How the Denver Public Library Can Help Your Nonprofit Thrive

When Alison Joucovsky first visited the Nonprofit Center at the Denver Public Library in 2015, her nonprofit, Sunshine Home Share Colorado, was just getting started. Her idea, simply put, was to provide a matching service for seniors who wanted to stay in their homes with home seekers needing affordable housing.  

Four years later, in her 2018 annual report, Alison says:

"When I started Sunshine Home Share Colorado in 2015, I jumped in head first. I didn't read about the evolution of a nonprofit, the difficulty to securing funding, or expect to gain an MBA in knowledge without the degree. I missed the part that said to expect it to take three years.  

Housing prices and property taxes were outpacing social security income, older adults and students were sleeping in their cars, and the cost of home care continued to escalate. Denver was rapidly growing from a housing shortage to a housing crisis. It was time to think differently about how to support our oldest community members to age in place and create affordable housing."  

Sunshine Shares is one of around 20,000 nonprofits currently providing services in Colorado. This segment is a vital part of the state's economy, comprising nearly 8% of the State's workforce and generating more than $32 billion in annual revenue. 

In order to not only provide services, but grow during fluctuations in the economy, these organizations rely on different sources of income, including earned income, bequests, fees for services, individual donors, and in-kind donations.  

Grants from foundations and corporations also play a role in fundraising, and the Denver Public Library can help your nonprofit identify possible funding partners who share your mission.  

The Colorado Grants Guide, from the Community Resource Center, has nearly 800 profiles of local foundations, trusts, and corporations that support local nonprofits. The database is searchable by geographic focus, giving interests, application criteria, deadlines, and past grantee information. As an example, a search using Denver as the geographic focus, Program Development as the type of grant, and K-12 Education as the subject, resulted in a list of 23 possible funding partners.  This database is available at any Denver Public Library location.  

The library also subscribes to the Foundation Directory Online, a database containing information on more than 140,000 foundation and corporate donors, and 11 million past grants. The database provides information on potential funders for programs in every part of the world.

Each profile includes:

  • each foundation’s application process.
  • the number and amounts of grants given each year.
  • recently awarded grants and their recipients.
  • geographic focus.
  • areas of interest.
  • types of support.
  • contact information.

The Foundation Directory is only available at the Central Library, and we are happy to meet with you to show you how it works and offer tips for optimal searching.   

Questions? Ask Reference Services or call 720-865-1363 today!

Written by Lisa on February 28, 2019