Philanthropy Front and Center posted a very thorough and useful overview of some search techniques and strategies that even seasoned users maybe not have tried recently — or at all. I've reposted a long excerpt below; be sure to click through to read the rest.
FDO posts affiliation information for the trustees, officers, and donors of foundations, so, in addition to searching for board and staff working within a foundation by name (which you can do as a Keyword search), you can also:
Use the Trustees, Officers, and Donors search field to enter the name of a company ("Time Warner"); college or university ("Smith College"); nonprofit or association ("Harlem Children's Zone"); or institution ("New York Public Library") to find foundations whose board members, officers, or donors are associated with a company or institution with which your organization is also connected.
Find All the Angles
Power Search, the search engine within FDO that allows simultaneous searches of Foundation Center content, connects you to news and research that can make you a savvier grantseeker. For example:
Enter a phrase like "Venture philanthropy" in Power Search.
- Your results will list the grantmakers that the Foundation Center classifies under this descriptor and the grants awarded in this subject.
- The same search results will also point to news that keeps you current on the topic (since your funders may know a lot about it); to books and articles to broaden your perspective; a current grant opportunity that a funder has announced; and maybe even a job or two.
This is crucial in the data-rich and competitive environment in which nonprofits vie for support.
Online and Common Grant Applications
You can search Foundation Directory Online using the keywords "online application" (in quotes) to find foundations that are working with this type of format. You can also search for foundations in your area that accept the "common grant application" (in quotes, as well), and if these are available online, FDO will provide the link.