By Katherine Farnan, Manager of Network Engagement, Foundation Center
The nonprofit world demands information: metrics and analysis to improve systems and services, learning opportunities to develop skills and advance missions, and current data to inform project concepts and push ideas forward. In communities across the country, information hubs such as libraries play a crucial role in the exchange of information for nonprofit organizations, which are popping up in record numbers to serve their communities and solve critical problems.
The place where information meets social sector advancement is where Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network can be found. For over 55 years, Foundation Center has served nonprofits by providing sophisticated fundraising resources and accessible learning opportunities. Our network of satellite partner organizations that bring these resources to local communities was started in 1959 and is now 475 strong.
If you — or another organization you know of — are already committed to the improvement of your community and are looking for ways to help your audience get the funding information and training they need to solve problems and enhance your region, then consider becoming a partner with Foundation Center through the Funding Information Network.
Funding Information Network partners:
- are located in public libraries, universities, nonprofit resource centers, NGOs, and foundations in every state in the U.S. and more than 10 countries.
- play an active, engaged role in their nonprofit communities, providing important funding information and training opportunities that Foundation Center has developed in over a half-century of work in the philanthropic sector.
- connect people to the resources they need through training sessions and database orientation programs, often taking training out into the community to audiences where they live.
- provide access to Foundation Directory Online Professional, the premier tool for identifying potential funders from a vast repository of more than 100,000 grantmakers.
Network partners can be any type of public service organization
As public libraries play an increasingly larger role in providing small business resources to their communities, many employ a business librarian and set aside space specifically for business development resources and trainings. Participation in the Funding Information Network, which provides comparable resources for nonprofit organizations, is the perfect complement to these business tools. And public libraries are uniquely positioned to deliver Foundation Center-vetted skill-building classes to their audiences because many already host other kinds of learning opportunities. Public libraries make up the largest segment of Funding Information Network partners.
Another active group within Foundation Center’s current network is a growing number of community foundations. We believe there is tremendous untapped opportunity for the country’s more than 700 community foundations to expand the outreach they already provide to their constituents by becoming network partners of Foundation Center. Many of these foundations receive far more grant applications than they can fund, and housing Foundation Center materials at their site allows them to provide applicants and grantees with a clear pathway to much-needed supplemental or alternative funding opportunities.
But public libraries and foundations are not the only types of partners in the network; we also welcome nonprofit resource centers, universities, NGOs, and other social service agencies. Now more than ever, Foundation Center is looking to expand to new locations wherever our services are needed. We believe that every community deserves to have access to the information and tools that will help it pursue social improvement projects, and it’s our goal to see that happen. Active, engaged network partners are what drive the Funding Information Network. Ideal network partners are any organization that has and seeks connections with nonprofits, public agencies, individual community advocates, and funders in their local community.
I invite you to consider becoming a partner with Foundation Center through the Funding Information Network. Learn more about the Funding Information Network, how to join, and how to nominate another organization.