Information Today
Volume 17, Number 6 • June 2000
The Foundation Center Releases FC Search Version 4.0

The Foundation Center has announced the release of FC Search version 4.0, the new edition of its CD-ROM database.

This expanded version presents updated information on the Foundation Center’s database of over 53,000 foundations and corporate givers, and new to this edition, hundreds of grant-making public charities. FC Search also includes more than 210,000 grant records, plus the names of over 200,000 trustees, officers, and donors, with updates on their foundation affiliations. Also new to version 4.0 are in-depth program descriptions for over 900 grant makers and enhanced application guidelines for over 5,300 funders.

According to the release, FC Search is both a sophisticated and user-friendly funding research tool. It’s designed for use by grant seekers and other nonprofit researchers at all levels of experience—from seasoned prospect researchers to those who may have little or no electronic searching experience. Rick Schoff, senior vice president for information resources and publishing at the Foundation Center, said: “FC Search is a unique product. It is the only comprehensive CD-ROM in the field of private grant making, and it is the only one that quickly links grant makers to their associated grants … all on one disk.” Current users include grant seekers, grant makers, libraries, journalists, consultants, and nonprofit researchers in the U.S. and more than 20 foreign countries.

Margie Feczko, senior database editor at the Foundation Center, said, “Since the fall 1999 Update Disk was issued, approximately 52 percent of the entries in the Grantmaker file have been updated, and over 3,500 new grant-maker profiles have been added.” This file now comprises over 53,000 profiles of independent, community, and company-sponsored foundations as well as corporate giving programs and grant-making public charities. Included are new contact names and application addresses, financial data, giving interests, application guidelines, the names of key trustees, and more.

The Grants file in FC Search now features over 210,000 grant records. Feczko explained that “more than 35 percent of this total—over 82,000 grants—are newly reported grants that have been added since the fall 1999 Update Disk was released.” This updated and expanded grants archive, with grants of $10,000 or more that were awarded between 1996 and 1999, will help researchers to track their prospects’ emerging interests as well as their historical giving patterns.

With FC Search version 4.0, grant seekers can now explore a new potential donor base with approximately 700 newly added grant-making public charities. Like foundations, grant-making public charities award grants to nonprofit organizations. A significant proportion of grant-making public charities limit their giving to one area. If this giving interest matches a grant seeker’s field, it provides that researcher with an extremely targeted prospect approach, according to the announcement.

In addition, over 900 grant makers have supplied the Foundation Center with in-depth program descriptions, outlining formal or informal areas of interest that they support on a regular basis. This comprehensive information allows grant seekers to tailor proposals to address a funder’s specific giving priorities.

To further increase the efficiency of a grant seeker’s efforts, comprehensive application guidelines for 5,300 grant makers now list the specific documents that need to be submitted with a grant request. Examples may include the history of the grant seeker’s organization, the names and titles of the organization’s board, its latest financial report, how it plans to evaluate the project for which it’s seeking funds, and many more.

FC Search provides direct links to related Web sites, and over 1,000 grant makers in the Foundation Center’s database now have Internet addresses included in their records. Visiting these grant-maker Web sites will provide users with additional facts and even greater currency of information on the funders’ activities. New to version 4.0 are links to the company Web sites of over 500 corporations that sponsor giving programs. Also, FC Search users can now link to a subscribers-only home page with value-added links and electronic mailing list sign-up.

According to the release, FC Search’s powerful, flexible search capabilities, based on 21 search criteria that include full-text searching, reduce the amount of time required to research the policies of specific funders, develop lists of prospective funders, discover the foundation affiliations of prominent individuals, and view newly reported grants in one or more fields.

FC Search contains many features specifically designed to aid users in organ–izing and recording the information obtained in their funding research. Users can create a tailored list of funding prospects by marking records in FC Search. These marked records can be stored for use in future sessions, as can commonly used search strategies. Researchers can use a wide range of flexible printing and saving options and can sort grant-maker search results alphabetically or by total giving. The searchable Notepad function can be used as a contact management tool.

All FC Search version 4.0 licensees will automatically receive an Update Disk this fall. The disc will contain the full FC Search database and will reflect the most current information collected during the year by the Center’s editorial researchers on foundations, corporate givers, public charities, and newly reported grant awards.

FC Search is licensed to users at $1,195 for a stand-alone (single-user) version. The local area network version (two to eight users in one building) is priced at $1,895. Larger local area networks and wide area network versions are also available.

According to the announcement, the Foundation Center is the nation’s premier source of information on foundation and corporate giving. It’s a nonprofit service organization established by foundations in 1956. The Center’s mission is to foster public understanding of the foundation field by collecting, organizing, analyzing, and disseminating information on foundations, corporate giving, and related subjects. Its audiences include grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public.

Source: The Foundation Center, New York, 212/620-4230;

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