February 24, 2020

NEW FEATURE: Search for Organization's Directly in FDO's Global Search Bar

Want to quickly access a prospective funder’s profile? Now you can search for an organization directly from the search bar on your FDO homepage!

 

Org Name Search Global Search Bar

 

Here's how it works:

  1. Begin typing in the name of a Funder you wish to view in FDO's global search bar
  2. FDO will auto suggest a list of grantmakers that match your text
  3. Click on the name of the Funder whose profile you wish to visit
  4. Doing a text search instead? Simply click SEARCH to continue

 

That's it!

 

This new enhancement is just one of many updates we’ve recently made to FDO. In addition to constantly building on our data, we are committed to adding new features to strengthen FDO based on subscriber feedback!

January 23, 2020

FDO’s Year of Grantseeking Growth!

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In 2019, FDO grew exponentially as a premier prospecting tool for grantseekers. More than 270k contact information updates and 116k recipient profiles were added to FDO, in addition to 50+ product enhancements. The work doesn’t stop here, our mission continues to remain focused on ensuring fundraisers have the best prospect research tools available.

P.S. Did you know that our subscribers use FDO to conduct nearly 2,400 searches each day? Professional fundraisers know that consistent prospect research is the key to help secure grant funding.

We can’t wait to help boost your grantseeking even more in 2020!

To learn more about the power of FDO, check out our handy guide or our YouTube channel!

December 02, 2019

Your EIN is the Key to Quicker Funding

Update your FDO profile today, identify and tap Past Funders for new grants.

 

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As professional fundraisers, you know just how important it is to stay connected to current and previous funders. FDO makes it easier to see who has supported your organization over the years by simply entering your EIN into your Account profile.

 

Entering your EIN enables FDO to display a green Past Funders icon in your search results and at the top of Grantmaker profiles.

 

Past funders icon
Past Funders icon

 

 

Prioritize your prospects! Past funders are familiar with your work and more likely to fund your cause again. Reignite the relationship to secure funding for the future!

 

Follow these simple steps to start discovering and reconnecting with past funders today!

  1. Hover over the “HI” greeting drop down on your homepage and click Edit Profile
  2. Scroll down to the EIN field in the About Your Organization section
  3. Enter your organization’s EIN and click Save at the bottom of the page

 

Edit profile link highlight

 

EIN field highlight

September 18, 2019

NEW FEATURE: View Open RFPs Directly in FDO

FDO now makes it easier to keep up to date with open RFPs. You can customize what RFPs you see on your FDO homepage based on your Field of Interest.

New RFPs Feature
To change your field of interest, click on “Change Field of Interest” on your homepage or under the “Update Profile” section of your Account area.

 

You can also subscribe for weekly RFP update notifications. Simply check the box in the Current RFPs header to begin receiving these updates.

💡 Expert Tip: Open RFPs only make up a small portion of funding opportunities. Get access to all of the funding available to you by clicking on funders in the view Similar Funders section or conducting a full search using the main search bar in FDO. Unlock all the grantmakers who want to support your cause!

August 26, 2019

Tap into Donor-advised Funds with FDO

Expert fundraisers recognize that Donor-advised Funds are a growing source of funding for nonprofits. Between 2007 and 2016, assets in donor-advised funds nationwide skyrocketed from $32 billion to $85 billion[1].

You can now prospect research for DAFs easier in FDO. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Organizational Type filter
  2. Expand Charitable gift funds (grantmaker)
  3. Select Donor-advised funds
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Open Additional Filter, go to Organization Type, select DAFs

 

💡Expert Tip: To ensure your organization is applicable for DAF funding, make sure to update your Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar and share basic financial information to earn a Silver Seal of Transparency. To get started, visit guidestar.org/update

 

 

[1] https://eyeonfdo.foundationcenter.org/2018/10/partners-in-philanthropy-how-to-work-with-donor-advised-funds.html

 

August 15, 2019

NEW FEATURE: Search for Grantmakers in a Specific Location

Good news! Searching for Grantmakers or Recipients in a specific location just got easier. Simply use the Organization Name filter AND Location filter together.

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This new upgrade will help streamline your prospect research.

💡Expert Tip: To ensure you don’t miss out on a potential funder, begin your prospect research by searching for all grantmakers supporting your mission. Simply use the global search bar.

May 21, 2019

A Foundation Insider’s 8 Tips to Help You Win Your Next Grant

GettyImages-171335460One of my favorite sections in the revised edition of my book the Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants is called “The Grant Seeker’s Reality Check.” In 10 brief chapters I examine, from the vantage point of one who served for 40 years as a foundation CEO, a host of dos and don’ts when preparing and submitting proposals. 

You’ll discover, for instance, the four things you should never do when approaching foundations, the five mistakes many if not most applicants make, and seven ways to increase the chance of your proposal receiving full attention. In this space, I’ll share a handful of suggestions to increase the likelihood of your next proposal getting funded. 

1. BE INFORMED

To insure you’re targeting the correct funder, obtain and study their grants list for the past three years. Pay attention to more than the organizations that received support. It will also be helpful to know the lowest, highest, and typical amounts granted, the grant type (for example, general support versus project support), and the duration of the award—single versus multi-year. 

💡Fundraising tip: FDO Professional will give you access to a funder’s complete grant history to help you prioritize your prospecting efforts. 

2. BE CONCRETE

Funders want to know what they’re getting for their money. That’s why so many of the items we buy come in transparent packaging. Your proposal should be a clear container showing exactly what will result from the funder’s investment. Concrete, measurable results will provide core reasons for funders to support you. 

3. BE JUDICIOUS

So often, in the rush and stress of completing a funding request, the proposal writer is faced with decisions about what to include. There’s a natural but counterproductive tendency to pile on information, perhaps with the thought that bulk is impressive. The end result can be a mammoth and dense proposal that works against the goal of creating enthusiasm for your work. When in doubt of including a piece of correspondence or documentation, don’t. 

4. BE REALISTIC

When it comes to presenting your budget, you’re indicating that you know what resources are needed to achieve the results you want, and that you can access and deploy these resources efficiently. Are you absolutely sure the amounts you list are prudent? Not only should your budget add up—and avoid simple math errors—but it also has to support the logic of the proposal’s narrative. For example, a $100,000 budget to reconstruct 16 flooded houses won’t make sense, nor will $700,000 to hire two new staff. Be certain that everything in your proposal is accounted for in your budget. Conversely, omit budget details that aren’t fully explained in the proposal narrative. 

5. BE READY

Foundations are wary of all-or-nothing funding strategies, especially when pressed by more requests than they can fund. If you’re asked the question, “What will you do if we only support part of your request?” be ready with a credible fallback position that shows how your work will go forward with partial funding. 

6. BE GRATEFUL

There’s no need to gush or order flowers, but send a thank-you note to the program officer, whether you receive funding or not. Since he or she worked on your behalf, letting them know you recognize and appreciate their advocacy solidifies the feeling of relationship, which is central to good fundraising now or in the future. 

7. BE PUNCTUAL

Get your reports in on time, as this clearly demonstrates competence, respect, good planning, and success. When you force the funder to chase you to comply with the contract you signed, you’re establishing a counter-productive dynamic. Most funders have long memories. 

8. BE FORTHCOMING

We live in an imperfect world, and sometimes you’ll fail to do what you said you would. Don’t duck talking about the unforeseen or unexpected. Point out what happened differently from what you had planned or hoped for, and give specific reasons why this was the case. Don’t make excuses; just be matter-of-fact about the various outcomes, both planned for and not. 

CLOSING THOUGHTS 

In closing, I’ll add Don’t Beat Yourself Up. Keep in your mind, no matter what others may say, that you’re employed to do the best you can making funding requests. But it is your organization, with its board, staff, and program, that is the applicant. If successful, you did your component of the group’s work well. If funding didn’t come through, that doesn’t mean you did poor work. It means the foundation said no. Ultimately, getting funded is a result of the entire organization’s efforts. You’re but one element. 

 

By Martin Teitel, former CEO of the Cedar Tree Foundation in Boston, is author of the newly updated edition of The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Winning Foundation Grants, from which this article is adapted.

Source: GuideStar Blog

February 15, 2019

High-Impact Volunteer Engagement: Six Factors for Success

2.21.19 High-Impact Volunteer Engagement Raw

If you are like most nonprofits, your organization is often strapped for capacity. In fact, on average, most nonprofits spend a mere 2% of their budget to support key operations like marketing, technology, or human resources, while peers in the corporate sector typically invest upwards of 35% of their budget on these functions.

Engaging skilled volunteers (also known as pro bono service) can be an effective way to bridge the capacity gap. It's important to recognize volunteers aren’t “free” and in order for skilled volunteerism to be effective, your organization must be ready to make the most of this valuable contribution of time and talent.

 

Six key factors have been identified to help you determine whether your nonprofit is ready to engage skills-based volunteers:

  1. Strong executive leadership: An engaged leader will not only inspire the volunteer team to connect with your organization’s mission but also ensure access to the support and resources necessary to a project’s success.
  2. Potential to create deep social impact: Organizations poised to create deep social impact make great candidates for skilled volunteer projects. A nonprofit with a strategic direction and measured outcomes can engage skills-based volunteers in contributing meaningful impact toward social change, which supports not only the organization’s mission, but also volunteer enthusiasm for the project.
  3. Effective relationship building: Skills-based volunteering requires partnership across sectors, so the ability to work with individuals and organizations from different cultures, sectors, and industries is crucial to a project’s success. Additionally, by fostering individual relationships with volunteers, your organization can create long-term champions, develop new corporate relationships, and potentially unlock new funding streams.​​​​​​​
  4. Organizational stability: Before engaging skilled volunteers, a nonprofit should be in a position of financial and operational stability. While no volunteer expects perfection from their nonprofit partner, and often the pro bono project can help build financial or operational capacity, the organization should not be in a period of staff or management transition or experiencing significant board turn-over. Without this stability, it is challenging to align a skilled volunteer project with an organization’s strategic direction, allocate the necessary resources to managing the project, and ensure the long-term sustainability of its outcomes.
  5. Commitment to capacity building: Since skills-based volunteerism focuses on building internal organizational infrastructure (i.e. not direct service activities), a nonprofit’s commitment to ongoing capacity building is essential. This commitment should start with senior leadership to ensure that your organization is willing to devote resources toward managing, implementing, and sustaining the results of your pro bono project.
  6. It takes time and resources to provide a positive volunteer experience. Nonprofits that evaluate volunteer experiences and plan for strategic volunteer engagement (including when to say “no” to support) will understand how to put volunteer time and talent to the best use possible to maximize the impact of your pro bono project.

By Jackie Hodgson, Common Impact

Join Candid and Common Impact on February 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm ET for the High-Impact Volunteer Engagement: Developing Effective Capacity Building Projects webinar, to learn more about these six factors for engaging in successful skills-based engagements along with an introduction on how to scope the right-sized project for your organization. Participants will receive Common Impact's Project Portfolio and Scoping Template to help them think through ways to identify organizational challenges and narrow them down into skills-based projects. In advance of the webinar, we encourage you to work through the Common Impact Organizational Readiness Wizard to understand key areas where your nonprofit may need support and prepare questions for the live, online training.

 

February 13, 2019

Meet Your Fundraising Needs with FDO as Your Partner

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You need the best prospecting tool available, Foundation Directory Online is committed to meeting your needs as a fundraiser.

Last year was a big year for FDO, we added nearly 70,000 new grants each week – that is a lot of data in one year! Good news, we are aiming for even bigger records in 2019.

Your organization is doing important work; enabling your success is our mission.

To learn more about FDO, check out our handy guide.

February 05, 2019

Some Big News: Foundation Center & GuideStar Have Joined Forces!


Candid+tagline-300px_goldWe’re excited! Foundation Center and GuideStar have joined forces to become Candid.

First things first: Foundation Directory Online will remain unchanged. You’ll still experience the same great prospecting tool you rely on to win funding, and the same high levels of customer service.

 

Why, then, have we joined forces to become Candid?

The answer is pretty simple: Foundation Center and GuideStar have always been committed to the same thing: empowering individuals and organizations with the insights to change the world. Together, our combined experience and expertise will allow us to do more than ever before.  

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We want to reassure our valued FDO subscribers that we remain as dedicated as ever to ensuring you have the best funding research tool available, continue to:

  • Improve FDO so you find the funding you need to power your work
  • Tap into funding insights from 14 million+ grants
  • Get access to Foundations, including Corporate funders and Public charities
  • Find your best matched funders based on your specific mission
  • Discover new prospecting opportunities from 700,000+ Recipient profiles*
  • Leverage FDO’s LinkedIn integration to build that connection

 

For more information head to candid.org or email us.

 

*Available with FDO Professional