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Funding the Foundation Center

Foundation Center is a nonprofit that has promoted effective philanthropy since 1956 thanks to donors like you. With your support, we can continue to serve the communities you care about.

As demand for nonprofit services continues to outpace supply, Foundation Center is building the capacity of organizations on the front lines. We connect nonprofits to the resources they need to thrive, providing the sector's most popular grantseeking tools and developing the nonprofit workforce through a training curriculum focused on fundraising, organizational sustainability, and leadership and management. We empower donors to be more strategic through a suite of data-informed Knowledge Services.

Foundation Center is committed to ensuring free public access to knowledge and information on philanthropy in order to strengthen the nonprofit sector. Tax-deductible gifts to Foundation Center enable us to provide a comprehensive suite of free online and in-person resources and services. If you can't imagine doing your work without Foundation Center, please make a gift at any level to sustain our services to the sector.

To make an individual contribution, please click here. To learn more about making a grant to Foundation Center, contact R. Nancy Albilal at (212) 807-3624 or

How is the Center funded?

Close to 550 foundations and corporations provide annual support to Foundation Center, joined by a growing number of valued individual donors. Your generosity enables us to maintain and strengthen our programs and services, the majority of which are free. About 200 of our annual donors designate their gifts in support 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 of Foundation Center's operating budget. As we continue to innovate to provide the most accurate and comprehensive funding data available, we are relying on donors like you to help us increase our reach in recognition of our value to you, the organizations you care about, and the field at large.

Your contribution to our general operations or 2020 strategic investment plan helps us pursue the following priorities:

  • Connect nonprofits to the resources they need to thrive
  • Empower donors with knowledge tools they need to be more strategic
  • Build the global data platform for philanthropy
  • Communicate philanthropy's contribution to making a better world
  • Encourage greater foundation transparency
  • Ensure that our technology provides a strong foundation for the Center's work

Why support the Foundation Center?

Our work strengthens both local and global initiatives, from the community organization that serves at-risk youth to the global funder addressing a health epidemic. We help these organizations 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. And we provide reliable, unbiased news, information, and research on grantmakers individually and as a field, which is essential to public understanding and trust. Your gift to Foundation Center helps us to:

  • Provide professional development to fundraising and grantmaking professionals, promoting the effective allocation of philanthropic resources.
  • Provide grantseekers, grantmakers, policymakers, journalists, and others with the tools and resources they need to meet unexpected challenges, respond to the evolving needs of the communities they serve, and operate sustainably.
  • Provide accurate and detailed information about grantmakers and help nonprofits learn how to approach a more targeted selection of prospective funders. This both increases the likelihood of grantseekers' success and improves the quality of grantmakers' pool of applicants.
  • Save grantmakers time and expense by communicating their funding guidelines widely and by serving as a place to refer grantees and applicants.
  • Promote fairness and efficiency in the philanthropic process by reaching out to under-resourced agencies, which particularly benefit from our free information and services.
  • Disseminate objective facts and analysis to illuminate solutions for those on the front lines of various policy and practice debates.
  • Offer credible and comprehensive coverage of news and trends in philanthropy.
  • Provide foundations tools and resources that help them communicate with the public about their activities, thus promoting accountability and transparency in the sector.

Grantmakers may be eligible for complimentary access to the Center's grantmaking databases and other specific benefits. For more information contact our vice president for development, R. Nancy Albilal at (212) 807-3624 or

Is the Foundation Center a membership organization?

Foundation Center is not a membership organization; however, some foundations and corporations contribute each year through a "membership" line item on their administrative budgets in recognition of the value of the services we provide. Designations to the Center through "membership dues" are 100% tax deductible.

Who are the audiences served by the Foundation Center?

Foundation Center's information and services are used by social sector organizations, policymakers, academic researchers, the media, and the general public. Among the most frequently-searched terms in our grants database are education, youth, health, environment, and arts, reflecting the most common focus areas of those we serve. The vast majority of individuals we serve are nonprofit professionals, primarily from organizations with annual budgets of less than $1 million, and the populations they reach are primarily economically disadvantaged. Access to our tools lowers the cost of fundraising for these under-resourced organizations, enhancing their ability to provide direct services to their constituents.

We reach our audiences through our free content-rich websites and other electronic resources, via publications, and in person at our five library/learning centers and more than 450 Funding Information Network partners in every state and around the world.
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