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Resource Guide for Non-Profits: Directories to find Non-Profits

How to conduct research on "Non-Profits" as well as "Not-for-profits"

Nonprofit & Corporate Records in Oregon

The State of Oregon has a rather low level of involvement of documenting or keeping track of nonprofit organizations, or corporations in general, that are located in Oregon.

Their is no meaningful requirement for mandatory public disclosure of financial information by most non-profits or for-profit corporations located in Oregon. When non-profits & for-profits are required to send their financial information, tax records or payroll data to the State of Oregon, all of that information is treated as being private and confidential between the organization and the state.

There are number of specialized state agencies that do collect & disseminate certain types of business information for special types of Non-profit or For-profit organizations based in Oregon.  The Oregon's Secretary of State maintains a list of these special agencies along with their respective websites & search engines at <https://sos.oregon.gov/business/pages/government-databases.aspx>

The primary information that Oregon collects & distributes for fee centers around an organization's mailing address, the names & mailing address of the principal people who run the organization, and the dates that each organization paid their renewal fees & dates of when they last filed any changes of their charters with the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State's offices.

There is no requirement in Oregon that non-profits or for-profits must disclose their email address, phone number, website or social media link.

The state of Oregon does not routinely collect copies of any organization's annual report, nor periodic board meeting minutes.  They do however ask for a copy of each organization's charter, but the state is not required to provide copies of those charters to the general public.  Again, those documents are treated as being private and confidential.

Both non-profits and for-profit organizations can be dissolved by the Corporation Division of the Oregon Secretary of State's offices if certain specified documents are not filed with the state, or if they do not pay their filing or renewal fees in a timely manner.

Again, Oregon provides very little information to the public about any of the non-profits or for-profit organizations that are active within the state.

ORGANIZATION name searches in Oregon can be conducted simultaneously on Non-profits and For-profits from the same search engine = <http://egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_web_name_srch_inq.login>.

INDIVIDUAL NAMES of people involved as the leaders of Non-profits and For-Profits can also be searched if they have been registered with the State of Oregon = <http://egov.sos.state.or.us/br/pkg_br_web_assoc_name_srch.main>.

Both of these searches can pull up records for Active as well as Inactive organizations based in Oregon going back about 20 years.

 

Guidestar

GUIDESTAR <http://www.guidestar.org> provides access to information covering more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations.  You can verify a nonprofit's legitimacy, learn whether a contribution will be tax deductible, view a nonprofit's recent Forms 990 (filed with the Internal Revenue Service), or find out more about a nonprofit's mission, programs, and finances. 

You must create a free personal registration entry & username, before you can actually use the underlying services.  Additional levels of service are available for additional fees or paid subscriptions.  You can decline to be placed on any mailing lists.  If you enroll in the mailing list, you will typically receive just one email per month.

Finding relevant Special Interest Groups: Trade Associations, Professional Societies, Hobby Enthusiasts or Lobbying Groups

Encyclopedia of Associations (database requires WU login): this database is also known as "Associations Unlimited"

 

If you can name it, then chances are rather good that this directory will list either a fan club, professional society, or a trade association that focuses energy on promoting that thing. 

 

Entries range from the American Marketing Association, the International Gay Rodeo Association, to the Zero Waste International Alliance.  Each organization that is identified is asked to provide a wealth of information including: field of membership; annual budget; scope of operations; recurring conferences; standard publications; local or regional chapters; topical subdivisions; size of full time staff; contact info and URL of their main website. 

Although the primary focus is on US based organizations, this resource offers cross-references to the International version of this resource, but the details of those overseas organizations are only found by using that other option.

 

Since the publisher of this unique directory clusters the online access with other resources, you must first select which resource you want to search, and then enter your keyword(s) in the right hand column of boxes.

Generally, you want to choose the NATIONAL edition, covering the United States.

For this demonstration, we will be looking for organizations that focus on SHELLFISH:

From this brief listing, you can click on each organization's title to get the complete details about each underlying group.

If you do not find anything relevant, then you ought to modify your search strategy to a broader group of synonyms, which you can string together with the Boolean "OR" command.

In this instance, if you were hoping to see more types of organizations for specific types of shellfish, you can try looking for SHRIMP OR SCALOPPS OR CLAMS OR OYSTERS OR LOBSTER OR CRAB OR SEAFOOD.

And you can always turn to a reference librarian for additional help!

Gary Klein (librarian for AGSM)