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CNM FAQs

Sign up for the CNM eNewsletter here By signing up, you will receive the bi-weekly eblast and occasional special announcements.  To sign up for the quarterly newsletter Nonprofit Directions, please click here.

CNM respects the privacy of our clients and does not sell or give out information about them. We use personal information only to help maintain business relationshipsFor information about nonprofits in Los Angeles, please visit HealthyCity.org.

CNM is located on the second floor of the California Endowment Building at 1000 North Alameda Street in Los Angeles, two blocks north of Union Station. Free parking is available on the north side of the building. You can find more information about the location and parking here. Once you have entered the building, you must sign in with Security; they will approve your entry to the second floor. Once on the second floor, please follow the signs to Reception for CNM and Community Partners.

CNM works with funders and grantees in a number of ways. Some funders establish scholarship funds for their grantees to provide access to attend CNM trainings at no cost or for discounted fees. CNM also works with funders to provide specific training programs or consulting services to their grantees. The most common approach is for funders to include support capacity building projects within grants, to allow grantees to access CNM services to best suit their particular needs during the period of the grant award.

The first steps involve being clear about what you or your organization want to achieve through working with outside assistance and what kind of role that outside assistance would involve. Do you need “an extra pair of hands” to accomplish a task or set of tasks?  Do you need someone to design and manage an organizational process for staff, for board or both?  Also, think about a budget for the project. Next, check with colleagues and board members who have experience working with consultants for recommendations and check with management support resources, such as CNM.   Reach out to consultants you may be interested in working with for a preliminary conversation to discuss your objectives, which may help you to further clarify the project. Develop your selection process – interviews, proposals from a selection of consultants or a broadly distributed Request for Proposals – and you’re on your way.

Capacity building is term widely used in the sector from many perspectives, with the common factor directed towards building healthy organizational operations that complement effective delivery of programs and services for the longer term.  In simple terms, the objective of capacity building is to “help organizations do their work better.” Capacity building can take many forms in providing resources and tools to clarify and better understand challenges and obstacles in order to build and enhance the organization’s capabilities to pursue and realize measurable and sustainable results and goals.

The 2-Minute Answer Guide for Nonprofits and the corresponding website, NonprofitAnswerGuide.org, provide quick accessible information for many of the most common nonprofit management questions. Updated in 2012, this indispensable classic was first published in 1998. You can check it out online NonprofitAnswerGuide.org or order the book here.

CNM hosts a great nonprofit jobs board, Jobscoop.org. There you will find social sector jobs all over the country. If you are currently working in a different sector, there are some things you might want to do before you hop into a nonprofit job.

  • Read about jobs or organizations to see if that fits your interest.
  • Read newsletters and visit sites like the Nonprofitanswerguide.org, ssireview.org, and others.
  • Attend events, do site visits, do informational interviews AND volunteer.
  • Take classes, attend networking events to get a sense for the environment and explore opportunities.
  • Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about. While nonprofits are businesses, they have unique ways of operating that are different than for-profit companies. Volunteering will help you get a glimpse of those differences.
  • Join a board and get very involved in a board community so you can get the lay of the land.

Good question! CNM collects information about salaries and benefits from Southern California nonprofit organizations every year. This important information can help you make sure you are hiring and retaining top talent, creating a realistic budget, and following IRS guidelines. The reason to participate is simple: The more people that participate, the more accurate the information. Your participation is a service to the sector.

Executive coaching is a highly valued resource for professional development in the corporate sector and is increasingly available to the nonprofit sector. Coaching is a process that supports individuals in addressing problems, tasks, or challenges through creative exploration of the context and possible solutions and designing and taking action. In the coaching relationship, the primary role of the coach is to guide the process, rather than to provide advice or expertise, to support the coachee in developing solutions and strategies.

Yes! Please contact the CNM Education Manager for more information.

Yes. Currently we have scholarships for Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (LADCA) and Los Angeles County Arts Commission (LACAC) grantees, as well as organizations identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH).

Almost all of CNM’s clients are nonprofits, and CNM is a nonprofit itself! CNM strives to provide classes at an affordable rate. Scholarships are available for grantees of certain funders, but we do not offer lower or sliding scale rates. One way to get discounts is to become a CNM member. You can learn more about CNM membership here.

No. While CNM classes tend to be most helpful to nonprofit professionals working at an existing organization, we offer many classes and resources for people who are interested in the sector.

We serve all of Southern California. We are located in Downtown LA, but often go “on the road” to other locations and are available for customized training and/or consulting at your location.

Lots of things! CNM is a multi-faceted management support resource for the nonprofit sector.  We provide a broad range of training opportunities as well as consulting and executive coaching services, an annual conference, topical quarterly roundtables, publications, and a resources library to help support you and your organization in your mission and work.

To secure space in the building, please contact the Center for Healthy Communities at (866) 833-3533 or CHCrequests@calendow.org.

Due to CNM’s very busy training schedule, our space is booked most of the time. We do sometimes open this room for other organizations in the building. The space is not available for use by outside organizations.

Sorry to hear you’re having troubles. Please contact the Administrative Assistant at (213) 346-3253.

CNM members are granted access to the Foundation Directory Online in the CNM Library by appointment only. To learn more about membership, click here. For free, local access to the directory at one of the Foundation Center’s Cooperating Collections, click here.

CNM has been around for over 30 years, and our resource library has been the place to come and research all things nonprofit management for decades. However, times change, and so do we. We have moved most of our resources online for easy access. Please visit nonprofitanswerguide.org for quick answers to frequently asked questions. You can also visit IdeaEncore here [link] for articles, templates, and other resources.

The CNM Library is still open for those who wish to visit, but please be advised that this is a non-lending library and is not staffed. Hours are 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

You’ve come to the right place! CNM offers many consulting services, including facilitating board retreats. Please contact Gigi Nang at gnang@cnmsocal.org for more information.

Yes! CNM provides referrals for accountants, legal advice, information technology, fund development, and human resources professionals based on our knowledge of their experience in the nonprofit sector. CNM does not endorse or guarantee the work of any of these referral; availability, credentials, and payment and contract negotiations are solely the responsibility of the parties involved. Contact the Helpline for a referral.

No, CNM does not provide grants. We do offer some classes on fundraising if you want to learn more about how to create and execute a fundraising plan. Learn more here.

While CNM does not specifically help people start nonprofits, we do offer some resources:

We recommend doing your research before you start (such as – does your community need the service you are offering?), as starting a nonprofit can be a lengthy and difficult process.

Before you start, you should be able to answer “Yes” to all of these questions:

  • Is your proposed project something a nonprofit organization can legally do?
  • Is there a demonstrated need for your project?
  • Can you clearly state your mission?
  • Have you carefully considered a partnership with an existing organization?
  • Can you describe what success would look like?
  • Can you describe how you will pursue your goal (the steps to success)?
  • Will others (foundation and government grantmakers, individual donors, board members, and volunteers) commit time and resources to your cause?
  • Do you and your supporters have the skills to start the proposed new organization?