Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is one of the most powerful private funding research tools available on the internet, yet it takes very little time to become familiar with its features. This topic explains the details of each screen and its associated controls. You'll also find a breakdown of a record's contents along with an explanation of what each part of a record means.

The Home Screen

Upon logging into Foundation Grants to Individuals Online, the Home screen appears. The Home screen contains a Keyword Search field and a link to the Advanced Search screen. It also contains a number of links to Foundation Center training and resources.

To use the Search Field on the Home Screen, simply enter a keyword or keyphrase and click Go.


The Advanced Search Screen

The Advanced Search Screen includes the following search fields: All of the Search Fields except for ZIP Code, Keyword, and Total Giving Range are accompanied by a View Index link. Clicking on the link opens an index menu listing all the search terms associated with that Search Field. Clicking on an entry from the index menu automatically inserts it into the corresponding Search Field.

Note: In addition to selecting names or terms from the indexes, you can type them (full or partial) directly into any Search Field on the Search Screen. However, we recommend that you use the index menus to select your search terms to make sure you get the terms that best meet your needs and to avoid typos.

You can select as many search terms and use as many search fields as you wish, but keep in mind that combining many search fields will narrow your search results. We recommend starting with a broader search and then narrowing your results as you go, which you will be able to do from the search results screen.

See Searching — Basic for more information on conducting searches.


The Foundation Indexes

Open a Foundation Index by clicking any of the View Index links on the Foundation Search Screen. The indexes are among the most commonly used in funding research, and they are the fastest route to locating pertinent information.

How to use:

  1. Click View Index on the Search Screen to display the index in the Index Pane located to the left of the Search Screen.
  2. Click the letter at the top of the Index Pane that corresponds to the first letter of the search term you are looking for (note: Not all index menus include the alphabetical menu).
  3. Scroll down through the Index Pane to locate the term.
  4. Click on the term to automatically insert it into the corresponding search field.
  5. Click on any additional terms in the same index to add them to your search. The system will automatically insert the OR Boolean operator between the terms.


Types of Support Terms

The following is a complete list of the types of support terms included in the Types of Support Index with a short definition of each:

Awards/Grants by Nomination Only: Scholarships, fellowships, research grants, and other awards or grants that individuals must be nominated for by the grantmaker, an allied institution, or a third party in order to be considered.

Awards/Prizes: Gifts given in recognition of past achievements, usually by nomination only, or gifts to winners of competitions sponsored by nonprofits or an affiliated organization.

Camperships: Grants given to enable children to attend summer camps.

Conferences/Seminars: Grants that might cover registration, lodging, or transportation for individuals to attend conferences, seminars, or workshops. Often, these grants are awarded in conjunction with a fellowship, internship, or scholarship.

Doctoral Support: Grants to aid dissertation or thesis research.

Emergency Funds: Grants to individuals or families to assist in paying for emergency needs resulting from disaster, natural or otherwise, including expenses for medical and dental care, shelter, repairs, utilities, transportation, and clothing.

Employee-Related Scholarships: Scholarships to current or former company employees and/or their families.

Employee-Related Welfare: General welfare grants/loans to current or former company employees and/or their families.

Exchange Programs: Programs through which students study in other countries and that enable students from those countries to exchange places with the participants.

Fellowships: Programs that award stipends to individuals for tuition, travel, books, and other costs of research and study.

Fiscal Agent/Sponsor: A nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status that has agreed to receive and administer a grant for an individual not affiliated with a nonprofit organization or a group without 501(c)(3) status. The check is sent to the fiscal agent (also known as a fiscal sponsor) and then disbursed to the applicant, minus a small administrative fee, usually between 5 percent and 7 percent of the grant.

Foreign Applicants: Applicants from countries other than the U.S. are eligible to apply for certain programs administered by U.S. grantmakers.

Graduate Support: Funds awarded to individuals for graduate work through programs administered by the grantmaker.

Grants for Special Needs: Funds given directly to individuals or on their behalf, including grants and/or loans to cover medical expenses and other basic needs for economically disadvantaged individuals.

Internship Funds: Funds that support individuals in gaining practical experience in their careers. Some internships are paid, and must be undertaken for college credit.

Loans to Individuals: Funds for non-educational expenses, which usually must be repaid to the lending grantmaker, often with a pre-determined interest percentage added to the loaned amount.

Medical Expenses: Funds that covers medical, dental, or eye care for needy individuals.

Postdoctoral Support: Funds for the pursuit of advanced research or study after receiving a doctorate degree.

Postgraduate Support: Funds for the pursuit of advanced research or study after receiving a graduate degree.

Precollege Support: Scholarships and loans given for expenses related to elementary or secondary education, such as private school tuition.

Professorships: Awards to individuals who will serve on the faculty of an institution of higher learning.

Project Support: Support given to individuals working at the postgraduate level or beyond and/or those seeking support for projects within their professional career.

Publication: Grants to individuals to fund reports or other publications resulting from research or projects of interest to the grantmaker.

Research: Funds to cover the costs of investigations and clinical trials, including demonstration and pilot projects. (Research grants for individuals are usually referred to as fellowships.)

Residencies: Nonmonetary awards typically of short duration usually only for artists of all disciplines to further their creative talents. Meals, living quarters, equipment, and studio space might be provided.

Sabbaticals: Leaves of absence, often with pay, usually granted every seventh year.

Scholarships to Individuals: Funds awarded to individuals for educational expenses.

Stipends: Primarily for researchers and artists, fixed allowances to cover salary and expenses during the development of an individual's work.

Student Loans to Individuals: Funds for educational expenses, which usually must be repaid to the lending grantmaker, often with a pre-determined interest percentage added to the loaned amount.

Support to Graduates or Students of Specific Schools: Support is restricted to those who attend or have attended a specific school. Some programs might also specify institutions to be attended after graduation. In many cases, application must be made through the high school or college instead of the grantmaker.

Travel Grants: Awards that cover transportation and out-of-town living expenses. Enrollment in a college or university is not usually required.

Undergraduate Support: Funds awarded to individuals for undergraduate work through programs administered by the grantmaker.

Welfare Assistance: Grants or loans to cover basic needs for economically disadvantaged individuals.

Workstudy Grants: Grants for educational expenses given to students who engage in a part-time work arrangement. A work commitment of 10 to 15 hours per week is usually required.


Working with Search Results

When you conduct a search, your search results are displayed on a Search Results screen made up of a number of elements.

Foundation Search Results Screen

Once the search engine finds all the records that match your search criteria, it displays a list of those records on the Search Results Screen.

Navigating Foundation Results

The Search Results Screen has several components:

  • The status line. Located at the top of the screen, the Status Line displays the total number of records retrieved, and the number of records displayed on screen.
  • The criteria line. Displays the terms you have used to perform your search. If you choose to print your results page, the criteria will be included so you can easily refer back to them and duplicate the search.
  • The results list. Displays the list of foundation records retrieved by your search. The Results List also includes the City and State in which each foundation is located, as well as each grantmaker's Total Assets and Total Giving to individual recipients. Up to 25, 50, or 100 results are displayed on each search results screen, depending on which option you select (25 will be displayed by default).
  • The navigation line. Located at the bottom of the screen, the Navigation Line lists the number of screens available with results. Clicking the Next button takes you to the next page with results; clicking the Previous button takes you back to the previous screen, and you can enter a page number in the page field to jump to that page.

Tip: If your results are too broad or too narrow and you wish to revise your search without having to re-enter all your search criteria, you can select any term from the search facets listed under the Narrow Your Results header in the left-hand column or enter a keyword or keyphrase in the search field at the top of the screen. You have the option to conduct a new search or to search within your current set of results using that search field.


Record Display Screens

The Parts of a Foundation Record

The content of entries varies based on the size and nature of the programs and the availability of information from foundations. Specific data elements that could be included are:

Foundation contact information: The full legal name of the foundation, a.k.a. (also known as) and former name if applicable; the street address, city, and zip code of the grantmaker's principal office; the telephone number of the grantmaker; any additional address (such as a separate application address) supplied by the grantmaker; additional telephone or FAX numbers may be listed here as well as e-mail addresses and URLs.

Contact: The name and title of the initial person to whom inquiries should be directed.

Grantmaker type: The options of this data field are: community, company-sponsored, independent, public charity or operating foundations. Definitions can be found in the Glossary.

The Center defines a foundation as a non-governmental, nonprofit organization with its own funds (usually from a single source, either an individual, family, or corporation) and program managed by its own trustees and directors that was established to maintain or aid educational, social, charitable, religious, or other activities serving the common welfare, primarily by making grants to other nonprofit organizations.

Fields of interest: The fields of interest reflect the grantmaker's giving program. The Fields of Interest index on the Search screen allows you to retrieve records based on the information supplied in this field. Remember that many of the smaller foundations do not have fields of interest terms in their records. These foundations can only be retrieved by using other search criteria.

Geographic focus: This field describes the foundation's geographic preferences for giving. If a foundation limits its giving to specific states, they will be listed here. This section creates the Geographic Focus index used on the Search screen. Remember that not every foundation is represented in this index because information on specific geographic funding preferences is not always available. Therefore, you will get limited search results by relying solely on the Geographic Focus criterion when designing your searches.

Types of support: This field lists the types of support (such as awards, scholarships, loans, fellowships, etc.) offered by the foundation. As with certain other indexes, it is generally the entries for the larger foundations that will contain specific information concerning types of support awarded. If you do not find a type of support listing for the funding you seek enter that term as a keyword.

Limitations: This is a brief description of eligibility for the grant program(s), including geographic preferences, restrictions by subject focus or type of recipient, or specific types of support the foundation does not provide.

Publications: Printed materials distributed by the foundation that describe its activities and giving program are listed here. These can include annual or multi-year reports, newsletters, informational brochures, grant lists, etc.

Application information: This field may include the preferred form of contact, application deadlines, application description, and the materials to be submitted with the application. Some foundations have indicated that they do not accept applications. It is noted here if unsolicited applications are not accepted.

Asset type: Generally, assets are reported at market value or ledger value.

Expenditures: Total disbursements of the foundation, including non-grant expenses.

Total giving: Total amount for all gifts, contributions, grants paid; during the year. This amount generally excludes loans and the costs of foundation-operated programs, but includes all other forms of support such as grants, scholarships, and employee matching gifts.

Grants to individuals: The total amount and number of grants made directly to or on behalf of individuals, including scholarships, fellowships, awards, and medical payments. When supplied by the foundation, high, low, and average are also indicated.

Loans to individuals: The number and total amount of loans to individuals. When supplied by the grantmaker, high, low, and average range is also indicated.

Company Name(s): Grants are sometimes awarded to employees, or relatives of employees, of specific companies. These companies are listed in this field. Grants are often in the form of scholarships and/or student loans. Read the Limitations and Program Description fields for specific information about the foundation's giving programs and the company name(s) associated with them.

School Name(s): Grants are often awarded to students of specific schools. The schools whose students are eligible are listed in this field. Grants are often in the form of scholarships and/or student loans. Read the Limitations and Program Description fields for specific information about the foundation's giving programs and the school name(s) associated with them.

Program Description: This section outlines the foundation's giving program, which might include expectations for the recipient, standards to be maintained, giving preferences, and requirements for eligibility. Giving trends might also be included. Types of funds offered (if more than one) are listed as well as how funds are administered and to whom.

EIN: The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is assigned to each foundation by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes. This number can be useful when ordering copies of the foundation's annual tax return, from the Internal Revenue Service.

Most Recent IRS 990-PF Filings: Clicking on the PDF link allows you to view the latest available IRS 990-PF tax returns for private foundations.To read or print a PDF file, you need the Adobe Reader software. Click here to download the latest version of Acrobat for free: