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About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five library/learning centers and at more than 470 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world.

Our Vision
A world enriched by the effective allocation of philanthropic resources, informed public discourse about philanthropy, and broad understanding of the contributions of nonprofit activity to increasing opportunity and transforming lives.

Our Mission
To strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.

Our Values

Our Beliefs

  • Philanthropy is an engine for positive social change worldwide.
  • Transparency and accountability are keys to earning the public trust.
  • Knowledge about philanthropy starts with accurate information.
  • Access to accurate information about philanthropy advances responsible and effective use of resources.
  • Grantmaker and nonprofit effectiveness is enhanced by shared information and understanding.

Our Practices

  • We deliver the highest quality of service to all those who use our resources.
  • We build partnerships that help us fulfill our mission.
  • We recognize diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our mission.
  • We preserve our credibility by remaining independent
    and objective.
  • We build capacity, talent, and excellence within the
    social sector.
  • We embrace innovation and harness technology to maximize our effectiveness.
  • We make a significant portion of our resources available
    for free.
  • We exercise fiscal responsibility as a means of achieving
    our mission.

Activities
The Center accomplishes its mission by:

  • Operating library/learning centers in five locations — New York City; Washington, DC; Atlanta; Cleveland; and San Francisco — that offer free access to information resources and educational programs.
  • Maintaining unique databases of information on more than 108,000 foundations, corporate donors, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S. and over 3 million of their recent grants. Its Foundation Directory Online subscription service is the most popular means for searching these databases.
  • Providing a content-rich web site with a variety of free search tools, tutorials, downloadable reports, and other information updated daily, including Philanthropy News Digest, its daily news service, and IssueLab, its searchable online collection of more than 12,000 documents representing one of the largest collections of social sector knowledge.
  • Conducting research and publishing reports on the growth of the foundation field and on trends in foundation support of the nonprofit sector, including research advisories on issues including diversity, public policy, and social media.
  • Educating thousands of people each year through a full curriculum of training courses — in the classroom and online in the form of self-paced courses and tutorials, as well as webinars. Free and affordable classes nationwide cover the funding research process, proposal writing, grantmakers and their giving, and related topics.
  • Publishing books ranging from basic primers on fundraising and nonprofit management to comprehensive reference works.
  • Coordinating a global Funding Information Network — 470+ locations that offer free local access to core Center resources and training.

More About the Foundation Center

Foundation Center 2020


Read and comment on the Foundation Center's strategic plan»

2013 Annual Report

Annual Report

Watch Our Video

Fact Sheet


- Download our
fact sheet

Infographic


- View the infographic

Meet Our President,
Bradford K. Smith


- View bio

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