Learning The Databases

Learn Foundation Directory Online (FDO)

Getting familiar with FDO will be a key skill for you as supervisor or support staff at your location.

Through your subscription to the highest level of FDO (Professional), you and your customers will easily access accurate, comprehensive grantmaker profiles that have been verified, coded, and sorted by funding areas so you can quickly determine the relevant ones for you. The majority of these grantmakers do not have websites and would otherwise be almost impossible to find. 

With information on more than 140,000 grantmakers, FDO can help you find the funders you don't know yet. 

The data in Foundation Directory Online is compiled from IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF, grantmaker websites, annual reports, printed application guidelines, the philanthropic press, and various other sources. In all, Foundation Center's editorial staff continually monitors more than 35 diverse sources to verify that our databases are up-to-date.

We have three webinars specifically designed to help you learn to teach FDO to your users: 

We also have a helpful quick guide handout, FDO definitions, and video that you can share with your users: 

Learn Foundation Grants to Individuals Online (GTIO)

Wondering how to get started with Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, or just want to learn more about what you'll find if you register? Take this quick video tour to discover what you can learn about how to find foundation programs that fund students, artists, researchers, and other individual grantseekers.

Learn Foundation Maps

Foundation Maps hosts monthly webinars on the first Wednesday of each month for a personal conversation with experts and developers who reveal the hidden depths of the database and its practical uses. 

Learn the Philanthropy Classification System (PCS)

The Philanthropy Classification System (PCS) describes the work of grantmakers, recipient organizations and the philanthropic transactions between those entities. The Center’s Classification System in based on the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) and has been expanded over the last three decades to include the emerging work we have evidenced while capturing and indexing the work of the sector on a global scale.

This taxonomy is used across all of our databases. You can review the entire taxonomy here, and we also have a number of printouts you can download below to support your users.