The Funding Information Network (FIN) enables Foundation Center to reach thousands more people and nonprofits in communities across the country and around the world. The network consists of hundreds of organizations that host Foundation Center databases and training support, available at no cost to their local communities.

  • Decide which program tier your organization is eligible for
  • Learn about program fees 
  • Prepare for the application process

Find Information You Need:

Eligibility
Cost
Application

Are You Eligible?

Ideal network partners have and seek connections with nonprofits, public agencies, individual community advocates, and funders in their local community. Through these connections, network partners disseminate the knowledge tools provided by Foundation Center to increase the skills and support the work of their local nonprofit sector. Depending on mission and capacity, prospective network partners can join the Funding Information Network (FIN) at either the Access or Training program tier. 

Access Program

Ideal for organizations wanting to provide access to Foundation Center funding data to their communities. Access FINs must be able to meet the following program standards:

  • Assign a FIN program lead to assist nonprofit users
  • Become Foundation Directory Online Trainer certified (certification included in program benefits)
  • Provide 24 hours per week of public access to Foundation Center databases at no cost
  • Complete annual reporting requirements
  • Participate in Foundation Center professional development
Training Program

Ideal for organizations wanting to provide access to Foundation Center funding data plus capacity building training to their communities. Training FINs must be able to meet the following program standards: 

  • Assign a FIN program lead to assist nonprofit users and lead group trainings
  • Become Foundation Directory Online Trainer and Foundation Center Training certified (certifications included in program benefits)
  • Host six nonprofit trainings per year (curriculum included in program benefits)
  • Complete annual reporting requirements
  • Participate in Foundation Center professional development

Program Cost and Benefits

Network partnership with Foundation Center's Funding Information Network requires an annual fee of $2,995* for the Access Program or $5,995* for the Training Program. The fee is billed on an annual basis (12 months). 

In addition to Foundation Center's premiere products and training materials, network partners benefit from free in-person and online training and conferences as well as a wider network of like-minded partners who are working in the field of nonprofit and fundraising information services. 

Compare FIN Program Benefits 81.78 kB

*Annual partnership fees are subject to change.

Preparing For Your Online Application

To help you prepare your online application, you review a list of the main questions we ask in our application:

Introductory questions:

  • Which program tier are you applying to (Access or Training)?
  • How did you first find out about the Funding Information Network (formerly known as the Cooperating Collections program)?
  • Why does your organization wish to join the Foundation Center's Funding Information Network?

Administrative/financial support:

  • Who will support the cost of the yearly access fee and future enhancements to your partnership?
  • Will you be exploring the option of a Foundation Center subsidy to support the cost of your network partnership?
  • Is your organizational leadership (director, CEO, and/or board members) aware of and in support of your pursuit of this partnership with the Foundation Center?

Populations served:

  • What region do you serve? (please indicate the parameters of your service area - county, city, region, etc.)
  • What are the basic population characteristics of the community you serve? (income levels, ethnic makeup, etc.)
  • Who in your community do you envision will utilize the materials and trainings you'll provide as a network partner?
  • How many nonprofit organizations are located in your service area? Note: U.S. organizations can use GuideStar to find this number>
  • Does your community have a unique, established and/or growing nonprofit sector (e.g. an arts district, an environmental movement, a large healthcare sector)?
  • Are you interested in working with the Foundation Center to gather giving data on your country's philanthropic landscape?Primarily for international applicants

Public trainings and assistance

  • Do you have access to a computer lab and/or training facilities?
  • Do you have access to the Internet and equipment for training the public on Foundation Center resources?
  • How often will you offer learning events for community organizations in your area?

Outreach and promotion:

  • How will you promote events to nonprofits and relevant collaborating organizations in your community?
  • If you have one, will your marketing/communications department be able to provide support in your efforts to promote your network partnership to your community?
  • What relevant collaborative partnerships do you have or will you establish that will support your work with the nonprofit community?

Providing free access:

  • Do you agree to provide reference assistance and access to Foundation Center databases and books to the public free of charge?
  • How many hours per week will you be open and available to the public?

Staffing the program:

  • Who will perform the duties of FIN lead for your location?
  • How many staff members will work with the lead to deliver and maintain Foundation Center resources?

Building skills:

  • Please indicate your preparedness to provide funding for travel to a Network Days conference, or to attend virtually.
  • Please indicate your preparedness to provide internal training to members of your staff/team to ensure that more than one person at your site knows how to administer Foundation Center resources.

Foundation Center staff visits:

  • Would you like to explore adding a Foundation Center staff visit or training to your network partnership application?

Brand identification:

  • Please indicate your intent to post prominent brand affiliation with the Foundation Center as a partner in the Funding Information Network.
  • Please indicate your willingness to publish a welcome page (URL provided by the Foundation Center) on your web site that serves as the gateway to all Center resources in one place.

Reporting:

  • Please indicate the designated FIN lead's ability to submit regular (annual and on request) reports to the Foundation Center on how the program is faring at their location.

Supporting documents

To complete the application, applicants will be asked to submit the following supporting documents:

  1. A copy of an annual report with financial statements for the organization.
  2. At least two letters of support from organizations in the community, including nonprofits that will use the resources and funders that will support it, if applicable.

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