Seeking Funding? Visit the Central Library

The Central Library, located on Salina St. in Downtown Syracuse, hosts a vast array of nonprofit resources. Among the most impactful yet underutilized is a subscription to Candid’s Foundation Directory Online – a national database of funders and funding opportunities.

Published August 14th, 2023

            Imagine a one-stop-shop where you could research funding opportunities, read up on nonprofit management strategies, run a meeting in a professional conference room, let your kid safely play, and host a public event – all for free. It sounds too good to be true, but all of this is readily available at the Central Library in Downtown Syracuse.

“We want more nonprofits to come and utilize the resources we offer,” says Branch Manager Rene Battelle, who feels many people overlook the full potential of the library. 

It would be too difficult to catalogue every resource, but in the list below we have summarized some of the most relevant tools that nonprofits can start using to grow their impact while saving time and money.

Rene Battelle, the Branch Manager at the Central Library, is working to spread the word about their many resources. 

Grant Database Access: 

  • The Central Library has an open subscription to Candid’s Foundation Directory – a database of more than 240,000 funders. This resource would normally cost upwards of $1,600/year, so avoiding the subscription fee is a significant savings. Results can be filtered by mission type, location, size, and more and provide detailed information around each funder’s grant history, priorities, average grant size, and more. You can also access profiles of other nonprofits to gain insights and ideas around potential funding opportunities by analyzing organizations with a similar profile to your own.
  • For those seeking funding for a project that is not connected to nonprofit, the Central Library also provides access to Candid’s Grants to Individuals database. This resource tracks more than 10,000 funding opportunities such as scholarships, research stipends, artist support, and more.

Meeting & Event Spaces:

  • The Central Library provides a medium sized, technology equipped conference room for any group in need of a meeting space. For other events, they also offer a large community room complete with a small adjoining kitchen. Both of these spaces are free to use, however a reservation must be made in advance and the event must be free and open to the public.

Nonprofit Strategy and Research:

  • The Nonprofit Resource Center at the Central Library provides both print and digital resources for nonprofit organizations and individuals seeking private foundation grants. These tools can take you through the basics of starting a nonprofit, writing grant proposals, seeking funding and corporate givers, and other topics related to philanthropy, volunteerism, and fundraising.

Space for Children and Teens:

  • The KidsSpace and MakerSpace at the Central Library provide fun and educational activities for young people ranging from 3 years old to teens to explore. These resources not only make the Library a destination for youth occupying time on their own, but also make it an accessible option for parents who want to visit the Library with their child. Activities include robotics building kits, video games, puzzles, crafts, and more.

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