The Art Gardner

My Name is Ashlee Gardner and I am a Sector Switcher
March 9, 2010, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Job Search | Tags: , ,

I was at the Foundation Center today taking some classes on how to use their extensive resource library and online foundations directory and I came across this book by the folks at Idealist: The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for Sector Switchers. It can be downloaded as a pdf for absolutely free. Now I consider myself a creative and a bit of a free spirit in many ways, but I also have a very structured, analytical side. I admit it–I like labels. In this new world that I am navigating it’s a relief to finally put a name to what I am. I am a Sector Switcher–and proud of it.


Tootsie rolls and nonprofit link-o-rama

granting writing with tootsie rolls
Grant research class with Tootsie rolls

With a belly full of Tootsie rolls courtesy of a fellow classmate, I am ready to share my knowledge about grant research with the world. Today consisted of lots of web surfing–my favorite pastime. Jack showed us all kinds of sites that are invaluable to nonprofit professionals and grant writers in particular. Maybe you’ve heard of these, but if not–drink up:   


Guidestar ( is a shining beacon of light for the nonprofit professional and appeals to the super sleuth in me. Most notably, you can get 990’s (tax forms) for nonprofits and foundations alike. Want to know what organizations got the grant that rejected you last year, how much money the ED of your agency makes, or the names of the board from your local community charity? It’s all there, baby.    

Leader to Leader Institute ( is an entity started by Peter Drucker. Some folks think of him as “the father of nonprofit management.” He wrote the nonprofit “Bible” Managing the Nonprofit Organization. The Institute awards innovation in nonprofit programming and posts a summary of the winners’ innovative programming on this site. It’s a great place to brainstorm grant ideas and see how your concepts measure up.    

If you want to see some actual sample grant proposals, you can go to They are all education based, but even if that’s not your bag it’s a great resource to see the structure of some funded proposals.    

Techsoup ( has cheap software for nonprofits.    

Idealist ( is like Guidestar, but here nonprofits list themselves. As a result, it is the largest database of active nonprofits. Tends towards a younger crowd of users. A great resource for volunteer opportunities and occasionally jobs.    

The Chronicle of Philanthropy ( is like the New York Times of the nonprofit world. Loads of great content and also a “Guide to Grants” section where you can look up foundations and awarded grants.    

There are lots more, but I can’t give away ALL my secrets. Ta-Ra for now.