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Quick Start Guide

Foundation Directory Online (FDO) offers many ways to find prospective funders, but if you want to jump in and get started, start here (these search options are available to subscribers at any plan level):

  1. Log in and go to the Search Grantmakers tab.
  2. Click “view index” under the “Fields of Interest” field.
  3. Select the term or terms that describe the work you do or audience you serve (TIP: start broad at first; you can always narrow down later).
  4. Click “view index” under the “Geographic Focus” field.
  5. Select the area where you’re looking for funding.
  6. OPTIONAL: Click “view index” under the “Support Strategy” field.
  7. Select the term or terms describing what sort of support you need, such as general support, program development support, etc.
  8. Click the Search button to see who is funding the kinds of work you do, in the area where you’re located, and in the format you need.
  9. If you’ve got too many results, use the left-hand links to narrow down further. If you’ve got too few, click Modify Search and start again with broader selections.

For help navigating the search index menus in the steps above, you can visit the Philanthropy Classification System (PCS) site, which includes the entire search taxonomy used by FDO, including definitions of terms.

General Search Tips

  • Always use the Index, when available, to identify and select search terms.
  • Use OR between search terms to expand your search, AND to narrow your search, and NOT to exclude terms. (The default when you select multiple terms is OR.)
  • To exclude grantmakers not accepting applications, click on the check box near the bottom of the search window.
  • Narrow the search results by entering criteria in one or more additional fields.
  • To change your search criteria without starting from scratch, click on Modify Search on your search results screen to reload and edit the criteria from the previous search.
  • Re-sort the search results list in ascending or descending order by clicking on any of the column headers.

Training and Webinars

Video tour: Search Functionality

Webinar recording: Introduction to Finding Funders