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The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Helping Those Who Give the Most

Posted about 15 days ago by Zachary Huber

Nonprofit organizations are the backbones of our communities. They provide vital services for populations in need of support. Because of their limited scope of operations, nonprofits are also often in need of resources and help. Finding funding has become a highly competitive process, and nonprofit agencies are held to high standards from both the public and their funders.

Working in this sector can feel like an uphill battle every day. But what I want to shout from the rooftops is that there’s a network of support available if you know where to look. That search, of course, starts right here at the Library. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) offers valuable capacity-building resources to drive success for these groups through grant writing and administrative resources.

An on-site source

My name is Zach Huber, and I am the grant specialist at TLCPL. Prior to joining the team here, my background was in fundraising and marketing/communications for nonprofit organizations. I served as the donor relations manager at the University of Findlay and the director of marketing and donor relations for The Arts Partnership of Greater Hancock County. In my experience, nonprofit leaders are always searching for any opportunity to strengthen their organization and better serve clients, all while not detracting from their essential mission. As the grants specialist, I am fortunate to serve Lucas County agencies as their guide to both TLCPL’s wealth of resources and those in the larger community.

The best way for nonprofits to increase these odds is to apply to grantmakers that most align with their mission and projects. This is where TLCPL comes in.

One of the most powerful tools is Foundation Directory Online (FDO), available at Main Library. Both government and privately funded grants are becoming more and more competitive. According to the Foundation Center, the average rate of success for a grant proposal falls between 11 percent and 50 percent, depending on size of the foundation and number of grants received. The best way for nonprofits to increase these odds is to apply to grantmakers that most align with their mission and projects. This is where TLCPL comes in.

Resources for the Public

The Library is a member of the Funding Information Network. It allows us to offer access to FDO to our customers for free! FDO is the most authoritative database for grant seekers and searches more than 140,000 grantmaker profiles and more than four million grants made to nonprofits to find the best matched funder. I offer one-on-one tutorials on using this robust database. Additionally, to support grant seekers, TLCPL partners with the Center for Nonprofit Resources to provide free training on both grant-seeking and grant writing.

Because grant seeking is a holistic endeavor, TLCPL has resources to meet a nonprofit’s administrative needs as well. Through leveraging our databases, I can help organizations find ways to develop strategic plans, bylaws, fundraising plans and marketing plans. Additionally, our databases help identify vendors and potential donors, track financial projections and so much more.

And while immediate, digital solutions are important today, essential skill-building can still be found in traditional print materials. Our grantsmanship collection offers a full suite of texts for nonprofits with everything from board governance, to fundraising, to nonprofit administration.

As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The Library invests in resources that help our area nonprofits, in addition to for-profit businesses, because by empowering our nonprofits to find and secure grants, we can help bring additional funding into our community. This provides better services to our residents and creates additional jobs as agencies grow. I encourage nonprofit leaders, board members and volunteers to take advantage of all TLCPL has to offer.

If your organization is interested in learning more or would like to schedule a training, contact me through my information below to set up an appointment. And while FDO is only available for use in Main Library, I am happy to provide trainings anywhere.

Zach Huber can be reached at 419-214-5131 or zachary.huber@toledolibrary.org

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