Reference Blog

Nonprofit Lunch & Learn: “Introduction to Finding Funders”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Free Webinar presented by The Foundation Center

Learn to find funders for your nonprofit with the Foundation Center's comprehensive funding research tool. This session provides an introduction to the Foundation Center's comprehensive online database, Foundation Directory Online Professional. Learn how to create customized searches to develop targeted lists of foundations that will match your nonprofit organization's funding needs. We will spend time exploring Power Search, which allows you to search across nine Foundation Center databases – grantmakers, grants, companies, 990s, news, jobs, RFPs, nonprofit literature, and PubHub reports. Note: The webinar assumes no previous experience with Foundation Directory Online Professional.

Write Right Lunch & Learn: “Fundamentals of Freelancing”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, 915 Monroe Street

Second Floor Events Room

Presenter:  Diana LaChance, freelance writer for The Huntsville Times and Valley Planet

This workshop is for anyone interested in writing or editing for newspapers, magazines, and websites. The presentation will cover everything from getting started, making contacts, and finding job opportunities to researching and writing articles, billing, and building your business. It will also address some of the challenges of being self-employed, working from home, and trying to get paid!

Small Business Lunch & Learn: “"Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!”

Monday, January 9, 2012

12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, 915 Monroe Street

Second Floor Event Room

Presenter: Greg Crabtree, founding partner of Crabtree, Rowe & Berger

Take the mystery out of small business finance with this no-frills guide to understanding the numbers that will guide your business out of any financial black hole. Author Greg Crabtree, a successful accountant, small business advisor, and popular presenter, shows you how to use your firm's key financial indicators as a basis for smart business decisions as you grow your firm from startup to $5 million (and, more!) in annual revenue. Mr. Crabtree will have copies of the book available for purchase.

Local History Comes to Life in New Online Collection

Huntsville-Madison County Public Library welcomes the Huntsville History Collection as a new online resource bringing together photographs and historical records for local residents.

Ever wondered what your house looked like forty years ago? Photographs, drawings and other records may exist for your house, especially if you are a resident of one of Huntsville’s downtown historic districts. In the past, finding those records took a patient and persistent sleuth. Now, local residents may use a new online resource called the Huntsville History Collection (HHC) which brings together photographs, illustrations, surveys, and history.

Steamboat House Photo by Harvie Jones, 1997
"Steamboat House" Photo
by Harvie Jones, 1997

HHC ( is a virtual archive of resources about the history and historic architecture of Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama. Local resident, Deane Dayton created this resource initially as an architectural guide to the Twickenham Historic District.

“I’ve owned two different houses in Twickenham and was curious about their histories. This website was a response to my own wish to have access to pictures and historical data about the architecture and modifications of these houses over time,” said Dayton. As his research grew, the website expanded to include Old Town, Five Points and beyond. As the project began to consume more of his free time, his wife became curious about her husband’s new hobby.

To spend more time with her husband, Carol Dayton began casually searching for biographical resources about prominent Huntsvillians. As she found online resources, Mr. Dayton added them to his wiki, and the scope of the collection grew to include people instead of just places. “Once she started looking, it snowballed. She was hooked.”

Now the couple can often be seen pouring through the records and archives of the Huntsville Heritage Room of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. After working on the project for approximately a year, Dayton approached the Library, seeking an organizational partner. “We are thrilled to partner with the Huntsville History Collection,” said Laurel Best, Executive Director for HMCPL. “Public libraries exist to provide access to information and resources, so HHC complements our mission perfectly.”

“Public libraries exist to provide access to information and resources, so HHC complements our mission perfectly.”

Deane Dayton
Deane Dayton

The Library will also seek grant funds to help further Mr. Dayton’s work. “Often, historical materials are rare and accessible only by visiting a specific archive,” said Mary Moore, Reference & Adult Services Manager at the Library. “For the average person, knowing which archive to visit or finding the time to do in-depth research is not possible. Deane and Carol are now deputized librarians. They are doing what librarians strive to do every day – make information easy to access.” Moore added, “The Library hopes to secure grant funds to digitize more works for inclusion in the collection.”

For the materials already in the collection, Dayton has worked diligently to properly identify the sources for the information, records, pictures, and drawings. He has also obtained permissions from authors, artists, and organizations.

“It was important to me that I obtain proper permissions and make clear the sources for this information,” Dayton commented. “I have a background in education, so I would love for this website to be a resource for area students and teachers.”

When his schedule allows, Dayton visits community groups to demonstrate his website. “So far, the feedback has been very positive. I am grateful for the enthusiasm, and I hope visitors to the website will feel free to send me their ideas and comments.” Deane added, “I want this resource to have a life long after I am gone.”

Questions? Contact Mary Wallace Moore in Reference & Adult Services at askus [at] hmcpl [dot] org or 256-532-5975.


Bollywood Movie Series

Reference & Adult Services will be presenting a free Bollywood Movie Series, June 6-July 18, with the exception of July 4th (we will be closed). Each Monday night we shall show a Bollywood movie. Bollywood is the name given for the Hindi-language film industry, and each of these six films will give the viewer a glimpse of popular Indian views and traditions. Please be aware these movies will be in Hindi, but feature English subtitles that do not take away from the film its self. For more information on which movie titles we will be showing, feel free to come by any library for a flyer promoting the film series. You can also e-mail us at askus [at] hmcpl [dot] org, or call the Reference desk at: 256-532-5975.

Foundation Center Webinars for Non-profits

The Foundation Center and HMCPL team up for a webinar series of effective strategies and resources for non-profits.

The Reference & Adult Services Department of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library sponsors regular webinars for non-profits on a wide range of topics. As a cooperating collection of the Foundation Center, the Library has access to databases and print materials of interest to non-profits seeking funding and advice for best practices. All of the below webinars are free of charge and open to the public. They will be held in the second floor Events Room of the Main Library.


Tues. Nov. 30, 2010 - 2:00-3:00 PM
How to Approach a Foundation

This webinar will cover strategies for effective communications with grantmakers, taking you through initial contact to what happens after you receive funding. You will learn how to initiate contact with potential funders; plan calls and meetings; communicate during and after a grant decision; and, ultimately, how to build lasting partnerships with grantmakers.


Thurs. Dec. 16, 2010 - 1:00-2:00 PM
Proposal Budgeting Basics

  • This webinar is geared to the novice grantseeker and will answer budgeting questions such as:
  • What kinds of expenses are covered under "personnel"?
  • What level of detail do you need to include for non-personnel expenses?
  • What types of expenses can be included in the "overhead" category?
  • What is the relationship between the budget for your project and the overall budget for your nonprofit organization?


Wed. Jan. 19, 2011 - 2:00-3:00 PM
Introduction to Fundraising Planning

Learn a basic planning process for diversifying your organization’s base of support.

A successful nonprofit organization needs to cultivate multiple revenue streams through sound financial planning. If your organization has never developed a fundraising plan or calendar, this hour-long session is for you. It provides an overview of the process of strategically thinking through the components of a fundraising plan. You'll learn how to:

  • Conduct an assets inventory
  • Develop a case statement
  • Identify fundraising partners
  • Prepare a fundraising plan and calendar

Introduction to Fundraising Planning will show you how to analyze your organization’s situation and develop a fundraising plan that will include a variety of revenue sources.


Thurs. Jan. 20, 2011 - 1:00-2:00 PM
Introduction to Corporate Giving

Explore the world of corporate support and get started with resources on corporate giving.

Join us for an introduction to the world of corporate support for nonprofits and to the effective utilization of the Foundation Center's resources on corporate giving. We'll answer such questions as:

  • What are the motivations behind corporate giving?
  • How do companies support nonprofit organizations?
  • How can I match my organization's needs with the interests of a corporation?
  • How can I make the most effective use of Foundation Center resources to locate corporate funders?

Prior attendance at "Grantseeking Basics" is strongly recommended.


For more information, please contact Mary Wallace Moore, Reference & Adult Services manager at 256-532-5972, or by email: mmoore [at] hmcpl [dot] org

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