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May 2010 (10 posts)

Power Search Results
May 25, 2010

We have an exciting enhancement to announce today for Power Search users. We've upgraded the results screen to help you get to the results you're looking for more easily, broken out by database. Previously, your results were mixed together in one list, sorted by relevance to your search terms. Depending on what you searched for, that list could span many pages: The upside is that you saw everything that matched your search, but it could take several clicks to find exactly what you wanted to see.  

In the new Power Search results list, your search results are sorted by database into 'previews': You see the first five grantmakers, grants, companies, 990s, news items, RFPs, PubHub reports, nonprofit literature entries, and jobs, with links to the full list of results for each database matching your search. Our aim is to provide you the same powerful search functionality and broad base of search results, but organized in a new way to make it easier to find what you're looking for. 

Try it out today!

Foundations' Response to the Gulf Oil Spill
May 21, 2010

Stephen Sherman of the Foundation Center's Atlanta library-learning center has posted an update on the philanthropic response to the Gulf oil spill on the Atlanta center's blog, Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta. Below is the introductory text and link to the full post, which also includes links to additional resources and information on how you can help:

The environmental disaster resulting from the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon and the subsequent sinking of the offshore oil rig will have long-lasting effects for marine life and communities in the Gulf states. As with other natural and man-made disasters, nonprofits and foundations stand to play a large part in the region's short- and long-term recovery. How are funders responding to the crisis so far?

Read more from Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta.

To learn more about the foundations referenced in Stephen's post — inlcuding the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, and others—you can use your Foundation Directory Online subscription to view their grantmaker profiles. 

See also: Deepwater Horizon Disaster | PhilanTopic

New Publication: The Global Role of U.S. Foundations

Global_role_smThe Global Role of U.S. Foundations is a new study authored by Joan Spero, visiting fellow at the the Foundation Center and former president of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. In it, Spero draws upon interviews with foundation presidents, program officers, and philanthropic experts; Foundation Center data; and her own professional experience to paint a detailed historical picture of international work by U.S. foundations from the Cold War to the present. 

The study focuses on how foundations have addressed five global challenges — health disparities, poverty, climate change, democracy and civil society, and peace and security — and raises important questions regarding the assessment of foundation impact, the role of foundations in global governance, and institutional accountability.

If you're interested in the global reach of foundations, this study is a valuable look into their international policies and practices and the nature of their impact and influence. It's available as a free download or for $19.95 for the print edition. Download or purchase The Global Role of U.S. Foundations.

You can also use your Foundation Directory Online Professional subscription to see the reach of foundations around the world. Grantmaker profiles include interactive world maps of grants by recipient type or grant subject. Also, Professional subscribers have free access to Map of Cross-Border Giving, which shows grants from U.S. grantmakers to international recipients. 

Learn more about Professional maps and charts.

Learn more about Map of Cross-Border Giving.

Map of Cross-Border Giving
May 17, 2010

Back in December I told you about Map of Cross-Border Giving, a powerful visualization tool that lets you access information on U.S. grantmaking to non-U.S. recipients. So consider this a friendly reminder that with your subscription to Foundation Directory Online Professional you have free access to Cross-Border, a $595 value. This isn't just a special, short-term offer, it's a built-in feature of FDO Professional.


With Map of Cross-Border Giving you can see over 35,000 grants totaling more than $10 billion from over 1,400 grantmakers to over 13,000 recipients, all on interactive maps — an invaluable tool for finding grants and grantmakers that support non-U.S. organizations.

What you can do:

  • See grants from U.S. grantmakers to non-U.S. recipient organizations.
  • View grantmaker data from independent, community, company-sponsored, and operating foundations as well as corporate giving programs and grantmaking public charities.
  • Filter your map view by fiscal year, grantmaker type, or giving based on recipient type, primary subject, or type of support.
  • Mouse over a country to see the total dollar amount and number of grants awarded, along with the number of grantmakers and recipients giving and receiving funds.
  • Change your display options to see grantmaker or recipients lists, and then click to see descriptions of the grants awarded to recipients in each country.
To get started, log in to FDO and look for the Map of Cross-Border Giving box on the left, then click the "Visit Map of Cross-Border Giving" link. To upgrade to Professional to begin using this feature, click Upgrade Subscription in the top-left menu.

The Discount Book Mall and After the Grant
May 12, 2010

After_the_grant_sm Did you know that with your annual or two-year subscription to Foundation Directory Online at any plan level, you have access to our Discount Book Mall, where you can save up to 50% or more on our most popular print titles.

We've also recently added a new title to the Book Mall. After the Grant: The Nonprofit's Guide to Good Stewardship is an invaluable guide to managing your grant to ensure you get the next one. After the Grant contains insights from fundraisers and foundation personnel on how to best manage, communicate, and report on your funded programs and cement your relationship with funders. A "troubleshooting guide" includes advice from foundation executives on what to do when things go wrong.

After the Grant lists for $39.95, but it's available for $20 in the Discount Book Mall. Visit the book mall by clicking the link on the welcome screen or any search screen. To upgrade from your monthly subscription to an annual or two-year plan, just click Upgrade Subscription.

Economic Crisis Response
May 10, 2010


As an FDO user, you've no doubt noticed that grantmaker profiles now include fields devoted to listing the grantmaker's response to the economic crisis: special grant or loan programs, changes to giving plans, etc. But the Foundation Center has also responded to the need for information on economic crisis response in other ways.

Chief among these responses is the Focus on the Economic Crisis portal, a collection of news, maps, blog posts, and other commentary on the crisis. Here you can see:

  • Headlines from Philanthropy News Digest
  • PubHub reports
  • Philanthropy Chat episodes and other podcasts
  • Training resources and webinars
  • Foundation Center research advisories
  • Several data-rich maps
These maps are a particularly exciting resource. See interactive views of:

  • Continually updated crisis-related foundation grants
  • Local funding information sources
  • ARRA resources by state
  • Community foundations
  • Grantmakers with specific funding interests, such as food assistance, employment, economic development, and more

Consider the portal your hub for everything you need to know about philanthropy's response to the economic crisis. 

The 2010 User Survey
May 07, 2010

The time has come once again for us to ask you what you think about Foundation Directory Online. We do this nearly every year, and we do it not only to maintain our own healthy egos—since 99% of you say you would recommend FDO to a colleague—but also to find out more about how you use FDO, what features and content you find most valuable, and what you'd like to see added or changed about FDO going forward. 

In 2008 many of you told us that you'd like to be able to search across all FDO databases simultaneously, and we responded by developing Power Search, which enables a single search not only across the four core FDO databases, but across five additional Foundation Center resources as well. You asked for a funder-specific alert service, and we added e-mail alert signups to grantmaker profiles. So we're eager to find out what you tell us this year. A mobile app? More maps and charts for data visualization? Something we haven't even thought of yet? Let us know!

The 2010 user survey is available now. Fill yours out now, or find it at any time by clicking the "Tell us what you think" link from anywhere within FDO (look for it in the top-right corner of the screen). It will take only 15-20 minutes of your time, and for your trouble we'll send you a copy of the latest Philanthropy Annual, our look back at philanthropy in 2009. 

Thanks in advance for helping us keep Foundation Directory Online up to date with your needs.

Searching Names in the People Tab
May 06, 2010

Today we have another new enhancement to announce.

In FDO's grantmaker search, you've long been able to use the Trustees, Officers, and Donors index to find names of individuals who hold these positions at grantmakers in the database, but what about the names of other staff? These names were available on the People tab in FDO Professional, but with no way to search for them. Now you can find these names using the Keyword Search field on the grantmaker search screen or by using Power Search.

People Tab

Just type in the name you want and click Search, then check out the grantmaker profiles that come up. If the name isn't there on the main profile tab, click People and look for them under the Staff heading. For larger foundations that are more likely to employ paid staff, this can be another useful way to find individuals you or your board may have a connection with.

Funding for Education Month
May 05, 2010

May is Funding for Education Month at the Foundation Center. Join us this month at any of our five library-learning centers for free events and classes, and online for resources that will help nonprofits and scholarship seekers find new funding prospects. 

Visit the Focus on Funding for Education web portal for podcasts, research reports, and other resources, and be sure to check the events calendar for your local Foundation Center library to see what's going on in your area:



New York

San Francisco

Washington, DC

And if you're not located near a library-learning center in one of those five cities, there are Education Month webinars coming up too. See the webinar calendar to register.

Enhanced Grant Record
May 03, 2010

Last week we made a small but useful enhancement to the grant records in Foundation Directory Online Plus, Premium, Platinum, and Professional. We've maintained all the grant information fields, but separated them out into three categories: Recipient, Grant, and Grantmaker. This change lets you see at a glance the information pertinent to each component of a grant.

Recipient information includes name, location, URL (where available), recipient type terms, EIN, and links to recipient 990s. Grant information includes amount, year authorized, a description (where available), as well as type of support and subject terms. Grantmaker information includes name, state, and geographic focus, and of course you can still link to the full grantmaker profile by clicking the Grantmaker tab at the top of the grant record. Tools allowing you to print, save, e-mail, and tag records are still available in the right-hand column as well. 

In addition to the immediate changes, this new format will allow us to add new fields to the record in the future as they become available, while keeping the information clean and organized. See the new record below.

Click to see full-size image:


The Search Grants database containing the grant records is available to subscribers at the Plus, Premium, Platinum, and Professional levels of Foundation Directory Online. Basic subscribers, take a look at everything these plan levels offer and consider upgrading today!