The myriad businesses at Tysons Corner might easily overlook Alternative House, a two-story brick shelter for troubled adolescents tucked between giant concrete and glass buildings. But thanks to its inclusion in Guide to Giving, a catalogue of local nonprofit organizations, Alternative House is no stranger to some of its corporate neighbors.

Guide to Giving is an annual listing of local nonprofit organizations that need the kinds of services businesses can offer. Compiled by the Corporate Volunteer Council of Northern Virginia, a nonprofit group composed of representatives from 29 companies, the third annual guide is now available to companies that seek channels to contribute money, donate surplus equipment or render their services to community causes.

Like many nonprofit organizations, Alternative House depends on corporate contributions to remain operational.

"We were facing possible closure if the house did not meet inspection by the state," said Mark Hirschfeld, director of Alternative House. "In a very short time, a number of corporations gave us their help. They were able basically to renovate the house."

One of the companies that helped Alternative House pass state inspection, Lincoln Property, first heard about the facility through a representative of the Guide to Giving.

"It was kind of amazing that there was a house for runaway children here within a mile of our office that was in major jeopardy of being shut down," said Bill Franzen, a partner in Lincoln Property. "It just seemed like the perfect opportunity for us. It would require us using a lot of the skills that we have in our company already -- using subcontractors, construction, a lot of that type of activity. So we immediately jumped on the deal.

"It's very important to be part of the community," Franzen added. "I think people get the perspective of corporations as impersonal or not part of the community. We all live here. Our children go to school here. It's very important that we're all a part of the community, and we are."

Another neighbor of Alternative House, Boeing Computer Services, has been a member of the volunteer council since 1985. Since 1980, Boeing has repeatedly responded to needs expressed by Alternative House and other community organizations through suggestions made by its employes.

"The way we've made use of {the guide} was to make it available to the employes and inform them of what it was and how they could use it," said Ed McGinn of Boeing. "We're kind of proud of our record of financial support to a lot of community groups. We try also to help the smaller nonprofit organization that is not in the mainstream or as popular or heard of as some of the major organizations."

According to Sally Mann, treasurer of the volunteer council, the intention of the council and of the guide "is to help corporations build their awareness of nonprofit organizations in the community, share information with each other, and know where the needs are."

For the convenience of corporate users, Guide to Giving lists 265 nonprofit organizations of Northern Virginia in alphabetical order. Under the name of each organization listed, the guide describes the services the group renders, identifies the main user of the group's services, and pegs the specific kinds of funding, items and volunteers that are needed.

Free copies of the Guide to Giving are available through the Voluntary Action Center of Fairfax, 10530 Page Ave., Fairfax. For more information, call 691-3460.