Database could help the helpers

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By Cindy Simpson

Nonprofit organizers looking for funding help can now start their search at Harriman city hall.
The city isn’t writing checks, but the building is home to computers where people can, for free, search the Foundation Directory Online, an online funding research tool created by the Foundation Center.
“What is the Foundation Library? That is the big question,” said Sarah McCoin, the community member who encouraged Harriman to invest in it.  “It is a database that the city of Harriman, the City Council, agreed to fund. They paid the money to allow every nonprofit that chooses, or any individual that chooses, whether they be in our district or not, to come in here and use this system for free.”
“There are only 480 (Foundation Libraries) across the whole world, and Harriman is one of those,” McCoin said.
District Attorney General Russell Johnson said the database access could pull area nonprofits together.
Johnson said many people come to the District Attorney’s office for endorsement and often they’ll find their idea is a duplicate of other existing services.
“It is maybe too strong to say we’ve killed a few efforts, but we’ve tried to gently persuade people to say this may not be necessary,” Johnson said.