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Find funding with Cause IQ

Identify new grant opportunities for your nonprofit organization with Cause IQ

In this help article...

Finding the right funding opportunities for your nonprofit can be challenging. It's important to do your own research, assessing potential funders by looking at what kinds of organizations they give to, where those organizations are located, the sizes of grants made, and other characteristics. Cause IQ mines grant information from Schedule I of the Form 990 and Part XV of the Form 990-PF, and equips you with tools to identify foundations that might be a good fit for your organization.

There are three main ways to find funding opportunities with Cause IQ:

  1. Create a foundation search for specific types of foundations in specific locations, with certain grant and grant recipient characteristics.
  2. Use the foundation search to discover which foundations fund your peers (nonprofits like yours).
  3. Access the Grantmaking tab on a foundation's organization profile page to conduct in-depth research on their grantmaking activity.

Here is a detailed video that introduces some relevant tools and features for Cause IQ's nonprofit customers:

Search for specific types of foundations

Let’s begin by looking at how to search for specific types of foundations with Cause IQ's foundation search. Your first step is to open the foundation search by clicking the "New foundation search" button from your dashboard (you can also click the magnifying glass icon in the navigation bar on any Cause IQ webpage and select "New foundation search").

Here's what this button looks like on the dashboard:

Foundation search dashboard button

Add foundation filters to your search

Next, you'll need to add some filters. The foundation search allows you to add foundation, grant, and grant recipient filters in order to narrow down on a specific segment of foundations. Foundation filters are located in the search filter sidebar on the left side of the page, and include:

  • Types
  • Characteristics
  • Location
  • Grant geographic focus
  • Number of grants made
  • Total revenues
  • Total assets
  • EIN

You can also use the help wizard to easily add foundation filters to your search. The wizard displays automatically when you open the foundation search tool. Select the second wizard option, "I'm looking for certain types of foundations", to see a few commonly-used foundation filters you can use to customize your search. After adding your desired filters, click "Show tips and results" to view your foundation results and get a quick tour of the tool (recommended if it's your first time using the foundation search), or click "Close wizard" to skip the tour and go straight to the results.

Here's a look at the options available with the foundation search help wizard:

Options available in the foundation search help wizard

Let's take a look at a search example using a few different foundation filters. For this scenario, we'll search for private foundations in the Denver metro area that made more than 10 grants in the most recently-filed tax year. This search is created using the following three foundation filters:

  • Types - Private foundations
  • Location - Metro: Denver
  • Number of grants made - ≥ 10

Here's a screenshot showing this foundation search with the three filters added:

Foundation filters in the foundation search tool

Add grant and/or grant recipient filters to further refine your search

In addition to foundation filters, you can add grant and grant recipient filters to the same search to identify funders that made certain kinds of grants to certain types of nonprofits. Additional filters can be added from within the Grants and Grant recipients tabs in the foundation search.

To add grant filters to your foundation search, click the "Grants" tab followed by the "Filter grants" link located in the upper-right corner of the screen. The following grant filters are available:

  • Description of grant purpose
  • Amount of grant
  • Most recent grants only
  • Fiscal year when grants made

To add grant recipient filters, click the "Grant recipients" tab and look for the "Filter recipients" link in the upper-right of the screen. Here are the grant recipient filters you'll find:

  • Location
  • Types
  • Total revenues
  • NTEE code, primary
  • Num. employees
  • Detailed description

Continuing with the example introduced above, let's add some grant and grant recipient filters so you can see all three filter types (foundation, grants, grant recipients) working together on the same search. Next, we'll narrow down our list of Denver-area private foundations even further to those that make grants to family service centers, where those grants are aimed specifically at supporting children. This is done by adding the following additional filters to the search (includes tab location for each filter):

  • Description of Grant purpose - "children" OR "kids" (Grants tab)
  • Types - Family service centers (Grant recipients tab)

Here's a quick video that shows the process of creating this search using foundation, grant, and grant recipient filters:

Download foundation lists into Excel spreadsheets

After using the foundation search to identify a specific segment of foundations, click the "Download" link found in the upper-right of the Foundations tab to download your list into an Excel spreadsheet. Note that foundation search downloads are limited to 2,500 records each, so you'll need to add more filters to your search if your list exceeds this size. Downloads from the Foundations tab contain the following pre-set columns:

  • EIN
  • Foundation name
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Total revenue
  • Total assets
  • Grant geographic focus
  • Number of grants made

Here's a screenshot that shows you where the Download link is located within the Foundations tab:

Location of download link in foundation search Foundation tab

Single out or remove a specific organization from your search results

When scrolling through search results in the Foundations or Grant recipients tabs, you might come across a specific organization that catches your attention and you want to view and download information for only that organization. Alternatively, you might spot an organization that doesn't match your criteria and you want it removed from your search results, especially if you already work with them or already know they are not a good fit. In such situations, our single out / remove feature enables you to isolate one organization on its own within the foundation search or exclude it from your results. To use this feature, hover over the name of the organization and click either "single out" or "remove".

Here's a screenshot that shows what the single out / remove feature looks like when you hover over a foundation or grant recipient search result:

Single out or remove an organization from your foundation search results

Discover which foundations fund your peers

Another way to find funding opportunities in Cause IQ is to see which foundations make grants to your peers (nonprofits like yours). This is done by creating a peer search in Cause IQ's foundation search tool. You also have the ability to do in-depth research on a specific organization's funding sources to discover potential funding partners for your own nonprofit. You can accomplish this in an organization's profile page.

Create a peer search

The first step is to create a new foundation search using grant recipient filters. Open the foundation search tool by clicking the search icon (magnifying glass) in the top navigation bar on any Cause IQ webpage, and select "New foundation search".

Click the first link displayed in the help wizard, "I want to find foundations that fund nonprofits like mine". A few commonly-used grant recipient filters will display that you can easily add to your search. Note that your filter selections on a peer search should match the characteristics of your organization (or the organization that seeks funding).

For example, if you're looking for foundations that support smaller-sized performing arts centers in Austin, TX, add the following grant recipient filters:

  • Location - Austin (choose either City or Metro Area)
  • Types - Performing arts centers
  • Total revenues - $500,000 to $1.5 million (choose the revenue range that makes sense for your peer group)

Here's a screenshot that shows which help wizard option you should select to create a peer search:

Foundation search help wizard - peer search option

Once you've added grant recipient filters to your search, click the "Foundations" tab to see the list of foundations that support small performing arts centers in Austin, the "Grants" tab to see the list of grants they made, and the "Grant recipients" tab to see the list of peer organizations that received these grants.

The screenshot below shows the three grant recipient filters listed in the example above added to a peer search, with the list of funders displayed in the Foundations tab:

Peer search using grant recipient filters

Download foundation lists into Excel spreadsheets

After creating your peer search, click the "Download" link found in the upper-right of the Foundations tab to download your foundation list into an Excel spreadsheet. Note that you can download lists with up 2,500 records at a time. If your peer search yields more foundation results than this, you will need to add additional foundation, grant, or grant recipient filters to narrow down your results. Downloads contain pre-selected columns of information that you can see in the example below:

Foundation search download example in Excel

Conduct in-depth research on an organization's funding sources

In addition to looking at which foundations support a group of your peers, you can also conduct in-depth research into the funding sources of a specific nonprofit. The funding tab on an organization's profile page provides a detailed look at its funding sources, including grants from other nonprofits as well as federal grant and contract income. This data provides valuable insights into where a peer organization gets its money from.

To access the funding tab, first you'll need to open up the Cause IQ profile page for the organization. There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Type the organization's name, EIN, or website URL into the smart search box found on your dashboard.
  • Click a linked organization profile page displayed in the foundation search Grants or Grant recipients tabs.

With the desired profile page open, scroll down to where to you see several tabs along the lefthand side of the page and click the "Funding" tab.

This screenshot shows where to locate the funding tab at the bottom of an organization's profile page:

Funding tab - organization profile page

Here you can view the organization's funding sources, including foundation grants and contributions, fundraising event income, program service revenues, other investments, and federal grant and contract funding. A "Grants from foundations and other nonprofits" section displays the total number of foundation grants Cause IQ identifies the organization receiving, the total value of the identified grants, and a list of the specific grants they received.

The list of grants shows you the:

  • Grantmaker
  • Grantmaker tax period
  • Description
  • Amount

By default, Cause IQ displays the grants from largest to smallest (based on amount), and you can sort the grants accordingly by column header. You can also search for keywords in grant descriptions or specific grantmaker organizations by using the "Search grants..." search field.

Here's what the "Grants from foundations and other nonprofits" section looks like:

Funding tab - "Grants from foundations and other nonprofits" section

Note that individual grantmaker names are linked, and you can click on them to open the organization profile page for that funder and do further research into their grantmaking.

Federal funding from grants and contracts

Scrolling further down the funding tab, organizations that receive federal grants and/or contracts will have a Federal funding details section displayed. Here you'll find information about what federal grants and contracts an organization has received, including sub-awards where the organization isn't the primary grantee or contractor. This includes a list of the largest funding agencies for currently-active awards, line graphs showing how the organization's federal grant and contract income has changed over the last five years, and a detailed list of awards the organization has received since January 1, 2020 at the bottom of the section.

Here's what the Federal funding details section looks like on an organization's profile page:

Funding tab, federal grants and contracts section

The list of federal grant and contract awards at the bottom of this section includes a search box where you can look for awards with specific keywords in their description. The list includes the following columns of information:

  • Description
  • Agency
  • Award type
  • Start date
  • End date
  • Amount

The Description column includes clickable links for individual awards that open popup boxes displaying award amount, award type, key dates, place of performance, funding agency information, and CFDA program details. There is also a button in the bottom-left that you can click to be taken to each award's listing on the website.

Here's what the Federal funding award details popup box looks like:

Federal funding award details popup box

See grants that a foundation makes

Perhaps you’ve identified a potential funder for your nonprofit, but you want to dig deeper to understand more about their past grantmaking activity. The Grantmaking tab on an organization's Cause IQ profile page provides a summary of the foundation's grantmaking activity, trends of the types of nonprofits the foundation gives to, their grant recipients, and a list of all the grants Cause IQ has identified the foundation making. You can even search the identified grants to quickly view grants meeting certain criteria.

Access the Grantmaking tab, grantmaking summary, and characteristics of grant recipients

From an organization's profile page, scroll down to where you see several tabs along the lefthand side and click "Grantmaking". The top of this section displays a grantmaking summary for the most recent year. You'll find amounts for the foundation's:

  • Number of grants
  • Average grant size
  • Geographic focus
  • Smallest grant size
  • Median grant size
  • Largest grant size

You'll also see a "Characteristics of grant recipients, most recent year" section, that helps you understand the trends among grant recipients (nonprofit types, issues, and locations, among others) for that foundation. Here's a look at the "Grantmaking activity overview, most recent" and "Characteristics of grant recipients, most recent year" sections:

Grantmaking tab & section overview

Listing of grants made

The bottom section of a funder's grantmaking page is where you can see a list of grants made.  For the grants listed, you'll see the grantee's name, EIN, grant description, grant amount, and a "Details" link. You can also filter the grants displayed in the list by certain grant characteristics.

You can filter the grant list by:

  • Grantee type
  • Grantee issue
  • Grantee characteristics
  • Grantee state
  • Grantee metro
  • Grantee NTEE code
  • Organization name
  • Grant description

For example, if you work for a human service organization in New York City, you can add a Grantee type filter with a "Human service organization" selection, and a Grantee metro filter with a "New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY" selection, to see a list of the human service organizations in the New York City metro area that the foundation gives to and the grant amount. This helps you understand a foundation's grantmaking activity towards nonprofits similar to your own.

Here's a look at this "Listing of grants made" section with filter options:

Listing of grants made - grantmaking tab

View specific grant details

In the grantee list at the bottom of the "Grantmaking" section of an organization's profile, you'll see a blue "Details" link on the right side. You can click this link to view specific details on the grantmaker, grant recipient, and their grant history. A popup will display the most recent grant and any other past grants Cause IQ has identified the grantmaker making to the grantee. Cause IQ provides the "Tax period", "Description", and "Amount" for the identified grants so you can get an understanding of how long the foundation has provided funding to the grantee.

Here's an example of what you'll see by clicking the "Details" link within the grant details section:

Grant details - listing of grants made

Download grantmkaing information into Excel spreadsheets

Every organization in Cause IQ includes a downloadable detailed Excel report that includes grantmaking information (if an organization makes grants), financials, personnel details, and more. To access this report, click the "Download" button at the top-right of an organization's profile page and select "Detailed Excel report" from the dropdown list.

Here's a look at where to access the detailed Excel report on an organization profile page:

Location of detailed Excel report download on profile page

Additionally, you can download detailed grant lists for foundations using the foundation search tool. To do so, click the "Open in foundation search" button found above the "Listing of grants made" section of a foundation's profile page. The foundation search will open with the organization you're looking at automatically added as an EIN filter. Click the "Grants" tab to view a list of grants made by the foundation, and the "Download" link in the upper-right of the screen to download this list to an Excel spreadsheet.

The screenshot below shows the location of the "Open in foundation search" button within the Grantmaking tab on a foundation's profile page:

Location of "Open in foundation search" section of Grantmaking tab

After clicking "Open in foundation search", the foundation search will open and you can click the "Grants" tab to view the list of grants this foundation has made and the "Download" link to download the list to Excel. The screenshot below shows the Grants tab and the Download link in the foundation search:

Foundation search Grants tab and download link

Next steps with Cause IQ

If you would like to connect with a Cause IQ team member to schedule a one-on-one web training, feel free to reach out to us from the orange chat widget at the bottom-right of the screen.

Also, here are a few other articles that can help you get the most out of Cause IQ: