5 Great Organizations Helping Nonprofits Thrive

Nonprofits focus on a variety of social issues, helping individuals and communities in areas like education, professional development, and civic engagement. These public-minded organizations strive to serve the greater good, and one key way they accomplish this is by partnering with other groups. If you want to learn more about these collaborations, then here, in no particular order, is a selection of organizations that help nonprofits succeed.

In the #2 spot is Good Judgment Inc, headquartered in New York. This company uses an externally validated forecasting methodology to help clients make decisions about the future. It grew out of a project launched by two professors at the University of Pennsylvania, which sought to identify innovative ways to predict geopolitical events.

Good Judgment relies on a data-backed process called superforecasting, which combines talent, training, teamwork, and aggregations to make accurate predictions about the future. The company offers subscription and custom packages to the government organizations, energy providers, and nonprofits it serves. In addition to these analytics, it runs occasional workshops and assists other groups with in-house training through its Staffcasting program.

At #3 is the Maine Association of Nonprofits, founded in 1994 and based in Portland. A leading advocate and resource, MANP works to empower the numerous nonprofits active in the Pine Tree State. As Maine's largest network of groups dedicated to the common good, it offers high-quality training, forges peer connections, and engages in political and legislative advocacy.

MANP conducts several training and development opportunities. Its Emerging Leaders program, for instance, trains younger professionals for future roles as board and committee members and skilled volunteers. Other educational offerings include conferences and webinars, which cover topics ranging from fundraising to communications strategy.

Coming in at #4 is the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy. Launched in 1992, this academic organization is housed within the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University. In addition to the research it supports, the Johnson Center promotes practical action in the nonprofit sector, offering professional development, education and training, and a variety of data-driven tools.

Led by philanthropic leaders and presented by the Johnson Center, The Grantmaking School provides short courses in a range of areas, from strategy and evaluation to proposal analysis. Meanwhile, on its blog, the Johnson Center explores a trove of nonprofit-related topics, covering things like women-led initiatives, racial equity, and student leadership. It also publishes The Foundation Review, a quarterly that describes itself as the first peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy.

In the #5 spot is the California Association of Nonprofits. A statewide membership organization, it brings together nonprofits, working to find ways to better advocate for the communities they serve. With offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles, this association boasts a large and varied group of members, active in areas such as youth empowerment, professional development, and volunteering.

By joining CalNonprofits, members are connected to a number of benefits, including insurance service, marketing assistance, and a group-buying discount program. They also gain access to a wealth of resources, like webinars, workshops, and toolkits. Elsewhere, CalNonprofits runs several unique initiatives, which have in the past focused on things like student debt and voter engagement.

Last but not least, at #6 is Catchafire. Founded in 2010, this organization offers a nonprofit-focused platform and service, matching professionals looking to volunteer with virtual opportunities where their skills are needed. As of 2020, Catchafire has served more than 6,000 nonprofits by connecting them to solutions in talent recruitment, content creation, and data visualization.

With an overall goal of strengthening the social good sector, Catchafire organizes its available volunteering projects by skill, time commitment, and cause area. Its easy-to-use platform enables organizations to post opportunities, screen candidates, and accept volunteers, with connections ranging from one-hour phone calls to full-length projects. In addition, this company has an educational component to its work, publishing informative webinars and blogs on design, strategic planning, and website development.