You can always email me (or leave a comment or question in the comments of this post) with any questions you have about locating information you need.
Search Strategies – Always be on the lookout for new words, phrases, and names you can use as search terms. For example: you might search for “not for profit” and NPO in addition to nonprofit (and non-profit). (Check out these YouTube videos about developing search strategies.)
Remember that you’ll almost never find the information you’re looking for with your first attempt. You’ll find something close, which will lead you to something closer, which will lead you to the information you seek.
Ask yourself – Who else is interested in collecting the information you want.
UT resources – Be sure to log in to Esearch first when using the library’s resources. Look for books in the online catalog. Look for articles in the Databases. Look under the Nonprofit Management link in Subject Portals for databases and Internet links.
If you find an article or book that is not available through the library’s resources we can probably acquire it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). If you want to know more about obtaining materials through ILL please send me an email.
Non-UT resources – You will find a substantial amount of information through USA.gov (for example http://www.usa.gov/Business/Nonprofit.shtml includes grant and tax info). Other government sites that may be helpful are the Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov/content/nonprofit-organizations), the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, and the 2010 Census.
Create a Facebook account for your professional self and ‘friend’ nonprofits and organizations in your field of interest. Sometimes asking questions directly through social media is the quickest way to an answer.
The Online Writing Lab at Purdue is an excellent resource for citation styles.
Check out this earlier blog post for information on finding demographic information.
Check out this research guide for finding information on various industries.
Evaluating information – Not all information is created equal. Some sources are better than others. A general rule of thumb is the more advertising you see the less reliable the source. Also, if they don’t tell you where they got their facts or information then you probably don’t want to use them as a resource. If they do tell you where they got their facts and figures, try to locate the original source.
Does the UT library carry this magazine/journal? Look in Ejournals to search all of our databases for a particular title you want to find.