Back to Eye on FDO

Category: "Training" (20 posts)

October 01, 2009

Funding for Arts Month

Funding for Arts Month

October is Funding for Arts Month at the Foundation Center!

As always during our special focus months, there's plenty happening that's sure to be of interest to FDO subscribers, including special events and free training for artists and arts organizations. Be sure to check the events schedule for the location nearest you at our Focus on Funding for the Arts page. Then, explore some of the other arts-related goodies we're making available, including interactive maps and charts, news, RFPs, foundation-sponsored publications, and commentary.

We're also conducting a free online webinar on funding trends in arts and culture on October 30. A panel of experts in the field will present the latest data on both foundation and public support and explore the arts and culture funding outlook. For more information, or to register, please visit our web site.

June 25, 2009

Search Broadly, Refine Gradually

Occasionally, I'm asked to teach the Foundation Center's Introduction to Foundation Directory Online class here at our New York library. There's a major point I always try to emphasize during this class, and I thought I'd share that with you today

In FDO, the Boolean operator and is automatically inserted "behind the scenes" between each search field. Why is this important? When you conduct a search in FDO, your results will only include records that contain criteria you've entered in all of the search fields you've used. So, entering criteria in too many search fields all at once will generally work against you because you'll narrow your search too much to be useful.

Here's an example:

Imagine that a nonprofit organization located in New York is looking for support for a new health program. Let's search FDO Professional for grantmakers with a known giving interest in health with a giving focus either in New York or on a national basis [Search Grantmakers Screen: Fields of Interest = Health care; Geographic Focus = National or New York]. Imagine, also, that this organization is looking for a program development grant [Types of Support = Program development]. Finally, imagine that this new health program is specifically focused on the eradication of measles and the nonprofit wants to target foundations with at least $10 million in total giving that accept unsolicited requests [Keyword Search = Measles; Total Giving = From: 10000000; Grantmakers not accepting applications = excluded].

That's a nicely developed search strategy! However, when we click the Search button, zero records are retrieved. We've simply narrowed our search too much.

Let's try this again, using what I like to call a "search broadly, refine gradually" approach:

Since subject and geographic criteria are usually the core of any search for funders, we'll once again start off by searching FDO Professional for grantmakers with a known giving interest in health with a giving focus either in New York or on a national basis [Search Grantmakers Screen: Fields of Interest = Health care; Geographic Focus = National or New York]. This time, when we click the Search button before going any further, we find 1,636 funders. Big difference.

Now, let's go back to the search screen by clicking the Modify Search link and begin to refine our search gradually, one step at a time:

With our current criteria pre-filled, let's search for grantmakers that accept unsolicited requests [Grantmakers not accepting applications = excluded]. Now, when we click the Search button, we find 750 funders. This is still a pretty broad search and such a long list of prospects might be a little unmanageable. Plus, we can probably target our search even better. Back to the search screen again...

With our current criteria pre-filled, let's search for grantmakers with at least $10,000,000 in total giving [Total Giving = From: 10000000]. When we click the Search button one last time, we find 63 funders. A nice, targeted, manageable list of prospects. Not too many, not too few.

Granted, we didn't narrow our search by type of support or keyword, but no worries. First, there's no reason to believe that a grantmaker with a known giving interest in health wouldn't fund a measles eradication program. Many grantmakers describe their giving in broad terms, indicating only the major program areas within which they fund. Second, the absence of type of support criteria in a grantmaker record doesn't necessarily mean that a grantmaker doesn't provide that type of support. FDO's grantmaker profiles don't always include information about type of support when the data is not available.

June 01, 2009

Funding for Education Month

Funding for Education Month June is Funding for Education Month at the Foundation Center!

As I search FDO Professional today for grantmakers with a known giving interest in education [Search Grantmakers Screen: Fields of Interest = Education], I find 46,161 funders. A search for grants awarded in support of education [Search Grants Screen: Subjects = Education] retrieves 430,615 individual awards. Of course, you can easily narrow these searches down to target particular areas of education-related funding; just select a more specific search term from the applicable FDO index.

Interested in learning more about using FDO to find funding for education-related programs? We're offering a special Researching Education Funders with Foundation Directory Online webinar on June 12. Please visit the Webinars section of our web site for full details and registration information.

March 26, 2009

Come See Us

Want to learn more about fundraising, proposal writing, and everything else you need to know about to get a grant? The Foundation Center offers a wide range of training courses for grantseekers at each of our five library/learning centers in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Cleveland, and San Francisco as well as selected other locations across the country. All courses are led by expert instructors who will teach your nonprofit to survive—and even thrive—in tough economic times.

Of special interest to Foundation Directory Online subscribers is our day-and-a-half Foundation Funding Research course. First, we'll teach you to chart your organization's funding needs. Next, you'll enjoy hands-on, interactive training in our computer lab to develop a targeted list of prospects using top-tier FDO Professional. And if you're a current annual or bi-annual FDO Platinum or Professional subscriber, we'll slash the course fee by $100!

Want more? We also offer ten other essential grantseeker training courses:

  • Foundation Fundraising
  • Proposal Budgeting Workshop
  • Proposal Writing Seminar
  • Developing a Fundraising Plan
  • Cultivating Grantmaker Relationships
  • Building a Fundraising Board
  • Earned Income
  • Securing Corporate Partnerships
  • Outcome Thinking and Management
  • Grantseeker Training Institute

All of our courses are approved for CFRE International continuing education points. Please visit the Classroom Training Courses section of our web site for full details and registration information.

March 18, 2009

Archived Webinars

Windows Media Player We've posted a recording of a new version of our "Unique Benefits of FDO Professional" webinar to the Archived Webinars section of the FDO Home Screen. This update includes a section on our recently introduced FDO Alerts feature. Be sure to set aside some time (60 minutes, to be exact) to find out how Professional can help you get more of the grants you need now!

October 10, 2008

Archived Webinars

Windows Media Player We've posted a recording of a new FDO subscriber webinar to the Archived Webinars section of the FDO Home Screen. This 60-minute webinar was designed to introduce subscribers to the unique benefits of our top-tier subscription plan, FDO Professional, and covers interactive mapping and charting tools; fact-filled funder portfolios; our Search Companies database; our Search 990s database; and Update Central. An alternate version for lower-level subscribers also includes a section on expanded access to grantmaker data. View this webinar today and learn about the added value of FDO Professional!

October 01, 2008

Funding for Arts Month

Funding for Arts MonthOctober is Funding for Arts Month at the Foundation Center!

As I search FDO Professional today for grantmakers with a known giving interest in arts [Search Grantmakers Screen: Fields of Interest = Arts], I find 15,665 funders. A search for grants awarded in support of arts [Search Grants Screen: Subjects = Arts] retrieves 131,474 individual awards. Obviously, you'd want to narrow these extremely broad searches down by adding additional criteria to find support that meets your particular needs.

Interested in learning more about using FDO to find funding for arts-related programs? We're offering a special arts-focused Introduction to Finding Funders webinar on October 21. Please visit the Webinars section of our web site for full details and registration information.

June 02, 2008

Funding for the Environment Month

Funding for the Environment June is Funding for the Environment Month at the Foundation Center!

As I search FDO Professional today for grantmakers with a known giving interest in the environment [Search Grantmakers Screen: Fields of Interest = Environment], I find 4,807 funders. A search for grants awarded in support of the environment [Search Grants Screen: Subjects = Environment] retrieves 63,487 individual awards. Of course, you can easily narrow these searches down to target particular areas of environment-related funding; just select a more specific search term from the applicable FDO index.

Interested in learning more about using FDO to find funding for environment-related programs? We're offering a special environment-focused Introduction to Foundation Directory Online course this month at our New York and San Francisco library/learning centers.

May 28, 2008

FDO Training

Did you know that the Foundation Center offers special classroom training throughout the year in the use of Foundation Directory Online? Start with our free, 60-minute Introduction to Foundation Directory Online course for hands-on instruction on the basics of the nation's premier grantseeking resource. For more intensive training, our Foundation Funding Research course is a day-and-a-half program concentrating on strategies for finding and evaluating funder prospects with top-tier FDO Professional.

Courses are held at our five library/learning centers in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Cleveland, and San Francisco as well as selected other locations across the country and are conducted by the Foundation Center's team of expert instructors. 

Please visit the Classroom Training Courses section of our web site for full details and registration information for all of our courses. You'll also find a list of upcoming training dates for Foundation Funding Research on the FDO Home Screen.

May 08, 2008

Archived Webinars

Windows Media PlayerYou'll notice that we've added a new Archived Webinars section to the FDO Home Screen down near the bottom of the page. This is where we'll post the recordings of FDO subscriber webinars.

The first posting is of a so-called "New FDO Features" webinar. This 60-minute webinar, hosted by yours truly, covers new geographic and other search options; e-mailing, printing, saving, and exporting; and saving searches and tagging records. If you weren't able to attend the live presentation and you'd like to learn more about our most recent enhancements (or you're just dying to hear the sound of my voice), head on over to the FDO Home Screen to view this webinar at your convenience.

Webinars are a fantastic way to increase your proficiency in the use of FDO and learn about new enhancements. Going forward, we plan on conducting more webinars on new features and others on special topics. If you'd like to be notified when future webinars have been scheduled, please drop me a line at dlc@foundationcenter.org with your name, your organization's name, and your e-mail address.