Foundation Directory Online has a new interface designed to achieve more relevant results using natural language. The separate “silos” of the previous version - grants, grantmakers, companies, 990s- are brought together in a single search.
Now if you type “public libraries in Minnesota” in the main search box, you should see grantmakers, past grants, recipients and 990 tax forms relating to grants for public libraries in Minnesota. It is no longer necessary to specify “National” and “International” as well, as that is included in the Minnesota search.
Grantmakers are now sorted by “Grant count" by default to show you the most active grantmakers. It can be changed to "Amount funded" to see how much they give in your area.
If you hover over Grantmaker names with the mouse, you can check a snapshot of the grantmaker to see if they will be a good match.
Note: the basic search will not allow you to do complex Boolean searches. Searching “public libraries and stem education in Minnesota will just give you results for public libraries in Minnesota, not stem.
For more complex searches, click on “Advanced searches and filters”. You can then click on “Additional filters” to add a keyword to your search. Just remember, even though there are over 4 million records in FDO, it is still a small pool compared to Google, so don’t narrow your search too far. If you find yourself with too few results, go back up to “Showing results for” and click on the “x” next to the limiter you want to remove.
In advanced search, click in the boxes and start typing and it will give you suggested terms. “Population Served” is a new option - you can limit to certain groups such as youth seniors, veterans, etc. You can also search by metro area now, e.g. “Twin Cities Metro Area”.
Grantmaker records have a handy sidebar to jump to each section. Other new elements include:
- Other Funders to Consider: Funders with similar giving patterns.
- Who’s Who now includes links to staff’s LinkedIn accounts. - can see if you know any people in common.
- Linked to related organizations- 3M Foundation’s record has links to 3M Company Contributions Program and 3M the company.
The landing page includes two other options -Pathways and Resources. Pathways lets you type in your organization’s name to see who else your funders give money to and who else gives to these other recipients. You can also type in the name of an organization similar to your own. This is another way to find organizations who might be interested in funding you.
Resources includes training, nonprofit news and research, and the Foundation Center’s blogs. The Eye on FDO blog has a lot of good information on using Foundation Directory online.
Here is the recording of the New FDO webinar.
Here is a Quick Guide.
Here is a glossary of terms.