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 Heather Mahler.
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.
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!
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: Checklist guiding individuals who are starting a new nonprofit
MD Annotated Code for Corporations & Associations: Statutory laws concerning the creating and operation of corporations (including nonprofits)
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.
Grant Seeker Resources
Grant Space: A service of the Foundation Center, offers information and resources that are specifically designed to meet the needs of grantseekers.
Grants.Gov: A comprehensive website for grantseekers that offers information, grant listings and training tutorials.
Foundation Directory Online: – available in the CFES Nonprofit Resource Center, this exhaustive database contains over 140,000 expanded grantmaker profiles, and 500,000 recipient profiles.
Governor's Grants Office (MD): Accessible resources, training, research and guidance to state and federal grants.
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: Sustaining Strong Communities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Strengthening Communities Report: The Impact of the Nonprofit Sector on Maryland's Lower Eastern Shore
These documents are from a variety of free for use resources and provide you with a starting point. You should customize them to meet the needs of your organization and consult an attorney before adopting a policy that is legally binding.
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.
Foundation Directory Online
Our location offers free access to Foundation Directory Online, the Foundation Center’s database which allows you to perform online searches on more than 140,000 grant makers.
The Foundation Directory Online is located in the Nonprofit Resource Center of the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. Staff members are available to assist users with the database during the Foundation’s regular hours. No appointment is necessary.
Private introductory database sessions can be scheduled with by emailing Heather Mahler or 410-742-9911. Please reserve one hour for this comprehensive training session.