« December 2010 | Back to Eye on FDO | February 2011 »

January 2011 (6 posts)

Enhancement: New Grant Record Fields
January 31, 2011

We recently enhanced Foundation Directory Online grant records by adding three new fields: fund name; fund type; and program name. These fields, which are part of the grantmaker info section in the grant record, lets us list some further information on how the grantmaker has classified the grant.

So how does this enhancement benefit you? It bolsters the power of your grant keyword search by offering additional fields where those keywords appear. Just search for the terms that you use anyway — describing types of awards like 'donor-advised' or 'discretionary,' for example, or describing areas of interest like 'arts & culture' or 'research' — and you can potentially get more grants in your results list. Besides the fields where terms like that might currently appear — our Subject and Recipient Type codes and the Grant Description text, where available — these three new fields offer additional text that FDO searches.

This enhancement currently applies to over 102,000 grant records in the database, a number that will only grow as we add new grants. Any subscriber to a plan level that includes the grants database — Plus, Premium, Platinum, and Professional (including Power Search) — can take advantage just doing the keyword searches you're already using.

Upcoming Events
January 24, 2011

If one of your New Year's resolutions was to make an effort to engage in professional development — whether that means taking a class, learning more about social media, or networking — the Foundation Center is making it easy to get started! All of our field offices are hosting some notable events throughout the rest of the month and into February that are definitely worth checking out.

  • Our Atlanta office is hosting "Expert in Residence" Susan Burnash of Purple Duck Marketing. She's already written a couple of great blog posts on marketing for nonprofits, and if you're in the Atlanta area she is still hosting live workshops and coaching sessions at the Center.
  • All Foundation Center field offices will be hosting a GrantSpace launch event on January 26. Each location has a different and exciting program, featuring local experts on a variety of topics of interest to grantseekers. As if that wasn't enough, there will be door prizes for those who attend!
  • Looking ahead, the Foundation Center-New York will be hosting a networking night about putting the "Fun" in "Fundraising." Come ready to meet and share stories with your colleagues. Visit the event page on Grantspace for more information and to register.
  • If this year you hope to engage more with social media, check out some of these posts on the Foundation Center-Atlanta blog about getting started with Twitter.

These are just a few things to get you going—as always, keep up to date on the Foundation Center calendar for upcoming classes and events.

Free Shipping in January on the Foundations Today Series
January 18, 2011

Free Shipping in January on the Foundations Today Series

This January, the Foundation Center is offering free shipping on our Foundations Today series.   


Expand your knowledge about foundation philanthropy with this unique collection of facts and figures on private and community foundations and their giving. Order individual copies listed below or save when you order the entire set. You'll receive each report as it becomes available.

Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities
Examines 2008 grantmaking patterns of a sample of more than 1,000 larger U.S. foundations, and compares current giving priorities with trends since 1980.
June 2010 / 104 pgs.
View the Table of Contents (.pdf)

Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates: Current Outlook
Provides a first look at estimates of foundation giving for 2009 and final statistics on actual giving and assets for 2008. It also presents new top 100 foundation lists.
April 2010 / 13 pgs.

Foundation Yearbook: Facts and Figures on Private and Community Foundations
Documents the growth in number, giving, and assets of all active U.S. foundations from 1977 through 2008.
November 2010 / 56 pgs.


New Enhancement: Easier Searching for People and Affiliations
January 12, 2011

We have a very exciting new enhancement to announce for Foundation Directory Online! You can now use Power Search and the Search Grantmakers keyword field to find foundation staff and the affiliations of grantmakers' trustees and officers. Those names and affiliations are now displayed on the main grantmaker profile, rather than on a separate tab, which lets you see those names highlighted so you know why that profile has come up in your search results. 

If you're familiar with using the trustees, officers, and donors index to find individuals connected with grantmakers in FDO, this enhancement expands that capability by opening up your search to the names of staff members as well. In addition, you can now learn more about the trustees, officers, and donors by search based on their affiliated organizations and companies. 

Because we've added the staff and affiliations content to the main grantmaker profile tab, we've also removed the dedicated People tab from Professional profiles. All the content that used to be on that tab is now on the main tab so that you can see your search terms highlighted. 

Get started today connecting with the people that make foundations work.

Resolutions for 2011
January 07, 2011

A modification of a post from Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta  

Happy New Year from the Foundation Center! Since the end of 2010 and the beginning of the 2011 is the time for making both Top 10 lists of everything in 2010 and resolutions for 2011, here are a few suggested resolutions for nonprofit organizations and professionals to make as we enter the new year:

1. Form a genuine partnership

The effects of the economic crisis on giving was a theme for many in 2010, and will continue to be of some concern in 2011 (though according to this November report things may be looking up). With many foundations seeing a significant drop in assets over the last two years, one phrase hear again and again from grantmakers is "an increase in strategic grantmaking." With fewer dollars to go around, grantmakers are more interested than ever in making sure that their dollars have the most impact by investing in nonprofit collaborations. Organizations working together lessen the likelihood of duplication of services and combine the power of multiple organizations together to solve the same problem. 

Our Nonprofit Collaboration Database contains over 250 different examples of organizations working together, drawn from the Lodestar Foundation's 2009 Collaboration Prize. If you're looking for collaboration ideas and inspiration, this database has some top-notch examples of a variety of different partnerships such as combined marketing efforts, joint staff training, and shared programs. 

2. Get organized (your fundraising, that is)

Let's look at the facts: (1) everyone is busy and (2) fundraising is vital to your organization's sustainability. Even without an economic crisis, fundraising can be difficult, so do yourself and your organization a favor and plan! Laying out all of your grant application deadlines, fundraising campaigns, events, and to-do lists is an important part of starting your year on the right foot and helping insure (though not guarantee, unfortunately) your organization against dry periods between grants. It can also help you think about where your funding is coming from and how you can help make your organization more sustainable in the long run. For a good primer to fundraising planning, check out our Introduction to Fundraising Planning class to get the basics. And of course, use the Foundation Directory Online to research new funding opportunities. 

3. Get the word out

Your organization's good work can only go so far if no one is aware of the incredible things you are doing, so use 2011 to find new ways to educate your community! Try a new type of social media, invest more time in the networks you're already using, and make a marketing plan! Check out some of the resources available on the Communications/Marketing page of GrantSpace. If you're in the greater Atlanta area, then you're in luck - the Foundation Center-Atlanta will be hosting marketing expert Susan Burnash as an Expert in Residence in January. Through her classes on January 12th and January 19th, as well as her days of residence on the 14th and 21st, Susan will be helping organizations improve their marketing and community outreach efforts. 

4. Learn

Even if you don't always have the money to spend on formal training, don't stop learning! There are plenty of opportunities to learn if you make it a priority, and it's good for both your long-term health and the health of your organization. While the term "learning organization" might be a little overused at this point, that doesn't undermine the fact that you owe it to your organization's constituents to be the absolute best at serving them. Without learning from your mistakes and successes, being the best at what you do is going to be difficult. We have a lot to offer at our five Foundation Center locations, including thousands of books, access to our databases, and a range of free and fee based courses. And if you're not near any of our five main locations, our cooperating collections all provide a core collection of Foundation Center materials for your use. With more than 450 current cooperating collections worldwide, there's bound to be one near you

5. Experiment!

This resolution ties directly in with all of the others. In a recent interview with The Chronicle of Philanthropy, author and marketing expert Seth Godin said something that has really powerful: "There's this imperative to go fail, and fail often, and fail badly on the way to building community, to building connection, to telling stories that work. If you're not willing to do that, I don't think you should go to work tomorrow." Now granted, from an organizational standpoint, constantly failing is not going to make a good case with any of your donors, but I think the spirit of the message is important: get out there and try new things and get on your way to doing something great. 


A Conversation With Foundation Center President Brad Smith
January 03, 2011

For the final Philanthropy News Digest 'Flip' chat of 2010, Foundation Center president Brad Smith sat down to share some thoughts on a few of the hottest topics of the year — the economy and its impact on giving, the Giving Pledge campaign, and transparency in a philanthropic context.

Part 1


Part 2


Visit Philanthropy News Digest.

See more Foundation Center video chats on our YouTube channel.