October 19, 2016

New Visualization Feature in Select Plans

Now you can quickly identify a prospect list based on common funders with your FDO account through Funding Pathways. Pathways, a new feature added to Preferred and Professional plans, is your direct connection to foundations who have already expressed an interest in funding causes like yours, as well as to potential partners who share funding sources with you.

Simply enter the name of a nonprofit or foundation, and you’ll be able to see their recent funding activity, leading to an automatic prospect list to kick off your grant fundraising! See an example below for the Alcoa Foundation and three of their grantees:

  Pathways sample

Log into your FDO account now, and click the Pathways banner on your account homepage to start identifying collaborations and new sources of funding!

Your first Pathways visualization will prepopulate automatically starting with your organization (if available), or subject area and geographic focus.

Not a Preferred or Professional subscriber? Upgrade today to get access to this new tool by following these steps:

1. Log into your FDO account
2. Select "Account" at the top followed by "Upgrade Your Subscription" on the next page
3. Select Preferred or Professional plan

Happy fundraising!

January 29, 2016

FDO Release Notes - 1-29-2016

New Account Profile Fields

You may notice next time you log into FDO a message prompting you to update your profile information if you haven’t done so recently. We’re asking for two reasons: For one, it’s always a good idea to make sure we have up to date contact information so we can better serve your account for billing and other issues; for another, we recently added a few new fields to signups. These fields, including information on organization type, size, and subject area, help us understand our users better so we can continue to build a service that best meets the needs of its users.

Please take a moment to go into the Account area, click Update my Profile, and make sure your profile is up to date.

Upgrading to Annual Contract Plans Enabled

Last summer we began offering new subscribers the option of subscribing to an annual plan paid in monthly installments, while still maintaining the existing monthly, annual, and biannual plans as well. If you choose this new option, you are agreeing to maintain your subscription for 12 months – just like an annual subscription – making monthly payments at a lower rate than the regular monthly plan. While you are subject to a penalty fee if you cancel early, that fee will never be more than three months’ payments in total.

We have now added that plan as an option available as an upgrade option for existing subscribers. If you are interested in moving your monthly subscription to this new annual contract plan, simply go to your Account area and select Upgrade. You will get information on the contract plan, pricing, and the early-termination penalty. You will have access to all the same features and data in your current plan; only your payment terms will change.

As always, please keep an eye on this blog for information on new FDO releases as well as search techniques and other valuable fundraising tips.

January 13, 2016

Update Central Announcement

Update Central is currently undergoing significant system maintenance and bug fixing. 

Owing to this, Update Central emails and state reports are unavailable and the data in the monthly table is not being updated. Please check back next month (February 2016) when this work should be complete. We apologize for any inconvenience in the meantime.

Update Central is an FDO feature available to Professional subscribers that allows you to see new grantmakers, grantmakers with recent changes to their profiles, and high-growth grantmakers. Users can see monthly totals for those funders, create an alert to receive the monthly totals by email, and run reports to see funders for the above categories by state.

December 09, 2015

FDO Release Notes - 12-9-15

We will post occasional — usually every three weeks — release notes in this space collecting new features, recent fixes, and other changes. 

What's New/Changed

We have added a preview of grantmaker's giving data to all subscription plan levels. Pointing a mouse over a grantmaker's name on the results screen will reveal a window showing total assets and giving, the funder's URL, top three subject areas funding according to available grant data, high and low grant dollar amounts, and links to news items from Philanthropy News Digest. All grant data used is from the last five years of grants authorized. Fields will only appear if data is available, as not all funders will have linked news items or tabulated grant data to pull from.

All search results screens have been slightly redesigned: the Saved Search option now appears with the search criteria; New and Modify Search buttons are more prominently displayed; and the "Search Within" fields has been renamed "Add Keyword" and moved to the Narrow Your Results field along with the other available search refinements.

Fixes

Fixed issues with billing subscription upgrades and with the subscription confirmation screen loading properly.

Notices

Data updates have resumed after eight weeks of being held static for testing and troubleshooting the new Foundation Center database. Updates of grantmaker, company, grant, and 990 will continue weekly.

December 04, 2015

FDO Subscriber Holiday Celebration in Washington DC

Attention Washington, DC-area nonprofit professionals: Foundation Center and Loeb & Loeb would like to invite you to a holiday reception to thank you for being a part of our communities! Please join us on Monday, December 14th to connect with social sector peers and enjoy an evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and giveaways at Acadiana.

Mingle with Foundation Center staff and the attorneys in the Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations Practice at Loeb & Loeb to gain expertise on growing your nonprofit and fostering social innovation within your communities. Ask us about essential fundraising and legal resources for your organization.

Only a few seats left — reserve your spot today! RSVP for you and your guest to ensure admission.

November 12, 2015

Special Event for Bay Area FDO Subscribers

For many organizations, a capital campaign is the largest fundraising endeavor they will ever undertake. 

For Foundation Directory Online subscribers and their guests near our San Francisco office, get the scoop on recent giving trends that affect capital campaigns and learn secrets to running a successful campaign for your organization from expert Marilyn Bancel, Principal of The Oram Group, a consultant to philanthropic organizations.

The evening will begin with a networking happy hour where you can connect with Marilyn, Foundation Center staff, and other social sector peers!

In this session you will learn:

  • What is a capital campaign?
  • What does a capital campaign need to succeed?
  • What are the recent trends in giving that most affect capital campaigns?

Register here!

WHEN
Thursday, December 3, 2015 from 5:30PM to 8:00PM (PST)

WHERE
Foundation Center - 312 Sutter Street. 2nd Floor. San Francisco, CA 94108 -View Map

October 26, 2015

FDO Release Notes - 10-26-15

We will post occasional - usually biweekly - release notes in this space collecting new features, recent fixes, and other changes. 

What's New/Changed

The default sort order for grantmaker searches is now Total Giving, from highest to lowest (was previously alphabetical). Company search (Pro only) remains alphabetical; grant searches are now Year Authorized, most recent first; and 990 searches are year, most recent first.

The site will "remember" any change to the sort options on any search screen, so if you prefer another sort option, simply set it once and the site will use it for future searches. 

Fixes

Fixed an issue where irregular site traffic caused error messages on searches and slow site performance.

Password security improvements.

Notices

Database update transfers remain paused while new databases undergoes testing.

 

October 20, 2015

Special Event for FDO Subscribers: Telling Stories and Engaging Donors

Subscribers near our New York City headquarters are invited to a special event for FDO users, Your Social Media Strategy: Telling Stories and Engaging Donors. Gain wisdom from three social media experts and enjoy an evening of wine, cheese and networking with social sector peers! You and a friend are invited to join us for “Your Social Media Strategy: Telling Stories and Engaging Donors” with special guest speakers Elizabeth Christopherson from the Rita Allen Foundation, Lee-Sean Huang from Foossa and Maryam Mujica from Twitter.

This session will teach you how to:

  • Leverage social media as a tool to capture the attention of donors and supporters of all kind

  • Find and refine your organization's voice and tell it's story on social media through curated and originally created content

  • Stand out from the crowd by being visual, emotionally engaging, and inspiring  

  • Coordinate content among multiple social media platforms

  • and learn best practices from experts in the field!

FDO subscribers have a chance to win an iPad mini. Friends of subscribers will be entered to win a free month-long subscription to FDO Professional as well as four free Foundation Center online courses! 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)

WHERE: Foundation Center - 32 Old Slip. 24th Floor. New York, NY 10005

Visit the event page for details and directions and to RSVP.

October 02, 2015

What About All Those Foundations That Don't Accept Applications?

This is a lightly edited re-post of a post from last year.

The question of how to attract the attention of foundations that give only to preselected organizations (by some estimates, this is as many as 60 percent of all foundations) is a vexing one, and one that we hear frequently from our FDO users, library visitors, and other constituents. Personally, I hear from many FDO users who simply click the "Exclude grantmakers not accepting applications" checkbox on their searches and never see other prospects. It's an understandable choice - why sift through record after record of funders who are indicating that they don't want to hear from you? - but it can limit your possibilities. 

So what do you do? Rick Cohen wrote last year for Nonprofit Quarterly on just this subject in a detailed and advice-filled post, Scaling the Wall: 5 Ways to Get Unsolicited Proposals Heard. Cohen suggests that the practice is not just widespread, but growing:

Plenty of respected foundations with solid track records of excellent grantmaking have decided to close the door on unsolicited proposals, too. [...] These are respected, admired foundations, all making it clear that without an invitation, you shouldn’t come knocking. It’s as if being able to submit unsolicited proposals or LOIs has become a quaint, nostalgic practice of a bygone era.

His suggestions on increasing visibility, building relationships, researching board and staff names, sending other information besides proposals, and working for change in philanthropy can be read in more detail in the full post.

For my part, when it comes to searching FDO I'd say by all means, click that checkbox to save yourself time and effort, but when you can, try your search without it and see what other potential prospects might make your "parking lot" list - the ones you can devote some time (I know, I know: what time?) to researching further to find professional connections or other ways of getting noticed. And for more tips, please visit our Grantspace Knowledge Base article on approaching these funders. 

September 23, 2015

Upcoming Database Maintenance

This week our data team is moving all of our grantmaker and grant data from one database to a new one. This change will help our editorial and other back-end processes work more smoothly and efficiently and will have no direct effect on your use of Foundation Directory Online or our other data products. 

To give the team time to do all the necessary work and to fix any behind-the-scenes bugs, we will delay the next data transfer to FDO. Typically, we push an update to FDO once a week. To accommodate this change, we will delay our next transfer for two to four weeks, depending on how quickly the system is ready to go.

What does this mean for you?

It means the content and functionality will not change at all during that period. It also means that any newly added grants, 990s, or funders will not appear in FDO until after the next transfer, so if you are subscribed to any FDO email alerts, you will not receive them in the meantime. I will update this message once the transfer occurs, after which regular weekly transfers will resume.