Leading Change. Transforming Communities.

How to Launch a New Directory, One Nonprofit at a Time

How to Launch a New Directory, One Nonprofit at a Time
Monday, August 25, 2014

Even with plenty of exciting partnerships, workshops, funds and grant opportunities to keep up with, ECCF staff and interns found the time to comb through some 3,083 IRS listings of 501c(3) organizations with one simple goal: to update and improve our nonprofit directory.

Led by ECCF's web manager Jonah Ruh Roberts (pictured left), the process took over a year with a team that included five college interns from the Forest Foundation, Endicott, Gordon, and Assumption Colleges, two workers with FirstJobs, one volunteer and two other ECCF staff members, Susan Perry and Joan Henkels (pictured below). First, they defined a set of criteria to include only public serving organizations. (Some registered nonprofits, for instance, such as Greek clubs, alumni associations, religious institutions without social services or sports leagues, are not included).

One nonprofit at a time, the team then reviewed, verified (through multiple sources), and created profiles for each, categorizing them according to the type of services they provide.

“One of the results of this project is that we added quite a few interesting and important nonprofits,” said Jo. “But we also discovered that many organizations on the IRS lists were either no longer  operating or we couldn’t find any information at all about them and many were small associations that did not meet our criteria for inclusion. The breadth and diversity of organizations is amazing. It was a humbling experience to see so much good work happening where we live!”

The result? 611 nonprofits now comprise the new ECCF nonprofit directory and are included in an interactive Google map, available for anyone wanting to find new resources and services in their community. Thanks to Jo, Joan, Susan, and team for providing such a valuable service to our friends throughout Essex County.


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