8 Essential Websites for College Access Leaders

NCAN staff recommend the following websites and resources for leaders of college access and success organizations. They are sorted by category: Nonprofit Management, College Access & Success-Specific, and Communications & Technology.


Nonprofit Management

BoardSource: The leading provider of training and resource materials about effective nonprofit board practices. Topics include board responsibilities, succession planning, model bylaws, board assessment, CEO evaluation, strategic planning, diversity and inclusion, and many more. Fees apply.

Blue Avocado: The bimonthly e-newsletter (circulation: 64,000) of American Nonprofits created by and for community-based nonprofits featuring articles about board relations, HR challenges, volunteer management, finance, and organizational strategy. Free but donation requested.


College Access & Success-Specific

Lumina Foundation Daily Higher Education News: Free daily newsletter (circulation: 5,000) with headlines from around the country about how to help more Americans obtain a postsecondary education. If you need to stay informed about the latest news and trends in college access and success, this is the first email you should read each morning.

National Student Clearinghouse StudentTracker: Data source for tracking postsecondary student enrollment, persistence, transfer, and completion across the United States. More than 3,600 public and private colleges and universities report data to the Clearinghouse, representing 98 percent of postsecondary students. Any organization —nonprofit, school district, or university outreach program — interested in the postsecondary outcomes of its students should consider subscribing to StudentTracker. Fees apply.


Communications & Technology

Smart Chart: Free interactive online tool from Spitfire Strategies for nonprofits to plan strategic communications goals, audiences, and messages. Plan first to ensure your message has the best possible chance to be heard.

Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN): Membership organization of nonprofit technology professionals. NTEN provides webinars, online learning, and in-person events on topics including technology project planning, digital strategy, social media, and data management. Member/nonmember fees apply; free monthly newsletter.

Idealware: Provides impartial, thoroughly researched, and easy-to-understand publications, assessments, and training to help nonprofits use technology to create greater social impact. Topics include donor management, HR technology, online conferencing, CMS databases, text messaging, website development, and many more. Free online resources; fee for some online training; free monthly newsletter.

TechSoup: Product donation program provides eligible nonprofit organizations with discounted software, hardware, services, and training. TechSoup's catalog includes more than 375 products from over 100 companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec. Additional resources include free newsletter and forums.