Contents and Scope
The Catalog of Nonprofit Literature
contains citations to materials collected by the Center's five
libraries as well as selected literature from other sources.
This authoritative bibliography of works in the field of philanthropy
contains approximately 27,000 bibliographic entries, of which
nearly 19,000 have abstracts. To view the latest additions
to the database by subject category, see New
Acquisitions in the Online Library.
Since 1988, when a retrospective conversion of all the Center's
holdings was completed and a new bibliographic service unit
was created, the Foundation Center has sought to increase
public access to information on philanthropy and the nonprofit
sector by identifying, indexing, and abstracting relevant
books, articles, and non-print resources such as CD-ROM and
audiovisual materials. To this end, the Center established
a computerized database and began issuing annual printed volumes
of The Literature of the Nonprofit Sector.
The first volume of The Literature of the Nonprofit Sector was published in 1989 and was the culmination of nearly a decade of planning. This first volume was welcomed by scholars at the time as the "single most indispensable research into the printed record of the nonprofit field." The annual supplements the Center continued to publish through 1996 were equally well received.
In 1997, in lieu of printing a ninth volume, the Center released the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, a comprehensive searchable database
that includes all the citations that would have appeared in print in the
ninth volume and also cumulates the citations from the eight preceding
volumes. This was the first database the Foundation Center put on the
Internet, and the first time this valuable research tool was available
in a searchable, user-friendly format to those seeking information on
the literature of philanthropy.
In December 2000, the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature was further enhanced
by the addition of three new search fields (publisher, library
location, and record type) so that users can select among
a total of nine search criteria. New software was acquired
that enabled the database to be updated instantly, and two
new report formats were added. More bibliographic data was
added, such as the call number for the materials in the Center's
libraries, and the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature became the libraries' in-house
bibliographic catalog, as well as a unique database accessible
universally on the Internet.
During 2001, in a collaboration with the Indiana University
Center on Philanthropy, the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature has been further enhanced
by an initiative to add links to the full-texts of selected
journal articles. At this time, Grassroots Fundraising
Journal, NonProfit Times, Nonprofit Quarterly,
Contributions, and Stanford Social Innovation Review
have pioneered in this major step forward. We will be adding
new journals to the full-text project on a regular basis.
Catalog of Nonprofit Literature includes
literature of interest to the Foundation Center's various
audiences: visitors to our libraries, trustees and staff of
foundations and nonprofit organizations, fundraisers, representatives
of government agencies, the media, librarians, and the burgeoning
numbers of scholars and students interested in reading and
writing about the philanthropic sector of American society.
Scope of Coverage
Entries in Catalog of Nonprofit Literature represent the literature on philanthropy, the foundation world, the nonprofit sector particularly works on such topics as fundraising and proposal development and works related to charitable giving, including project reports, studies, and statistical analyses. They cover works on theory, philosophy, and workings of domestic and international philanthropy as well as histories of individual foundations. Literature on all aspects of company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving is included, as are materials related to the nonprofit sector, its composition, administration, and management. Included are publications that discuss the impact of government policies and funding upon the sector and the legal and tax implications of local, state, and federal regulation and legislation. Voluntarism and revenue generating activities of nonprofits are also covered. On a selective basis, materials issued by foundations or resulting from studies or projects funded by foundations may also be included.
More than 65% of the citations in Catalog of Nonprofit Literature have abstracts. The Center's
bibliographic staff give priority for abstracting to works
that report new research, have substantive content, or are
directed to a scholarly audience. The abstracts are designed
to incorporate informative elements and may include results,
conclusions, or recommendations. Works with self-explanatory
titles usually are not abstracted, and most of the practical
and how-to works are described briefly to indicate the scope
Catalog of Nonprofit Literature generally
does not include entries for reference works commonly found
in public libraries. Finally, inclusion in this bibliography
does not represent endorsement by the Foundation Center of
particular facts or points of view represented by the sources