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Category: "Searching FDO" (42 posts)

August 03, 2021

Kickstart your grant seeking efforts, identify best matched funders

 

Save time by knowing which funders are more likely to fund your cause.  

Your search criteria in Foundation Directory Online will reveal key funder insights, such as Amount Funded and Grant Count based on your mission. Enabling you to pinpoint funders to prioritize based on how dedicated they are to your cause and how likely they are to support your work. 

 

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Foundation Directory Online will help you to quickly find well-matched funders and gain access to valuable insights to inform your nonprofit's prospecting strategy. Use Foundation Directory Online to identify your best matched funders and begin making connections that lead to funding for your nonprofit. 

 

Kickstart your grantseeking efforts today.

 

November 11, 2020

View Open RFPs Related to Your Search Results

FDO’s newest feature helps you save time during your prospect research. Now, you can access open RFPs related to your mission all throughout FDO based on your search results.

Save time by easily discovering open opportunities sooner. The time you save can be put towards  building robust prospect lists and forging connections with key decision makers!

To see the new feature in action, simply conduct a search using FDO’s global search bar. You’ll begin to see open RFPs in

  1. Search results
  2. Grantmaker profiles
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Open RFPs count in Grantmaker Search Results

 

FDO Current RFPs@2x
Open RFPs on a Grantmaker Profile

 

 

Reminder! Expert fundraisers know that funding success stems from robust prospecting strategies, not just searches for open RFPs. In addition to reviewing open RFPs, leverage FDO’s 18 million+ grants and 230,000+ grantmaker profiles to develop a list of well-matched funders who are ready to support your work!

 

May 19, 2020

6 Top Tips To Approach Funders

(Including Those Who Are Not Accepting Applications!) 

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Candid’s Senior Director of Development, Aleda Gagarin, shares her development expertise to answer the burning question every fundraiser asks themselves:

Does the grantmaker accept applications and should I even consider this funder if they don’t?  

“Do they, or don’t they?” It’s a tempting question to start with when doing grant prospect research, centering on whether or not grantmakers accept unsolicited proposals. It seems like an easy non-starter to help you filter out prospects, but in reality, the question of whether to consider funders not accepting unsolicited proposals is a bit of a catch-22.  On the one hand, it’s not likely that a cold proposal to a grantmaker that doesn’t accept them will get anywhere; on the other, imagine how many proposals grantmakers that do accept unsolicited proposals have to sift through. The likelihood of yours rising to the top suddenly doesn’t seem much better.

Consider Prospects Even When They Don't Accept Applications

There’s a better way to prospect, and it requires longer-term vision and relationship cultivation. It requires a deeper dive into the grants a grantmaker is making, and centers around a deep knowledge and belief in your own work and mission. Ideally, your prospect research will help you narrow down a list of foundations with giving that reflects your cause, your locale, the population you serve, and your mission. From there, you further narrow down the list by selecting foundations who historically giving grants similar in size and scope to what you are looking for. Do not disregard prospects that fit your work and mission in every way just because they do not accept unsolicited proposals.

In development, it is our goal in life to get on the radar of funders that we believe would make meaningful long-term partners in supporting our work financially, helping us develop organizationally, and increasing our ability to serve. The ‘accepting proposals’ question has nothing to do with how well a funder fits with our work. In such cases, we must find other ways to bring our work to their attention — to help them see us a good partner in helping them achieve their own missions. So, how do we get our work in front of them, without being disregarded with a cold proposal? Here are a few places to start:

  • Make sure program officers we want to partner with are on newsletters about our work, so that they can begin to see and understand our work in real-time, and so that we remain on their radar.
  • Network! Make in-person connections at events. Ask questions about other people’s work, and be excited about your own. An event is rarely the best time to ask to apply for a grant, but it’s a great way to start building a relationship that could turn into solid, long-term support.
  • Connect the dots: research who works where and who you know, and ask someone in your circle to make a warm introduction for you. If you're an FDO user, take advantage of FDO's LinkedIn feature to learn more about key staffers and leverage your connections for the introductions you need. 
  • Send your prospect news coverage or other interesting materials that cover the work you do that also aligns with theirs.
  • Be savvy on social media. Connect with them online. Share good content, and ask good questions. This will also help you better understand funders’ changing interests!
  • Invite them for an onsite visit! Ask them to come tour your office, see your work, come to an event. Let them see the value of your work with their own eyes whenever possible.
  • You also never know when a funder might start accepting applications, so approaching funders that are a good fit can give you an advantage in the future. (You can easily keep track of open RFPs on FDO's homepage.) Get to know funders and inspire them to get to know you, so that when the time is right, you’ll be top of mind to receive an invitation to apply.

It seems easy to send off cold proposals to whomever will accept them; but it rarely ever pays off. Build yourself a thorough and thoughtfully researched prospect list, and then consider your best approach. Think outside the box. Prioritize building relationships with funders who you truly believe would make excellent partners and who will both value and improve your work. Don’t stretch your work or water it down into something it isn’t just to fit criteria of a funder who is easy to apply to; believe in your work and focus your development work on finding funders whose missions truly align with yours.

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!

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.

image from image.send.foundationcenter.org

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.

October 08, 2018

Partners in Philanthropy: How to Work with Donor-Advised Funds

Last year, Giving USA’s Annual Report called donor-advised funds (DAFs) one of the “hottest topics in the philanthropic community.”1 Between 2007 and 2016, assets in donor-advised funds nationwide skyrocketed from $32 billion to $85 billion,2 and this trend continues today. Who uses DAFs? How can your nonprofit collaborate with DAF advisors to meet your goals? I explore these questions below.

WHAT IS A DONOR-ADVISED FUND?

A donor-advised fund is a giving tool that charitable individuals use to tax-effectively consolidate, accrue, and grant assets to public charities. You can think of it as an investment account dedicated solely to your charitable giving.

Donor-advised funds are managed by sponsoring organizations, which are themselves 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Sponsoring organizations generally fall into three categories: community foundations, single-issue organizations, or national organizations, such as Vanguard Charitable.

HOW DOES A DONOR-ADVISED FUND WORK?

  1. A donor contributes to a DAF and takes an immediate tax deduction. The charitable assets now legally belong to that DAF’s sponsoring organization. The donor, and other named individuals, often become a DAF advisor.
  2. The DAF advisor can recommend how the assets in the DAF are invested; proceeds grow tax-free.
  3. The DAF advisor can recommend grants to the nonprofits he or she wishes to support. The sponsoring organization will conduct due diligence and, if that research shows the organizations are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, issue the grants to the charities.

Note that specific policies vary by sponsoring organization—most donors weigh the different options before opening a DAF.

Donor-advised-funds-from-Vanguard

(Image credit: Vanguard Charitable)

WHY DO DONORS USE A DONOR-ADVISED FUND?

1. Convenience: Instead of having to personally track all their giving, advisors can use DAFs as a centralized hub to simplify their philanthropy. One contribution can fund multiple donations to an advisor’s favorite charity or charities.

2. Increased giving potential: Assets in a DAF are invested tax-free, enabling many advisors to grant much more to charity in the long run.

3. Flexibility: In the wake of crises such as last year’s hurricanes, DAF advisors can respond quickly. Charitable resources in a DAF are “primed” and ready for rapid disbursal.

4. New charitable assets: Most sponsoring organizations can accept donations of non-cash assets such as appreciated securities. These often-overlooked charitable assets pull additional resources into the philanthropic community.

WHO GIVES THROUGH DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS?

With nearly 1,000 sponsoring organizations and more than 280,000 individual DAFs,3 some with multiple advisors, it is hard to generalize about this diverse philanthropic population. A DAF advisor may be a retiree who opened a DAF so that he or she could continue giving after leaving work. Or, a DAF advisor may have found a private foundation to be too costly and burdensome, and opted for a cheaper giving tool with more flexibility. Many DAFs are advised by families who have pooled their charitable resources and view philanthropy as a communal endeavor.

The average DAF advisor in the United States has roughly $300,000 in his or her account,4 and nonprofits report that gifts from DAFs tend to be larger than their typical contributions. The average gift from a Vanguard Charitable advisor, for example, is nearly $12,000.

In removing the administrative burdens of charitable giving, DAFs allow their advisors to pursue a comprehensive, long-term strategy. For nonprofits, this means your donors with DAFs may well be repeat givers. At Vanguard Charitable, the vast majority of our advisors are involved in philanthropy beyond financial contributions. Ninety percent of our advisors also volunteer, serve on a board, or otherwise lend expertise, time, or resources.5

Anonymity is a concern for some nonprofits working with DAF advisors. However, only 5 percent of Vanguard Charitable grants are anonymous.6 The remaining 95 percent allow nonprofits to engage in some form of stewardship.

WHAT ARE DAF ADVISORS LOOKING FOR IN NONPROFITS?

Vanguard Charitable advisors often discuss the best way to identify charities doing meaningful work in their area of interest.

One way that you can distinguish your organization from similar ones is to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information to GuideStar. Vanguard Charitable is one of more than 200 sites and programs that share GuideStar Nonprofit Profile information with their users. DAF advisors appreciate transparency, as additional information enables them to make more informed, strategic decisions. Maintaining an updated GuideStar profile can pay dividends: As they research charities to support, Vanguard Charitable advisors make more than 15,000 searches each month via the GuideStar National Nonprofit Directory.

HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH DONOR-ADVISED FUNDS

Generally, nonprofits cannot solicit gifts directly from sponsoring organizations, but there are many ways you can strengthen your relationship with DAFs:7

  1. Actively promote your ability to accept grants from DAFs. Consider mentioning donor-advised funds on your website, in solicitation offers, and on promotional materials. You can also suggest that your donors with DAFs set up automatic recurring grants.
  2. Educate your entire organization about gifts from DAFs so that they can be processed smoothly. Remember: DAF advisors are interested in efficiency and convenience! For example, you should not send a tax receipt to DAF advisors, as they’ve already received one from the sponsoring organization, but you may send a thank-you letter to help stay connected.
  3. Steward sponsoring organizations. Don’t send them solicitation letters, but have a working knowledge of prominent sponsoring organizations. Feel free to send them an acknowledgment letter when you receive a gift.
  4. Be familiar with IRS rules concerning DAFs. Grants from a DAF cannot result in impermissible benefit to the DAF account advisors, their family members, or the donor to the DAF account. Grants must be made exclusively for charitable purposes. Vanguard Charitable includes language with each grant to help you understand how the funds can be used.

OUR DONORS ARE YOUR DONORS

I like to tell nonprofits to think of us as members of the same team. Our donors are your donors, and our mission is to increase philanthropy in the United States and maximize its impact over time. We cannot do this without you and your vital work. Together we can continue to help create a better world.

 

Rebecca Moffett is Vanguard Charitable’s Chief Strategic Planning Officer. Rebecca is focused on building awareness of the benefits of strategic philanthropy and is committed to improving donors' giving experiences. In her charitable endeavors, Rebecca is an alumnus of Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Eastern Pennsylvania and is also active in her church community. She earned her bachelor's degree and MBA from Saint Joseph's University.

Original post on Guidestar.

September 10, 2018

5 Ways to Seek Corporate Giving

Corporatefunders-blogCorporate companies support nonprofits in a variety of different ways, FDO offers a window into many of them. The following are some of the more common means by which companies give.

  1. Company-sponsored foundation – A company-sponsored foundation is a separate entity from the corporation. Approaching a company foundation for a grant is just like applying to any other type of foundation. There are usually guidelines and an application process, and these details – as well as a giving history – can be found in FDO.
  2. In-kind gifts – Many companies prefer to donate their own products or services to nonprofits. Called “in-kind support,” this can be a good way for a nonprofit to start a relationship with a company. For example, if you run a soup kitchen, you might approach a food company or local supermarkets for supplies. To find companies that offer in-kind donations in FDO, find Transaction Type under Advanced Search & Filters, and select “in kind gifts.
  3. Corporate giving programs – A corporate giving program is administered by the company itself, often through a dedicated department such as Community Relations. Tracking down corporate giving programs can be challenging. When available, FDO will have contact information and guidelines about these types of programs, but seldom prior giving information
  4. Workplace giving – Workplace giving encompasses a number of different programs that encourage and facilitate employees’ donations of cash and/or volunteer time to nonprofits in their communities.

Tip: Find out where your volunteers and donors work to find employees that can act as your cheerleader.

Some of the more popular workplace giving programs offered by corporations are:

  • Employee Matching Gifts: Employers will sometimes match employees' charitable contributions.
  • Volunteer Support Programs: Employees who volunteer in their communities make their companies look good, and employers may offer what’s called “Dollars for Doers" – providing grants to nonprofits their employees support. Also, if you need volunteers, some companies will help organize groups of employees for various nonprofit projects.
  • Pro bono expertise: Some companies will “donate” their professional expertise.
  • Annual Giving Campaigns: Donations through Payroll Deductions can also be set up for employees who wish to effortlessly donate to a worthy cause. However, usually nonprofits must be affiliated with a “pass through” organization, like the United Way or the Combined Federal Campaign.

Utilize the Transaction Type filter under Advanced Search & Filters to search for grantmakers who support these types of Workplace giving.

5. Corporate sponsorship / Cause-related marketing – Both of these are advertising opportunities, and therefore must be entered into thoughtfully. It’s worthwhile to note,

donors could perceive a nonprofit as “selling out” to a company not seen as socially responsible.

Think like a marketer – what products or services do your donors or clients likely use, and what companies offer them? Also, don’t ignore small businesses in your community.

The key thing to keep in mind when approaching companies for any type of support is that they are profit-making enterprises and are looking for some kind of “return on investment” for their philanthropic dollars. Motivations for giving might include getting their name in front of potential customers, keeping their employees happy, or burnishing their reputation in their communities. Your job is to discover what they want and convince them that supporting you is a win-win for all involved.

 

Lori Guidry - Foundation Center San Francisco Lead

As City Lead for Foundation Center West, Lori oversees Foundation Center public services and programming for the social sector in the Bay Area — helping nonprofits in the region find the information and tools they need to be successful. She has worked in information services for more than 15 years, specializing in business and marketing topics, including corporate social responsibility. A native of Chicago, she earned her Masters in Library & Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.

August 16, 2018

Key Steps to Fundraising Success

 

 

Did you know 90% of foundations don’t have websites?

Foundation Directory Online gives you access to key information you need to win funding — find that funder today through FDO! You can search over 140,000 grantmakers and easily see how much support they give, based on your specific mission. Build stronger prospect lists through grant and peer funding insights to win that funding you need to succeed.

FDO-info-blog

FDO is everything you need in one fundraising tool. Subscribe to FDO today!

July 12, 2018

Improved FDO Organization Search: Delivering you better ways to find funding

Organization search just got even easier in new FDO. We listened to the valuable feedback of FDO subscribers and worked hard to redesign your search by organization experience. Our goal is to continuously evolve FDO to ensure we bring you the best grant prospecting tool available.

What’s new?

Use the Organization Name search box to look for a Foundation or peer Grant Recipient*.  When you enter an organization name, a full list of organizations will appear. This new layout is much easier to navigate, to ensure you can easily find organizations. You can now define if you want to see Grantmakers only or Recipients only, or both.  

To view a profile directly, click on the flyout icon in the top right hand corner. 💡Tip: You may also select multiple organizations and all will appear in your search results.

image from image.send.foundationcenter.org

 

We look forward to sharing other future FDO developments with you all. Happy fundraising!   

*Recipient profiles available in Professional subscription only