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FFL100 - Nonprofit Organizations: Research Strategies

Assignment Requirements

Remember your paper should answer the following research questions:

  • Who founded the organization, why and where?
  • What is the mission of the organization?
  • Who does it serve?
  • How does the organization raise money? Do they have a financial report available for the public?
  • Are there volunteer opportunities?

What is a nonprofit organization?

What exactly constitutes a nonprofit organization?

Reference sources like dictionaries, encyclopedias and handbooks help to define and explain concepts.

Check out the handbook Business: The Ultimate Resource for a definition and The Encyclopedia of Public Choice for an explanation of a nonprofit organization.   


Choosing a Nonprofit Organization


Maybe you already have a charity you know or love that you want to research. If not, think of a cause you care about - is it related to children, the elderly, arts, disaster relief, etc.... Want to research a local organization, but are not sure which one?

The website includes a directory of local, national, and international nonprofit organizations, and allows you to limit your search by interest group or geographic area.

The website Massachusetts Nonprofit Network has a listing of more than 650 nonprofit members from the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands. You can sort by location or subsector. 

About the Organization

The organization's website is the best place to start your research. It will include key information about your nonprofit, including its mission, history, services, and volunteer opportunities.   

Annual Reports & Financials

Where is the money coming from to operate your nonprofit, and how is it being spent? Financial or annual reports provide this information, and more.

Making the News

News articles on nonprofits may include information about new programs or services and fundraising, as well as information about the founders or key leaders in the organization. 

Citing your sources

There are many online citation generators that can help you create a Works Cited page.