Are you struggling to find the grants you need? Imagine how convenient it would be to have a source of potential funding opportunities readily available right at your fingertips! The Foundation Directory Online (or the FDO), is a major benefit for Spokes members. This database features expanded profiles of more than 140,000 potential grantmakers offering at least 11 million types of grants valued at an estimated $250 billion.
Searching the internet to find grants relevant to your organization can be time consuming and tedious. That’s the value of the FDO, which offers multiple ways to quickly narrow your focus on finding compatible funders. A search on the FDO can result in a finely defined list of potential foundations with an interest in the specific areas of need for your organization. Tables and charts on the size, scope, and priorities of the foundation help you target your grant proposal for the best possibility of success.
Understanding the value of this database is important. Almost 75% of grantmakers do not have a website, making them difficult if not impossible to find. The FDO keeps an updated listing of foundations that have been verified, coded, and sorted by funding areas so members can quickly determine which ones are relevant for their business.
The cost of a one-year membership with the FDO is $4,000, but Spokes members receive free access to the database in several ways. The FDO is available to individual members or organization members.
- Free & Unlimited: Make an appointment to use the workstations in San Luis Obispo.
- Free & Limited: Organizational Memberships come with one free week-long remote pass.
- Pay-as-you-go: Any member can purchase a week-long remote pass for $40.
- To access any of these options call the Spokes office at 805-547-2244 and speak with Howard or Consuelo.
The most successful grants often come as the result of a personal connection with the granting organization. However, making a personal connection can be more challenging than writing a compelling narrative. Spokes Members can now connect grant research and personal relationships through LinkedIn, which will allow you to quickly and easily identify personal connections between you or your board members and key staff members of foundations and granting organizations. Spokes members can simply log onto FDO, select a foundation, view its profile, and click on the LinkedIn logo to see who in your network may know someone at the foundation.
In order to take full advantage of this new system, be sure to establish an organization profile on LinkedIn and connect each of your board members with it. That way, you’ll be able to immediately see any connections between your team and the grantmaker’s team.
Once you do find a connection, ask the connected board member to send an outreach letter to introduce your organization to the foundation. (This is a great strategy for reaching out to foundations that don’t accept uninvited grant applications, as well.) Find a sample outreach letter here.