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September 2008 (5 posts)

New! Congressional District Mapping
September 30, 2008

FDO's interactive mapping tool just got even better. Today, we added a new geographic display option for state maps that enables FDO Professional subscribers to map a funder's grants by U.S. congressional district! As with our three other state-level geographic display options—county, city, and ZIP code—you can continue drilling down to view a list of recipients specific to a particular congressional district, a list of grants specific to a particular recipient, and finally an individual grant record.

The ability to map grants by congressional district provides yet another way for you to clarify your understanding of a funder's giving and is sure to be especially useful if you're a grantmaker, policymaker, or philanthropic researcher. I hope you like it! To share your thoughts, click the Comments link below.

Annual Online User Survey
September 25, 2008

In the interest of serving you better, each year we invite you to take our annual online user survey. This is our primary tool to gauge your satisfaction with Foundation Directory Online and solicit your ideas for new enhancements. Many suggestions made by users in prior years have led to new features, such as our recently introduced interactive mapping and charting tools. I highly encourage you to take a few minutes of your time to complete and submit this year’s survey. Your opinion matters. After all, one of our major goals is to enhance FDO based on your feedback. You have a stake in FDO and we want to hear from you!

As a special gift for helping us help you, you'll receive a complimentary copy of the Foundation Center's Philanthropy Annual. This printed volume is a one-of-a-kind desk reference on organized philanthropy, providing a full overview of the field in all its forms. Just provide your contact information at the end of the survey and indicate that you’d like to receive a copy.

I’m looking forward to receiving all of your comments and suggestions. Thanks in advance for helping us make Foundation Directory Online the best possible funding resource on the web!

Search Companies Database
September 17, 2008

In my last post, I explained the difference between Foundation Directory Online and one of our other online subscription services, Corporate Giving Online. One of the features shared by CGO and top-tier FDO Professional is our Search Companies database and I promised in last week's post to explain the unique benefits of this database and outline a couple of searches that are popular with users. So, here goes...

Our Search Companies database enables you to search across the corporate information of over 3,500 sponsoring companies. This is a database of corporate information, not corporate grantmaker information; corporate grantmaker profiles can be found in FDO's Search Grantmakers database. So, what's the point of searching across corporate information? It enables you to identify corporate grantmakers based on the nature of the companies that sponsor them.

Let's imagine that we're looking for support for a nonprofit organization located in the state of New York. As I search FDO today for companies with business operations (i.e., subsidiaries, divisions, plants, offices, and joint ventures) located in New York [Search Companies Screen: Subsidiary State/Country = New York], I find 267 of them. The Grantmaker(s) tab at the top of each company record provides access to the profile(s) of the corporate grantmaker(s) through which each company gives. Since many companies give in areas of company operations, some of these grantmakers could be prospects for an organization located in New York. I could also search for companies with headquarters in New York, or in a particular city, or with business operations in a particular city or country.   

Next, let's imagine that we're looking for support for a nonprofit women's organization. As I search FDO today for companies that manufacture cosmetics [Search Companies Screen: Business Type (SIC) = Soaps, cleaners, and toiletries], I find 37 of them. Again, I can access the profiles(s) of the corporate grantmaker(s) through which each company gives by clicking the Grantmaker(s) tab at the top of each company record. The logic here is simple: the nature of a company's business might suggest an area of support. This approach works equally well when seeking non-monetary product donations. For instance, a nonprofit health organization looking for donations of pharmaceuticals might want to identify companies that manufacture them and then determine whether their respective grantmaking programs do in fact provide in-kind support.

FDO vs. CGO
September 12, 2008

I'm occasionally asked to explain the difference between Foundation Directory Online and one of our other online subscription services, Corporate Giving Online.

Corporate Giving Online provides access to the profiles of company-sponsored foundations, corporate giving programs, and company-sponsored grantmaking public charities. It also includes the profiles of the companies that sponsor these grantmaking programs.

CGO doesn't contain any data that isn't also included in FDO's two top-tier plans, Platinum and Professional. Likewise, CGO's Search Companies database, enabling users to search across the corporate information of sponsoring companies, is also included in FDO Professional.

So, if you're already an FDO Professional subscriber, no worries. You already have the best of the best. Corporate Giving Online was designed for grantseekers and others interested exclusively in corporate giving but desiring a lower-priced alternative to all-inclusive Professional.

If you're an FDO Platinum subscriber, again, you're not lacking any data. You have access to all of the corporate grantmaker profiles included in CGO. And you'll notice a Company tab at the top of corporate grantmaker records providing access to the corporate information of sponsoring companies. If you'd like the ability to search across the corporate information of sponsoring companies, you can upgrade to Professional at any time and take advantage of that and everything else a subscription to Professional includes.

In my next post, I'll explain the unique benefits of the Search Companies database that CGO and FDO Professional subscribers can access and outline a couple of searches that are popular with users. Stay tuned.

Discount Book Mall
September 04, 2008

A few posts ago, I blogged about the availability of The Grantseeker's Guide to Winning Proposals and how annual and bi-annual Foundation Directory Online subscribers could visit FDO's Discount Book Mall to purchase it at substantial savings. Our Discount Book Mall currently contains 18 other Foundation Center print publications—up to 56% off regular price! Here's what's available:

  • Foundation Fundamentals
  • The Foundation Directory
  • The Foundation Directory Part 2
  • The Foundation Directory Part 3
  • The Foundation Directory Supplement
  • National Directory of Corporate Giving
  • Guide to Funding for International and Foreign Programs
  • The Foundation Center's Guide to Proposal Writing
  • Guia para Escribir Propuestas
  • The Grantseeker’s Guide to Winning Proposals
  • Wise Decision-Making in Uncertain Times
  • Effective Economic Decision-Making by Nonprofit Organizations
  • Investing in Capacity Building
  • The Board Member's Book
  • Philanthropy's Challenge
  • Securing Your Organization's Future
  • The 21st Century Nonprofit
  • A Nonprofit Organization Operating Manual
  • Social Justice Grantmaking

Speaking of annual and bi-annual subscriptions, why not consider upgrading to one of these plans if you haven't done so already? Depending on your subscription level, subscribing on an annual or bi-annual basis can save you as much as $929 per year for a single-user account. Plus, you gain exclusive access to the Discount Book Mall. Any way you look at it, our annual and bi-annual subscription options are a great deal!