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Free web Sites for Foundations

Foundation Web Builder

Web sites and online communications tools present foundations with a multitude of challenges and opportunities. While many foundations are now online, many more are only beginning to realize the potential of the web to distribute information about their programs and communicate with grantseekers and the communities they serve. Our Foundation Web Builder service provides foundations with an immediate web presence and helps make information about foundations more widely available.

Project Fact Sheet

What is the Foundation Web Builder service?

The Foundation Center creates and hosts free web sites exclusively for grantmakers. We initiated this program in 1996 to help grantmakers obtain an immediate web presence. Eligible grantmakers receive a custom web site that can include program descriptions, application guidelines, grants lists, and other materials you specify. Your web site is posted at the URL: More than 190 grantmakers currently participate in the service and the list continues to grow.

What are the benefits of having a Web Builder site?

A Web Builder site helps increase your organization's visibility and recognition, enabling you to reach all of your diverse audiences simultaneously. Grantmakers who currently have a Web Builder site report that they receive better proposals and fulfill fewer requests for information by phone and mail. In addition, a Web Builder web site offers the benefits of:

  • substantial savings in time and budget dollars
  • free maintenance and technical support
  • unparalleled personalized service
  • the experience and expertise of Foundation Center web specialists

Who is eligible to participate?

Any domestic grantmaking private foundation, community foundation, or corporate foundation that does not already have a web site is eligible, as well as other philanthropic organizations on a case-by-case basis. Public charities wishing to participate in the Web Builder service must include information on their grantmaking activities, along with application guidelines to be posted.

What kinds of materials can be included in your web site?

Generally speaking, the Center will post any text or images provided by a foundation in the proper format. Foundations can post materials such as their annual report, contact information, mission statement, program descriptions, application guidelines, grants lists, RFPs, newsletters, etc. All such materials are formatted for the web by Center staff so that they resemble the original source documents or in a style mutually agreed upon by the foundation and the Center. Participating foundations are asked to provide PC-formatted Microsoft Word or ASCII text, or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, as well as hard-copy versions of their web site materials. Formats for logos and images should be discussed with Center staff.

Who determines what my web site looks like?

The appearance of web site content is arrived at by web Services staff working closely with each foundation. The web site design will draw from the look of the foundation's printed materials, whenever possible.

How frequently can web sites be updated?

The contents of a Web Builder site can be updated as frequently as an individual funder chooses. The Center reserves the right to "retire" any Web Builder site whose contents have not been updated in the previous twelve months. If a foundation with a Web Builder site creates its own web site, the Center will retire that foundation's Web Builder site and create a link to the grantmaker's new web site.

How long does it take to create a Web Builder site?

Please allow approximately 4 weeks after we receive all materials from your foundation for your Web Builder site to be complete. web sites are created on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the web site is finished, it will be presented for final approval to a foundation representative. Once it has been approved, the new URL will be made publicly available.

How will my web site be publicized once it is complete?

Upon completion of a Web Builder site, its URL will be added to our list of Web Builder web sites. The new URL will be integrated within the Center's print and electronic directories.

PLEASE NOTE: The Foundation Center does NOT submit Web Builder site URLs to external Internet search engines (i.e., Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). While many search engines eventually pick up Foundation Web Builder URLs on their own, it is each foundation's responsibility to submit its URL to these search engines to actively promote its new site beyond the Foundation Center's own offerings.

Premium Web Hosting Service

Maximize your foundation's communications efforts with our new package of premium web hosting services that includes all of the benefits of our free Foundation Web Builder service — custom-tailored design, attentive personal service, and free updating and maintenance — plus:

  • Web site with your own domain name
    Our web Services team will create a site for you and register it with your own unique domain name, e.g., Get the best of both worlds by having us design, host, and maintain your web site on the Foundation Center's server, while you retain an independent web presence.

  • Web site usage reports
    We'll help you assess the impact of your web site by providing you with detailed reports of web site usage each month, including the number of visitors, lists of the most frequently visited pages and directories on your site, and statistics tracking referrals to your site from other web sites.

  • Password-protected area of your site
    To help you provide targeted, secure content for your special constituent groups, such as your board or grantees, we can provide a password-protected area of your site.

Who should I contact to set up a web site for my foundation?

For more information about the Foundation Web Builder service, contact:

Daniel Matz
Foundation Web Manager
The Foundation Center
79 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 807-3696

Participating Foundations
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