The Library’s Fall 2024 Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library offers free, in-person workshops on a variety of nonprofit management topics including starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, developing a board of directors, strategic planning, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, planning effective programs, and writing successful grant proposals. Workshops are led by local nonprofit experts. We also offer training on using Foundation Directory, a prospecting tool for researching grant funders as well as how to find evidence-based research for grant proposals. These sessions are led by librarians on our Nonprofit Team at Central Library.


Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library Schedule & Registration:

Starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization

This workshop will help you assess whether starting a nonprofit is right for you. Learn what a nonprofit organization is, and the steps required to start one. See our book list: Starting a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization.

Presented by Josh Abel, Legal Counsel at Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.


Developing an Effective Board of Directors

This workshop will help you understand the basic responsibilities of nonprofit boards and identify methods for improving board effectiveness. See our book list: Developing a Nonprofit Board of Directors.

Presented by Falicia Brewer, President of Brewer & Associates.


Planning Effective Programs

In this workshop, you’ll discover the main components of a solid program plan that will allow your organization to provide quality services to your community.

Presented by Gail Thomas Strong, Local Nonprofit Expert.


Successful Grant Proposals

In this workshop, you’ll learn about the grant application process and assess whether your organization is ready to apply for grants. See our book list Resources for Writing Successful Grant Proposals.

Presented by Gail Thomas Strong, Local Nonprofit Expert.


Evidence-based Research for Grant Proposals

This workshop will introduce you to resources for locating data and evidence-based research for your nonprofit organization’s grant proposals and answering critical needs statement questions.

Presented by Jordan Hunt, Public Services Librarian at The Indianapolis Public Library.


Fearless Asking: How to Build an Individual Giving Program

An individual giving program is an important part of any nonprofit’s fundraising strategy. This workshop will help you understand the current fundraising environment and show you how to overcome your fears so you can ask confidently for the support your nonprofit needs. See our book list: Fundraising for Nonprofits.

Presented by Theresa Browning (CFRE)​, Major Gifts Officer at the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and Bethany Warner (CFRE) President of Blue Pen Consulting.

Saturday, September 21 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Register for Fearless Asking: How to Build an Individual Giving Program


Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

A strategic plan enables your nonprofit to look ahead and make plans for the future. Learn when and how to create an effective plan to guide your organization. See our book list: Strategic Planning for Nonprofits.

Presented by Alyson Parham Small, President and Founder of the Partec Consulting Group.


Intro to Foundation Directory Online (FDO): Finding Grant Funders

Learn to use Foundation Directory Online, a research tool that can help 501(c)(3) nonprofits find grant makers most likely to fund their projects.

Presented by Leah Kim and Charlie Cain, Librarians on the Nonprofit Team at The Indianapolis Public Library and Foundation Directory Certified Trainers.


What’s Working? Utilizing Program Evaluation to Improve Service Delivery and Outcomes

This session introduces basic program evaluation strategies and activities to help you understand if your program is meeting goals, operating effectively, and making an impact in your community.

Presented by Roxy Hui, Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at Black Onyx Management


Volunteer Recruitment, Retention, and More

Learn best practices and proven methods to recruit and retain volunteers. Participants will receive tools to help guide the development of a strong and lasting volunteer workforce. See our book list: Volunteer Recruitment and Management Resources for Nonprofit Organizations.

Presented by Wendy Johnson (MPA, CVA), Volunteer Resource Supervisor at The Indianapolis Public Library.


Find Your Stats in a Flash!

This workshop will introduce you to Indiana State Data Center resources and give specific examples for finding data for grant proposals.

Presented by Katie Springer, State Data Center Coordinator at the Indiana State Library


Questions about the Nonprofit Program Series at Central Library? Email or call Central Library and ask to speak with a librarian on our Nonprofit Team.

Not able to attend one of our workshops? Watch one of our recorded sessions from our Spring 2021 workshop series available on The Library’s YouTube channel.

For more information, resources, funding tips, and helpful tools see our blog post Nurturing the Nonprofit Organization.

Made possible by Meridian Foundation through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Central Library hosts a small business series of free, in-person workshops and a legal clinic for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.  This year workshops will cover essential business topics such as financial statements, law, marketing, certifications, and intellectual property.  The Small Business and Intellectual Property Legal Clinic is where you can bring your questions about a legal aspect of starting a business or intellectual property such as trademarks and patents.  Browse our list of business book recommendations that will inform, inspire, and instruct you, no matter how new or established your business may be. The 2024 Small Business Series schedule will be announced in the Fall.

Questions about the Small Business Series at Central Library?  Call Central Library and ask to speak with a Business Librarian. 

Made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

Thank you to our Partners:  Indianapolis Bar Association, Indianapolis Recorder, and the Indy Black Chamber of Commerce.

Thinking of starting a nonprofit organization? First consider that . . .

“Starting a nonprofit may be the most complicated way to act on your passion to serve your community. It requires much planning, time, effort, and money just to start, but the biggest challenge is to develop and maintain reliable income streams. Estimates vary, but most experts agree that less than half of nonprofit startups survive beyond five years. Of those that survive, perhaps one-third are in financial distress.” (From What are alternatives to starting a nonprofit?, an article in Candid’s “learning community for the social sector.”)

Tips for Getting Started

If you decide to explore setting up a nonprofit, have already done so, or work for a nonprofit organization, Candid Learning has much to offer. So check out the TRAINING, TOPICS, RESOURCES, or Ask Us tabs across the top of the page. Ask Us is Candid’s way for you to engage their team of experts. As a result, they can answer questions about foundations, philanthropy, fundraising and nonprofits, and more.

State of Indiana: Resources for Nonprofits and Faith-Based Organizations

Business Plans Handbook Creating a business plan can help a nonprofit organization describe how it intends to implement its mission and achieve its set of goals and objectives. (To access this database outside the library, you will need to log in with your IndyPL library card.)

IndyPL’s 2023 Nonprofit Program Series

IndyPL’s nonprofit program series offers training on a variety of nonprofit management topics. Past workshops have included starting a nonprofit, fundraising, recruiting volunteers, developing a board of directors, and more.

Recommended Program Development Tools

Measuring Program Outcomes: A Practical Approach: by United Way of America’s Task Force on Development.

Funding for Nonprofit Organizations

Before you do, read Is Your Organization Grant Ready? to determine if your nonprofit should invest time and money pursuing such funding at this point.

If you decide the time is right to pursue grants, consider these resources:

The Indianapolis Public Library is a Funding Information Network partner with Candid, headquartered in New York City. As such we provide access to their subscription databases Foundation Directory Online and Foundation Grants to Individuals Online. (Currently at Central Library only)

NOTE: We are currently able to provide you with temporary remote access to Foundation Directory Online Essential from home.

For an introduction to using Foundation Director Online, see this video presentation, How to use the New FDO.

Considering Government Grants? See General Guide to Government Funding produced by Congressman Andre Carson’s office.

Volunteers

The Value of Volunteer Time “helps acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. Charitable organizations can use this estimate to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide.”

Local Nonprofit Resources

Charitable Allies “Charitable Allies is a charity that provides legal, educational, administrative support, training, and consulting services to nonprofits.”

Community Development Legal Project – The Community Development Legal Project (CDLP) was started by Indiana Legal Services (ILS). It offers a variety of legal services to eligible nonprofits, community organizations, and low income individuals free of charge. Legal issues can be complex. Since cost for help navigating legal issues can be prohibitive, the CDLP can help alleviate some of these concerns. It also offers services statewide to existing eligible nonprofit organizations and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a profit or nonprofit business venture. CDLP services can include help with legal issues such as those related to the formation of a new entity. Additionally, CDLP can help with legal concerns related to ongoing business operations, such as governance, contract, real estate, tax, and employment issues.

If your organization is in need of legal assistance, or determining whether an issue your organization is facing may be better addressed with the help of an attorney, your organization should consider contacting the CDLP project attorney to discuss whether assistance is available.

Central Indiana Nonprofit Salary Report “Prior to the 2010 Nonprofit Salary Report, a comprehensive summary of nonprofit 501(C)3 salaries and benefits did not exist, so we were excited to begin a tradition that we feel is very important to the current and future vitality of the
Central Indiana nonprofit sector.”

Indiana State Data Center Grant writers often need demographic data from the Census and other local sources. Contact the Indiana State Data Center, your safety net for stats.

Indiana Nonprofit Database This is a single, comprehensive listing of nonprofit organizations in the state— a joint product of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Indiana Business Research Center as part of the Indiana Nonprofits Project: Scope & Community Dimensions.)

Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators “Whether you’re a grant writer seeking vital funding or an executive director developing a strategic plan, SAVI helps you make informed decisions based on the social, economic and other demographic realities in some 2,000 Central Indiana communities.” Free training on SAVI is available at the Polis Center. The full course options are available here.

IndyVitals measures the long-term impact of the work of Plan 2020 partners at the neighborhood level.

The Human Needs Index (HNI) is believed to be the first multidimensional measure of poverty in the United States from the nonprofit perspective. The high-quality, monthly data from The Salvation Army goes back to 2004 and illuminates trends in poverty and vulnerability.

Association of Fundraising Professionals-Indiana “The Association of Fundraising Professionals-Indiana Chapter fosters the growth of development of philanthropy, the fund-raising profession, the Chapter, and its individual members.”

Indiana Philanthropy Alliance is a nonprofit membership association of and for the state’s philanthropic grantmaking community. Our members include public and private foundations, corporate giving programs, governmental grantmakers, regranting organizations, philanthropic advisors and other qualified individuals. Collectively, our membership holds about $12.5 billion in assets and awards more than $500 million in grants each year. IPA itself does not make grants.

Investigating Tax-Exempt Organizations

Internal Revenue Service Nonprofit Tax Information

Tax Exempt Organization Search (formerly Select Check) Tax Exempt Organization Search helps users find information about a tax-exempt organization’s federal tax status and filings.

National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations A comprehensive guide to the growing nonprofit world designed for marketers, sales staff, and nonprofit professionals. Provides contact and basic factual information on the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States. Go to IndyPL Research. Select Gale Directory Library. Then scroll to find National Directory of Nonprofit Organizations. (In order to access the databases outside the library, you will need to log in with your IndyPL library card.)

ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer “Use this database to view summaries of 3 million tax returns from tax-exempt organizations and see financial details such as their executive compensation and revenue and expenses. You can browse IRS data released since 2013 and access over 9.6 million tax filing documents going back as far as 2001.”

Online Newsletters and Blogs for Nonprofit Organizations

Candid Learning Blog “highlights the knowledge you need to be a better grantseeker. Join the conversation.”

Indianapolis Not-for-profit News “For 15 years, Charitable Advisors has worked to provide relevant information and is designed to be your “one-stop” nonprofit-sector resource. The weekly e-newsletter is sent directly to your email and is now mobile friendly. If you want information that is important to your work and keeps you up to speed on what your peers are doing, Not-for-profit News is the information source for you.”

Periodicals (paper format)

The Chronicle of Philanthropy PERIODICAL

Giving USA 361.7 GIV

Grassroots Fundraising Journal PERIODICAL (Grassroots Fundraising Journal, a beloved publication with a history of over 35 years, has paused publication indefinitely. The last issue was July-August 2018. While there are no current plans to produce new articles, we know that thousands of people continue to find the fundraising information, case studies, and how-to instructions valuable. The full archive of the Journal is now available free to the public. By freeing up access to the archive, we can continue to spread fundraising knowledge and lift up the work of sustaining grassroots organizations.

Library Computer Catalog Searches and E-Books and Audiobooks from Candid

Questions about Indypl’s nonprofit resources? Email our Nonprofit Team,  or call Central Library and ask to speak with someone on the Nonprofit Team.

If you have a business and are looking to improve your bottom line, or have been thinking about getting a business started, now is a great opportunity to sharpen your business skills. There are a wealth of courses, classes, workshops, and webinars online which are absolutely free (or very low cost). Here is a list of some of the largest, most comprehensive collections of learning materials you can access to learn new software, get better at ones you already use, learn the latest marketing techniques, and much more.

LinkedIn Learning
Learn relevant, professional skills on LinkedIn Learning. Your library card gives you free unlimited access to more than 16,000 courses in 7 different languages: English, French, German Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese. Learn how so sharpen your business skills on LinkedIn Learning here.

Class Central
Class Central lists over 40,000 online courses. Selected from many providers, the course listing makes it easy to find the best programs on almost any subject, wherever they exist. The majority of courses are free, or free to audit. Whatever you are interested in learning, it is more than likely that this course catalog includes information that will meet your needs.

Book-A-Librarian

Additional resources can be accessed based on individual need. For more information on the library’s business resources, contact the library at 317-275-4100, text 317-333-6877, or through Ask-a-Librarian.

More Online Classes:

Khan Academy
Created by experts, Khan Academy’s library of trusted, standards-aligned practice and lessons cover math K-12 through early college, grammar, science, history, AP, SAT, and more. It’s all free for both learners and teachers.

Open Culture
Find over 150 courses, many from leading universities that will deepen your professional education. Topics include finance, technology, entrepreneurship and much more.

Alison
Alison offers over 1000 free online courses across nine distinct categories including Certificate Courses, Diploma Courses and Learning Paths.

AcademicEarth.org
Find free online courses, lectures, and videos from the best colleges in the country. Take online classes from schools like Yale, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Purdue.

Digitaldefynd
Another site similar to AcademicEarth, it has access to 45,000 free courses from more than 8,000 universities and there are even 1,200 free certification courses.

Open Yale Courses
Provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.

MIT Open Courseware
A web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. All coursework is free and there is no registration required.

Coursera
Thousands of university classes and courses. Not all, but many are free. The majority of programs are STEM based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

edX
Similar to Coursera, a high level education at little or no cost. The site includes over 3,000 courses from 160 member universities including MIT, Harvard, U of Texas, Boston U., and many others.

Skillshare.com
Skillshare offers hundreds of courses in Animation, Design, Illustration, Photo & Film, Business, and Writing. Get full premium access for two months for free.

Excel-Easy.com
Whether you are looking for an introduction to the program or need to brush up on pivot tables, Excel-Easy is a great website to learn Excel at any level of expertise.

If you are starting a new business the first thing you should do is contact Central Library to learn about Indy’s business organizations. Meet with a librarian one-on-one to learn more about the major factors involved in becoming an entrepreneur. Staff will share business resources including Data Axle Reference SolutionsIndianapolis Business JournalMergent Intellect, and Gale Reference eBooks. Attendees can arrange additional assistance based on individual need. Schedule an appointment by texting 317-333-6877 or register through Ask-a-Librarian.

During your visit, you will participate in a one hour meeting covering the major aspects of developing a new business: business plans, marketing, networking, website development, and introduction to indy’s business organizations, and much more. Receive information and resources specific to your chosen field.

Our library also networks with many of the top business organizations in Indianapolis to offer you the tools needed to turn your plans into reality.

Indy’s Business Organizations

Indianapolis Small Business Administration (SBA)

Since 1953, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided access to a wide variety of resources, funding, and job creation for small businesses. Programs include training, counseling, financial assistance, government contracting and procurement. Here are links to some of the many resources they have available:

Indy SCORE

Indy SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) offers a wealth of information and assistance to small business owners. Their volunteer staff of retired executives share their time, experience, and knowledge. They serve as mentors to entrepreneurs seeking business help. Indy SCORE has approximately 80 volunteers from many business sectors. When a new client signs up for services, they are matched with a SCORE representative familiar with their business model. The representative can offer both information and advice on various aspects of the client’s venture.

Indiana Small Business Development Center

Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) is a great resource for the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses. ISBDC provides entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources. They can help find financing for your business, help with market research, and much more. ISBDC offers numerous seminars and workshops throughout the year which can be accessed through Eventbrite.

ASCENT

Ascent is a recent addition to the services offered by the SBA. It is an online educational resource specifically for women entrepreneurs. It is designed to help them become more knowledgeable and effective in starting and operating their businesses. There are videos, exercises, infographics, discussion guides, and other tools, broken down into five major topics called JOURNEYS. All resources are free and can be worked on at your own pace.

Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce

Of the many business services available through non-profit agencies in Indianapolis, the Chamber of Commerce offers some of the most vital and impactful resources for entrepreneurs. Providing both education and financial services, the Indy Chamber has three separate business teams to help entrepreneurs in a variety of ways. These three teams include the Business Ownership Initiative, the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center, and the Hispanic Business Council. Depending on your specific business needs, the Chamber can supply you with a coach to help strategize the progress and development of your business; there are a number of loan programs and grants available, as well as classes, workshops and seminars on many of the topics you need to understand to get your business growing. Here are just some of the most popular programs:

Business Ownership Initiative (BOI)

Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) is the umbrella organization for the Entrepreneurship Division. BOI aims to help Central Indiana residents start and grow businesses. To do so, BOI offers free one-on-one business coaching, access to financing, business workshops, and online business courses.

BOI Micro-loans Program

BOI Micro-loans Program Hosted by the Indy Chamber, the Business Ownership Initiative allows entrepreneurs to apply for microloans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000. To minimize barriers to successful entrepreneurship, these loans are available for start-ups or existing businesses, with no minimum credit score required and ITIN accepted in place of SSN (making this available to immigrant entrepreneurs as well).

Central Indiana Women’s Business Center

Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC) connects women business owners to resources and each other. As a result, it provides a support process to nurture and advocate for the development of women owned businesses. They sponsor a “Women in Business” event series, held four times per year on a variety of topics led by women professionals both locally and nationally recognized. Attendees learn about contemporary issues while creating valuable networking connections.

(BOI) ED2Go Online Instruction Center

(BOI) ED2Go Online Instruction Center ED2Go is a platform that BOI uses to easily provide access to business education. The site offers a wide range of highly interactive courses that you can take entirely over the Internet. All of the courses are led by expert instructors, many of whom are nationally known authors. The online courses are affordable, convenient, and packed with valuable information.

Hispanic Business Council

Hispanic Business Council (HBC) works to better assist the Hispanic business community. HBC offers networking events, bi-lingual business coaching, and educational programs such as the “Mentor-Protégé Program” and “Accelerate Latinx”. Experienced mentors help guide the novice business owner through the often complex and confusing requirements of developing a business. Numerous local and regional events also give entrepreneurs the opportunity to network, learn from, and support one another’s efforts. To learn more browse their calendar of events.

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce

Indy Black Chamber of Commerce was established in January 2015 with the goal of serving as an information resource for developing black-owned businesses. The Indy Black Chamber of Commerce provides mentoring, seminars, and network functions with opportunities for business development, growth, and success. On the last Friday of each month they also host “The Friday Group.” This gathering includes guest speakers discussing topics such as business startup requirements, branding your business, and how to find government contract opportunities.

More Small Business Organizations

INBIZ (Secretary of State & Dept. of Revenue) is Indiana’s one-stop resource for registering and managing your business and ensuring it complies with state laws and regulations. In partnering with the Secretary of State, Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Revenue, INBiz has created a comprehensive portal that provides a streamlined and expedited process for your business needs. From registering your business’s name to filing the necessary paperwork for incorporation, registering your trademark, or accessing Secretary of State forms, you need go no further than INBiz. The web portal is easy to use. Explore videos, tutorials and even an online “chatbot” who will answer any questions you may not be able to find the answers to on your own.

OpenCounter INDY will help you estimate the fees, permits, and licenses necessary to start or expand your business in Indianapolis. OpenCounter Indy has a simplified process for permits, licensing, and zoning. This easy-to-use website takes the often baffling process of opening a business and makes it much less stressful. Enter your data once. Then OpenCounter Indy tells you exactly what you need to do to open the doors of your business, what forms you need to file, estimates of permitting and licensing costs, and how long the process is going to take.

Organizations for Veterans

Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides procurement technical assistance to help existing small businesses sell products or services to the appropriate government agency. By offering confidential counseling services and workshops at no cost. At the core of the procurement assistance program is counseling and education. Your local PTAC office can provide you with a range of services and resources to successfully compete and receive government contracts. Indiana PTAC can connect you with events and workshops to help your business succeed in the government marketplace.

Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) assists Veterans, Active Duty, Guard and Reserve Members in the formation and expansion of their businesses. VBOC offers a wide variety of services and opportunities including workshops, classes and information on financing your business, writing an effective business plan, marketing, accounting and other related topics. They offer business mentors who can help with securing financing, fixing your credit score, networking with other businesses and agencies. VBOC also provides assistance and training in such areas as international trade, franchising, internet marketing, accounting, and more.

More Business Resources from IndyPL

Have you thought about one day starting your own business? Whether your questions involve marketing, setting up a website, trademarks, or simply where to begin, this set will help you navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship and do so successfully.

Title - Guerrilla MarketingTitle - Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten AliveTitle - The 4-hour WorkweekTitle - The E-myth Revisited

When it comes to researching business topics or events, the Indianapolis Public Library has plenty of resources to help you find the information you need. Whether you are researching industry price fluctuations for an academic paper or learning how to use SWOT analysis for your business plan, you can access thousands of magazines, journals, reports and studies. The Library offers patrons three ways to electronically access business periodicals:

Each option is described below.

Downloadable Business Periodicals:

The Indianapolis Public Library subscribes to many magazines in digital, downloadable e-book format. Borrow and download as many digital issues as you like! Business titles include:

  • Kiplinger’s
  • The Economist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Home Business magazine
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • Money Magazine
  • Inc.
  • Fast Company
  • Adweek

Read business and financial e-magazines on your computer’s desktop, click here. Use the Libby app and read e-magazines on your device(s)download the OverDrive Libby app here.

See the full list of digital magazines available to borrow, click here.

Use an online database provided by the Indianapolis Public Library, go to the Library’s Research page. Scroll down to the section labeled “Filter Resources by Category” and click on either “Business & Nonprofit” or “Magazines & Newspapers” as shown in the screenshot below underlined in red.

Click on the database of your choice. Note you will be prompted to enter your IndyPL library card number to access a database.

Business Journal Databases:

Academic Search Premier
This multidisciplinary database provides academic subject coverage in social sciences, humanities, general science, and education.

Business Source Complete
Scholarly journals and business magazines covering management, finance, economics, accounting, and international business.

Entrepreneurial Studies Source
Business journals, reference books, case studies, and company profiles for researchers in entrepreneurship and small business.

Newspaper Source Plus
Full text selections from over 180 regional U.S. newspapers, international newspapers, newswires, newspaper columns, and other sources. Updated daily.

Regional Business News
Business news stories updated daily from all regions of the world. This database includes the Indianapolis Business Journal. To see the list of all available publications within this database, click on “Publications” in the top left corner of the landing page for “Regional Business News,” as shown in the screenshot below.

Small Business Reference Center
Contains consumer and small business reference books, business videos, and information on how to create business plans.

Print Periodicals:

The Indianapolis Public Library has a great number of business periodicals in multiple formats. Print-based periodicals are available with up to three previous years’ issues available in sturdy magazine file boxes directly behind the display shelves. For the more popular magazines, many years of previous issues are also available as hardbound volumes.

At Central Library, all current print magazines can be found on the 3rd floor in the DVD/CD/Periodicals room. Print magazines must be used on-site and cannot be borrowed from the Library.

Business magazines currently available in print include:

  • Ad Age
  • Barron’s
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  • Entrepreneur
  • The Economist
  • Fast Company
  • Harvard Business Review
  • Inc.
  • Wired

Our business librarians are available to assist with your questions. Please contact us at 317-275-4100.

More Business Resources from IndyPL:

Whether you need data on steel pricing trends, annual revenues for Fortune 1000 companies, or sales data for your competitors within Marion County, you have a wealth of digital resources available for free at the Indianapolis Public Library. We offer our patrons access to business databases that focus on everything from business to genealogy, and languages to science. Most databases can be accessed from outside the Library, if you have a current IndyPL library card.

How to Access Online Business Databases

To use an online database provided by The Indianapolis Public Library, go to the Library’s Research & Learn page. Then scroll down to the section labeled “Filter Resources by Category” and click on either “Business & Nonprofit” or “Magazines & Newspapers” as shown in the screenshot below underlined in red.

Business resources filter example from the database page.

After looking through one of the categories, select the database of your choice. Note you will be prompted to enter your IndyPL library card number to access a database.

For entrepreneurs and business owners, or anyone interested in business topics, here are some of the business databases available. If you would like assistance working with any of the databases, our business librarians are available to help. Please contact us at 317-275-4100.

Featured Business Databases

Small Business Reference Center
This database offers exclusive full-text results for hundreds of business periodicals, full-text reference books, and business videos. This resource also offers access to complete business plans, state-specific resources, and much more.

Morningstar Investment Research Center
Morningstar has been and continues to be one of the premiere names in investment research. More than just a massive financial data set, this resource also offers a wide variety of tools and options to learn more about all aspects of investing. It is appropriate for everyone from novice investors to experienced investors. There are tutorial videos, analyst reports, market outlook reports, and financial data for researching specific companies. Virtual education courses cover topics such as funds, bonds, ETFs, and building a portfolio.

Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly Reference USA)
This is one of the most popular databases used by business patrons. It contains directories of both businesses and adult consumers in the US and Canada. The business database includes extensive information on over 60 million current US businesses and over 300 million historical businesses. Consumer data covers over 300 million US individuals. Data Axle also has sections on new businesses, healthcare providers, and even job postings. Data Axle is highly useful for researching potential business customers and competitors, and creating custom lists of sales prospects.

Plunkett Research Online
If you are researching a specific industry or company, Plunkett provides detailed data including industry analytics and company financials. Plunkett also provides industry-specific glossaries, overview videos for individual industries, video tutorials on how to research using Plunkett, and a tool for generating custom data reports.

Patents & Trademarks

Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) at IndyPL
Is your business really starting to take off and you want to trademark your business name before somebody else takes it? Do you have an idea for a product, but you need to find out if anybody has already come up with that same idea? Then you need to use our patent and trademark resources.We receive materials from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These resources include help guides, videos, search software, and the full text of United States patents. We also have special, dedicated computers available to the public to help you do your patent searches.

e-Books & Newspapers

Gale Reference e-Books
This database offers 30 business-specific, full-text eBooks, including Business Plans Handbook, and Small Business Sourcebook.

Wall Street Journal Online (1889-2004) and (1984-Present)
Access articles from the Wall Street Journal from 1889 through today.

Legal Resources

Legal Forms Database
This database provides an extensive collection of authentic, professional legal documents. The forms are available in multiple formats, such as Word documents and PDFs, and can be downloaded or printed for immediate use. The legal forms can be searched by general terms or specific keywords, and Indiana-specific forms are available. This database also includes templates for many different kinds of business letters and worksheets, including competitor analysis, startup costs, target market analysis, and more.

Legal Information Reference Center
This database offers access to ebooks for small businesses, including Legal Guide for Starting and Running a Small Business, Incorporate Your Business, Profit from Your Idea, and more.

More Business Resources from IndyPL

Our business librarians are available to assist with your questions. Please contact us at 317-275-4100.