Starting a Nonprofit

Starting a nonprofit organization is a lot like starting a business, but there are special considerations to take into account when you’re planning your organization. You’ll need information about becoming tax exempt, setting up a 501(c)(3), and preparing for the process of raising funds for your organization’s activities. Here are some resources geared for the needs of anyone forming a charity or other nonprofit corporation.

CCPL offers a number of online resources to make starting and running a nonprofit make sense. From the Small Business Reference Center that will help you understand how to start and run and nonprofit, to a series of books in our collection. You will need to use a valid CCPL Library Card to access this source.

There are also several local organizations that can help. 

The Charleston Association of Grants Professionals is a networking organization focused on needs and interests of nonprofits and grant writers in the Charleston area. The CAGP meets monthly at the Main Library. Interested members of the public are invited to attend. TogetherSC, formerly the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations, is a statewide membership organization and network with a mission to serve, support, and strengthen nonprofits in South Carolina. The organization holds a Nonprofit Summit each year.


Funding A Nonprofit

One of the most challenging aspects of running a nonprofit is grantseeking and proposal writing. As a Funding Information Network partner with the Foundation Center, Charleston County Public Library has a number of helpful resources for researching grants.

The Foundation Center Collection includes a wealth of data on grants and grantmakers, plus training on how to search for and use this information. You will find:

  • Foundation Directory Online Professional Edition, the most comprehensive grantmaker database in the US with over 100,000 US grantmakers and 2.4 million grants.
  • Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, a one-of-a-kind database of over 10,000 programs that support students, artists, and researchers.
  • Step-by-step proposal writing guides and examples of successful proposals
  • Resources on becoming a 501(c)(3), fundraising, nonprofit board management, and other topics crucial to nonprofit success
  • Access to resources, experts, and associations in our local community.

We offer free 30-minute Foundation Center tutorials for individuals or groups that cover basic and advanced search techniques. Call us at 843-805-6930 for more information or to make an appointment. This source is available at the Foundation Center table located on the 2nd floor of the Main Library.


Nonprofit Resources