Foundation Center Libraries
The Foundation Center operates libraries in Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, San
Francisco, and Washington, D.C. All five Center libraries have staff trained to help you. Whether you are seeking $100 or $100,000 for your project or nonprofit organization, someone is available to answer your questions and to point you in the right direction. Another option is to query the Online Librarian. Our staff will respond by e-mail, usually within two business days. Information on how to use Center resources is available at our libraries and at many of our Cooperating Collections — in the form of orientations, tours, and printed brochures — as well as on the web site.
The Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the nonprofit sector by advancing knowledge about U.S. philanthropy.
To achieve our mission, we:
Founded in 1956, the Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy and is dedicated to serving grantseekers, grantmakers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public.
- Collect, organize, and communicate information on U.S. philanthropy
- Conduct and facilitate research on trends in the field
- Provide education and training on the grantseeking process
- Ensure public access to information and services through our web site, print and electronic publications, five library/learning centers, and a national network of Cooperating Collections.
The Foundation Center is not a foundation. We do not make grants; rather, we provide information. Our librarians cannot do your research for you. They can assist you in locating appropriate print and electronic resources, but they are not permitted to serve as consultants on funding for your project or to make referrals or arrange for introductions to specific grantmakers. Our librarians cannot write or review your proposals for you. They will direct you to resources that can help with this endeavor, especially The Foundation Center's Guide
to Proposal Writing and our one-hour or full-day
proposal writing and proposal
All Center libraries and many Cooperating Collections maintain a selection of books and periodicals relating to fundraising and philanthropy. The Center's online bibliographic catalog, The Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, lists many of these resources. The print publications issued by the Center are available for use in Foundation Center libraries and Cooperating Collections free of charge. They are also available for sale in our libraries and through the Marketplace on our web site. Center-operated libraries and Cooperating Collections also offer free access to FC
Search: The Foundation Center's Database on CD-ROM.
The Center's database information is available online through the Foundation
Directory Online Subscription Services, which allows you to perform online searches on up to 88,000 grantmakers. The Foundation
Directory Online Basic provides detailed information on the largest 10,000 grantmakers. The Foundation
Directory Online Plus, also available by subscription, offers over 10,000 grantmaker records plus more than 900,000 recent grants. The Foundation
Directory Online Premium contains records of the country's top 20,000 grantmakers in addition to the grants file. The Foundation
Directory Online Platinum offers more than 88,000 detailed profiles of all current U.S. grantmakers and corporate giving programs for 1,400 U.S. companies. And the Foundation
Directory Online Professional offers that plus 990 search and company search capability and many additional features. All Foundation Center libraries and some Cooperating Collections offer free access to the Foundation
The Center's database of grantmakers and grants is also available through DIALOG (Files 26 and 27). Contact the Dialog Corporation at 1-800-334-2564 for more details.
The Associates Program is a membership program designed to provide specialized services to nonprofit organizations with frequent need for information on foundations and corporate givers, their grants, and their donors, officers, board members, and trustees. The Associates Program offers toll-free telephone reference, e-mail reference, photocopy and fax service, computer searches of Foundation Center databases, and access to a special Associates-only web site. For further information on becoming an Associate, call (800) 424-9836.
Whether or not you are able to actually visit a Foundation Center library or Cooperating Collection, the Center's web site includes a wealth of fundraising information and links to other nonprofit and grantmaker sites. In this introductory resource guide we have provided a number of links to other areas or parts of our site, but you will want to explore the site thoroughly yourself to understand the scope of the information and the other links provided. A good place to get an overview of the Foundation Center's web site is the Welcome New Visitors area.