No doubt at some point while using Foundation Directory Online you've encountered grantmakers—maybe a frustratingly large number of them—that do not accept applications, or as it states on the FDO profile, "contribute only to pre-selected organizations."
Why are there so many of them? And why are they in the database if they won't take your grant proposal?
There are good answers to both those questions, and plenty of reasons not to be dismayed. I'd strongly encourage all FDO users to read this brief, valuable FAQ from the GrantSpace knowledge base on this very topic.
First off, you can eliminate these grantmakers from your search results in one of two ways: by checking the "Exclude grantmakers not accepting applications" box on the search screen; or by selecting Applications Accepted: Yes in the Narrow Your Results menu on your results list. But you might not want to eliminate those funders from your search; that might be closing a door unnecessarily.
I'd encourage you to take a look at funders that strongly match your search criteria and see which ones, if any, are particularly good matches for your organization and programs. If you find one, take a look at the list of their trustees and officers on their FDO profile and see if there's a connection to be made within your network. You can also consider a letter of introduction (as long as it's not a funding request!) outlining what you do and whom you serve.
With some good research, networking, and the right approach, there's no reason you can't one day be one of these foundations' "pre-selected organizations" too.