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Free websites for Foundations

Foundation Websites

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 Websites service provides foundations with an immediate web presence and helps make information about foundations more widely available.

Project Fact Sheet

What is the Foundation Websites service?

The Foundation Center creates and hosts free websites exclusively for grantmakers. We initiated this program in 1996 to help grantmakers obtain an immediate web presence. Eligible grantmakers receive a custom website that can include program descriptions, application guidelines, grants lists, and other materials you specify. Your website is posted at the URL: More than 200 grantmakers currently participate in the service and the list continues to grow.

What are the benefits of having a Foundation Website?

A Foundation Website helps increase your organization's visibility and recognition, enabling you to reach all of your diverse audiences simultaneously. Grantmakers who currently have a Foundation Website report that they receive better proposals and fulfill fewer requests for information by phone and mail. In addition, a Web Builder website 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 website is eligible, as well as other philanthropic organizations on a case-by-case basis. Public charities wishing to participate in the Foundation Website service must include information on their grantmaking activities, along with application guidelines to be posted.

What kinds of materials can be included in your website?

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 website materials. Formats for logos and images should be discussed with Center staff.

Who determines what my website looks like?

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

How frequently can websites be updated?

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

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 Foundation Website to be complete. websites are created on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the website 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 website be publicized once it is complete?

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Foundation Center does NOT submit Foundation Website URLs to external Internet search engines (i.e., Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). While many search engines eventually pick up Foundation Website 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 website 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 website by providing you with detailed reports of website 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 websites.

  • 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 website for my foundation?

For more information about the Foundation Website service, contact:

Daniel Matz
Foundation Web Manager
Tel: (212) 807-3696

Participating Foundations
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