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January 2009 (4 posts)

FDO News
January 30, 2009

If you haven't already done so, don't forget to catch up on the latest major developments and more with FDO News. In the January edition, read all about our new funder-specific e-mail alert service; learn about our exporting tool enhancement; hear about our invitation to submit stories about grants that make a difference; and reminisce with us about all of the great new enhancements we added to FDO in 2008. The January edition also includes a special message from me to the FDO subscriber community. I hope you'll check it out.

FDO News is always available from the FDO Home Screen and is delivered to subscribers via e-mail. If you didn't receive the latest edition, drop me a line at dlc@foundationcenter.org with your e-mail address to ensure future delivery.

FDO Indexes
January 23, 2009

Among the many key features that distinguish FDO from other funding research tools on the market are its indexes. When data is carefully indexed, it's immeasurably easier to find exactly what you're looking for. So, today, a few important words about FDO's indexes and how they make targeted searching possible.

The Foundation Center's editorial staff analyzes and indexes a great deal of data. For example, grantmakers are assigned any of almost 1,100 terms identifying their giving interests; grants are assigned any of almost 1,100 terms identifying their purpose. When this standardized terminology is employed in a field-specific search, you can retrieve an extremely targeted list of results.

Here's an example: a grantseeker searching for support for a welfare-to-work program might enter "jobs" in the Keyword Search field on the Search Grantmakers Screen. The results list will include grantmaker records containing the word "jobs" anywhere in the text of their profiles, including those with profiles that might state that support isn't provided for "jobs." See where I'm going here? 

On the other hand, a grantseeker selecting "employment" from the Fields of Interest Index will retrieve a list of all grantmakers identified by our editorial staff as supporters of employment-related programs, regardless of whether the word "jobs" is used to describe this giving interest or not. That's the power of FDO's indexes!

Accessing FDO's indexes is easy. Open an index by clicking on a View Index link located beneath a search field title. Clicking on an index entry automatically inserts it into the corresponding search field.

FDO Turns Ten
January 12, 2009

FDO 10th Anniversary Can you believe it? 2009 marks the ten-year anniversary of Foundation Directory Online! We launched FDO in 1999, transforming the way the nonprofit sector conducts research on grantmakers and their grants. The Foundation Center has come a long way from a single library in 1956 to a 21st century information services provider. And FDO has come a long way in the last ten years, too.

Throughout the year, I'll keep you in the loop about special events and promotions to commemorate this important milestone. In the meantime, feel free to share your ideas about other ways we can all celebrate together. We'd like to know. Send me an e-mail at dlc@foundationcenter.org or click the Comments link below.

The Year in Review
January 08, 2009

The start of a new year is a great time to look back. So, for my first post of 2009, I thought I'd provide a brief recap of all the great improvements we made to FDO in 2008. Truly, it was a year to remember! Here's what happened:

  • We redesigned FDO's grantmaker and company profiles to make them easier on your eyes and to help you find the data you're looking for more quickly
  • The ability to search by county, metropolitan area, and ZIP code was extended to our Search Companies and Search Grants databases (joining Search Grantmakers)
  • The ability to tag records was extended to grants (joining grantmakers and companies)
  • We launched this blog, Eye on FDO, to keep you current on everything subscribers need to know
  • We added a "Compact View" format option for grantmaker profiles to minimize on-screen scrolling and reduce paper when printing 
  • For Professional subscribers, interactive funder-specific mapping and charting tools were added to help you focus your fundraising strategy 
  • Our mapping tool was enhanced with the ability to map grants by U.S. congressional district
  • For Professional subscribers, we debuted a funder-specific e-mail alert service to keep you up to date on the grantmakers that matter to you most
  • We added a new "Economic crisis" index term to our grants database to help you identify support specifically related to the current economic downturn
  • Our exporting tool was enhanced with the ability to extract complete contact and address information from grantmaker search results lists
  • And more...

We're already working on numerous new enhancements for 2009. Our resolution is to add a wide range of new and exciting features that will top last year's accomplishments and help you take your funding research to the next level. 2009 will be memorable for another important reason, too. Read my next post for more details...