.

Community Resources Guide

Provided by the Napa County Office of Education this comprehensive guide lists valuable resources for clothing, preschool, child care, women’s services, and youth after school activities.

Napa Health Matters, Healthy Communities

Disaster Preparedness resources.


Nixle is a Community Information Service dedicated to helping you stay connected to the information that matters most to you, depending on your physical location. You stay connected to your local police department, your children’s schools, your local community agencies and organizations, and the important information from other locations throughout the country that are relevant to you.

Community Resources for Children in Napa

Provides services including, children health and safety training, pursuit of child care in Napa, and a child care center directory.

Puertas Asabiertas Napa

A community resource center for Latinos that works hand in hand with Latinos to inspire and achieve healthy living, self-sufficiency, and opportunities for leadership and community engagement. Includes programs such as, latino outreach, self-sufficiency support, and community engagement resources.

Nonprofit Resources: California

Foundation Center

A great resource for the intricacies of California nonprofits including tips for starting a nonprofit, and access to legal resources, management/technical assistance providers, and funding information.


Statewide membership organization that brings nonprofits together to advocate for communities. Great resource for connecting with other nonprofits.

Nonprofit Resources: National

Taproot Foundation

An organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society through professionals doing pro bono services. Learn more about, getting pro bono work done for you, doing pro bono work yourself, and supporting pro bono work.

The Center for Nonprofits

For tech in nonprofits. Also includes information on startup of nonprofit, etc.

The National Council of Nonprofits

produces and curates tools, resources, and samples for nonprofits. Exceptional resource for various factors such as, accountability, governance, and ethics of nonprofits.


A national organization that can help those who are searching for volunteer opportunities outside of Marin and Napa.


Great site for learning the fundamentals of volunteerism with helpful guides such as What is volunteering? Why is volunteering important? Benefits of volunteering?

Energ!ze, Inc.

An international training, consulting and publishing firm specializing in volunteerism. Great resource for its library of sources and information on the intricacies of specific volunteer groups including, older volunteers, people with disabilities, and millenials, as well as various fields of volunteering.

Points of Light

An organization that helps mobilize people to take action to on the causes they have through innovative programs and campaigns. Resource for sparking the interest into a particular form of volunteerism.