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Here to
Help You

The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, as part of its core mission, has supported local nonprofit organizations since 1984. In addition to financial support, the Foundation ​provides local organizations with access to training and professional development, networking and capacity-building resources, designed to enhance the capacity of local organizations to effectively achieve their mission.

On-site Nonprofit Library

The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore is a partner of the Foundation Center, a leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. We maintain a non-circulating selection of books, reference books, newspapers, and periodicals relating to philanthropy and charitable work. Our library catalog lists many of these print resources.  The print publications are available for use in our location free of charge. View available titles here.

Our library contains over 250 books covering topics such as: board management, finance, fundraising, grant writing, grant making, leadership, marketing, legal, technology, strategic planning, and writing.

Events & Trainings

To register for any of our seminars or training events please visit our Events Page. Questions should be directed to Lauren Ansted. 

Sign Language Interpreter Request: We are committed to making our service and facilities accessible to all of our patrons. We will provide sign language interpreter services by written request only. Please submit all requests for interpreting services five full working days (or more) in advance of the training that you will attend.

Nonprofit Resource Center

The nonprofit resource center is open during our regular business hours. It is located just inside of our front door and use is first come first served. We offer a work table and computer to access the Foundation Directory online.

Nonprofit Scholarship Program

The Nonprofit Scholarship Program is offered in partnership with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development Department at Wor-Wic Community College.  Scholarships, covering tuition and fees, are available for select courses each semester to staff and volunteers of local nonprofit 501c3 organizations. Textbooks are the responsibility of the participant or organization.

Wor-Wic Guidelines & Application
Scholarship Program Evaluation Form
Wor-Wic Catalog

Nonprofi Scholarhips
Nonprofi Library
Starting a Nonprofit

The Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) offers basic technical assistance and information to those individuals who desire to start a nonprofit, but we do not offer financial or legal expertise for filing documents.

Once your nonprofit is formed, CFES has a robust nonprofit support program that can assist you in a variety of ways. CFES offers professional development to you and your board of directors through our nonprofit workshops which focus on nonprofit best practices. You do not need to secure a nonprofit 501(c)(3) status to attend our workshops.

To start your own nonprofit, you will need to file forms with state and federal governments and the costs depend on size of the organization.  Please refer to the websites and documents below to get started with your own nonprofit!

CFES Nonprofit Checklist

IRS for Nonprofits: Resources for starting and maintaining a nonprofit.

Maryland Nonprofits Nonprofit Development Center: Free resources for starting a nonprofit in Maryland.

Community Law Center: Legal resources for nonprofits 

MD Annotated Code for Corporations & Associations: Statutory laws concerning the creating and operation of corporations (including nonprofits) 

501c3 Compliance

IRS Website: How to stay exempt as a nonprofit

Secretary of State (MD): This is the Charitable Solicitation Act website that controls annual filings and disclosures of nonprofit charitable solicitations. 

Department of Assessments and Taxation (MD): This is the department that collects annual filings of Form 1 personal property return from nonprofits. 

Annual Filings for MD Nonprofits

Grant Seeker Resources

Lower Shore Nonprofit Funders List

Grants.Gov: A comprehensive website for grantseekers that offers information, grant listings and training tutorials.

GrantWatch: – Available at the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. 

Governor's Grants Office (MD): Accessible resources, training, research and guidance to state and federal grants. 

Nonprofit Research

Maryland Nonprofit State Research Reports

Urban Institute: Unbiased insight about the wellbeing of people and places in the U.S.

Annie E. Casey Foundation: Maryland Grantmaker that provides research resources including KIDS COUNT, a premier data source on children and families in the U.S. 

United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore: Lower Eastern Shore Grantmaker that conducted the A.L.I.C.E report that focuses on poverty in our state. 

MD Center on Economic Policy: Economic research and publications.

Independent Sector: A wealth of resources for the nonprofit sector.

Strengthening Communities Report: The Impact of the Nonprofit Sector on Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore.

Atlantic General Community Health Needs Assessments: For Worcester County, MD and Sussex County, DE.

Tidal Health Community Health Research & Data: For Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset Counties (MD) and Sussex County, DE. 

United States Census American Community Survey (ACS): Ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about our nation and its people.

Somerset County Local Management Board: Community assessments and studies.

Template Library
Policy Library

Policies guides from a variety of free for use resources. Policies should be customized for your organization and an attorney should be consulted before adopting legally binding policies.

Conflict of Interest



Employee Handbook

Gift Acceptance

Social Media

Information Technology/ Device Use

Document Retention


Advocacy and Lobbying


We offer free access to GrantWatch, a grant seeker database which allows you to perform online searches for grants that support both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

GrantWatch can be accessed in the Nonprofit Resource Center of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. GrantWatch can also be accessed on your personal device at our local office, through a web URL our staff provides you.  No appointment is necessary, and three users can be online at one time. 


An orientation can be scheduled in advance with a member of the Programs Team by calling 410-742-9911. Please reserve a half hour for this comprehensive training session.

Grant Resorces
501c3 Compliance
Policy Library
Template Library
Starting a nonprofit
Nonprofit Reseach
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