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Funding the Foundation Center

In the volatile economic climate, the Foundation Center is providing grantseekers, grantmakers, policymakers, journalists, and others with the tools and resources they need to remain effective, to manage unexpected challenges, and to respond to the emerging needs of their constituents. As nonprofits are increasingly called upon to meet new needs in our society while facing critical fundraising challenges, effective grantseeking becomes increasingly essential for their programs and for organizational stability.

The Foundation Center, established in 1956, ensures free public access to knowledge and information on philanthropy in order to strengthen the nonprofit sector. Foundations and corporate grantmakers also turn to the Foundation Center to get answers to their questions, to stay current on research and news of the field, to spread the word about their programs and activities, and to secure assistance for their grantees and applicants they cannot fund. Annual grant support makes possible an array of free resources and services for the nonprofit community.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about funding the Foundation Center. To learn more about funding the Center, please contact R. Nancy Albilal at (212) 807-3624 or

How is the Center funded?

Close to 550 foundations and corporations provide annual support to the Foundation Center, which enables us to maintain and strengthen our programs and services, many of which are free. About 200 of our annual donors designate their gifts for one of our five regional offices. Project grants enable us to develop new capacities for service and to implement special initiatives. In addition, earned income covers more than half the Foundation Center's operating budget. During this difficult economic period, we are relying on grantmakers to continue and even increase their support in recognition of our greater value to them, to the organizations they care about, and to the field at large.

Why support the Foundation Center?

  • We help the organizations funders care about by supplying them with the information, training, how-to resources, and assistance they need to improve their effectiveness and build their capacity to advance their missions.
  • We provide accurate and detailed information about grantmakers and promote sound research and methodology in funding requests, encouraging nonprofits to approach a more targeted selection of prospective funders. This has the dual effect of increasing the likelihood of grantseekers' success and improving grantmakers' application pool.
  • We save grantmakers time and expense by making their chosen funding guidelines widely available, and serve as a place to refer grantseekers they are unable to support.
  • We promote fairness and efficiency in the philanthropic process by reaching out to under-resourced agencies, which particularly benefit from our free information and services.
  • We deliver information about grantmakers' funding interests and limitations to the broadest possible audience.
  • We disseminate objective facts and analysis that can illuminate solutions for those on the front lines of various policy and practice debates.
  • We offer credible and comprehensive coverage of news and trends in philanthropy and supply the means for foundations to communicate with the public about their activities, thus promoting their accountability and transparency in the sector. Reliable and unbiased news, information, and research on grantmakers individually and as a field are essential to public understanding and trust.

Is the Foundation Center a membership organization?

The Foundation Center is not a membership organization; however, some foundations and corporations contribute each year through their administrative budgets, in recognition of the value of the services we provide.

Who are the audiences served by the Foundation Center?

The Foundation Center's information and services are used by grantseekers and grantmakers, policymakers, academic researchers, the media, and the general public. A current priority is to extend our reach to under-resourced and underserved organizations.

We reach our audiences through our publications and electronic resources, our five library/learning centers, a growing network of Funding Information Network partners, and our web site.
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