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Find funding with Cause IQ

Find development opportunities for your nonprofit 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 search to segment specific foundations based on their grantmaking activity, and characteristics of their grant recipients.
  2. Use our funding tool to discover which foundations fund your peers.
  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 in Cause IQ. Your first step is to create a new organization search from our search interface. You can access the search interface by clicking the "New organization search" button on your dashboard. Next, you’ll need to add filters to your search.

Add grant filters to your search

Cause IQ's search filter sidebar (on the left of the search interface) lets you filter by over 400 fields so you can narrow down on the organizations that matter to you. For a foundation search, you’ll want to add some of our grant filters. These filters let you search for foundations based on characteristics of grant recipient organizations, grant size, and geographic focus. You'll find a few grant filters automatically displayed in your search filter sidebar; however, to access all of the available grant filters (along with all 400+ Cause IQ filters), click the “All filters” button at the bottom of the search filter sidebar and navigate to the"Grant characteristics" subsection.

Here's a list of all the grant filters available in Cause IQ:

  • Grant recipient types
  • Grant recipient issues
  • Grant recipient characteristics
  • Grant recipient NTEEs
  • Grant recipient metros
  • Grant recipient state
  • Number of grants made
  • Grant geographic focus
  • Grant purpose descriptions
  • Median grant amount
  • Average grant amount
  • Maximum grant amount
  • Minimum grant amount
  • Grants to all govts., orgs., and individuals

Once you find the filter(s) you want to add:

  1. Click on the name of the filter
  2. Make the appropriate selections for the qualitative filters OR
  3. Enter the appropriate values for the quantitative filters OR
  4. Type the appropriate names/keywords in the text filters
  5. Click "Add filter"

Let’s go through an example, so you can see these filters in action. The persona here will be a Director of Development for a live performance theater in Washington DC, who is looking to identify new potential grant opportunities with Cause IQ.

A few important things you want this search to do: first, narrow down on foundations making grants to other nonprofits in your geographic area; second, identify funders already supporting performing arts centers like yours; and third, make sure that a foundation's grant sizes are in line with the scope/needs of your organization.

Here are the filters you could add to this search:

  • Grant recipient types > Performing arts centers
  • Grant recipient metros > Washington DC
  • Median grant amount > $10,000

This short video walks through the process of adding these filters to a search:

Discover which foundations fund your peers

Another way to find funding opportunities in Cause IQ is with our funding tool, which allows you to see which foundations make grants to your peers (nonprofits just like yours).

Create a peer search and access the funding tool

The first step is to set up a peer search in the search interface (or open a manual list you've created in Cause IQ of hand picked organizations). To create a new peer search, add filters that match your own organization’s characteristics.

For example, if you want to find funding for an animal shelter in Los Angeles, you could add the following filters:

Types > Animal shelters

Location > Metro: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Total revenues > $100,000 to $500,000 (select a range that makes sense for your organization's size)

Your search results should display a list of your peer organizations — you'll probably even see your nonprofit within the results! Now that your peer search is ready, click the “Funding” tab to launch the funding tool.

Here's a screenshot showing the three filters mentioned above added to a search:

Peer search and funding tool


View funding details and search for funders by name

Inside the funding tool, you'll see a "Top funder details" section listing the foundations making grants to your peer segment. Scanning down the list, you may see some of your own current funders. You might also see some new names that aren’t already on your radar, but perhaps should be.

For each grantmaker Cause IQ has identified making grants to the organizations in your search, you'll see:

  • The total number of grants made
  • Average grant size
  • Sum of all grants
  • Smallest grant size
  • Largest grant size

You can sort the foundation list by the column headers. Simply click the appropriate column header and the list will sort itself.

You'll also see a "Search funders..." search box above the list of foundations. This lets you search for a specific foundation by name to see if Cause IQ has identified them giving to the organizations in your search.

Here's a screenshot of the "Top funder details" section of the funding tool:

Funding tool - funder, grant size


View the specific grants a foundations makes to an organization

On the far right of the page, you see the "Grants" column. This column includes a "View grants" link for all the foundations Cause IQ has identified making grants to the organizations in the search. If you click on a "View grants" link, a popup displays some high-level details on the foundation, including:

You'll also see the specific grants the foundation made to the organizations in the search. You can see the grant recipient, what the grant was for, and the grant amount. Here's an example of what you'll see in this "View details" popup:

View grants link - funder details


View the largest identified grants

Scrolling to the bottom of the page, you'll see a "Top grant details" section. This section shows the 25 largest grants made to the organizations in your search. You'll see the amount, grantmaker, grant recipient, the fiscal year, and the grant description.

Here's a look at the "Top grant details" section:

Top grant details - funding tool

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