Help Center

Best practice article

Search for specific types of foundations

Discover grantmaking organizations that support nonprofits like yours, based on characteristics of grant recipients

In this help article...

We know that finding funding to support your organization isn't always easy. That's where Cause IQ can help! One way to identify potential funders with Cause IQ is to create a search for foundations based on past grantmaking activity, and to look at the characteristics of the nonprofits they support. By drilling down on a specific segment of foundations with a history of making grants to organizations like yours, you can target the right funders for your nonprofit and maximize your outreach efforts.

Your first step to create a foundation search is to open the Cause IQ search interface.

Access Cause IQ's search interface

There are a few ways to open Cause IQ's search interface:

  • Click the "New organization search" button on your dashboard
  • Click the spyglass icon on your navigation bar
  • Click the "Start new organization search with filters" link below the smart search box on your dashboard


Add grant filters to your search

Next, you need to add filters to your search from your search filter sidebar. For a foundation search, you'll want to focus on our grant filters that allow you segment based on a funder's grantmaking activity and the characteristics of grant recipients.

A few of our grant filters should be automatically displayed. To view all of our available grant filters, click the "All filters" button at the bottom of the search filter sidebar, and then navigate to the "Grant characteristics" category.

Here's a list of funder grant making activity filters in Cause IQ

  • 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

Here's a list of grant recipient characteristic filters in Cause IQ:

  • Grant recipient types
  • Grant recipient issues
  • Grant recipient characteristics
  • Grant recipient NTEEs
  • Grant recipient metros
  • Grant recipient state

Let's go through an example, so you can see these filters in action.

You might be interested in segmenting foundations that support human service organizations, give to nonprofits in the Washington DC area, and whose median grant size is at least $15,000. Here are the filters you'd want to add to your search:

  1. Types - Grantmaking organizations
  2. Grant recipient types - Human service organizations
  3. Grant recipient metros - Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  4. Median grant amount - $15,000

Here's a video that walks you through the process of finding these filters and adding them to a search:

View and analyze your foundation search results

After you've segmented a group of foundations, you might be wondering what to do next and how to work with your search results. You can use Cause IQ's tools and features to compare grantmaking and other details among the foundations, understand trends of the grant makers, and conduct in-depth research into the grantmaking activity of a specific foundation.


Compare grantmaking and other details among the foundations in your search with the table tool

After creating your search, you can use our table tool to compare specific data points between foundations. This tool gives you a quick snapshot of how the foundations in your search stack up against each other with respect to specific stats, such as Number of grants made, Total revenues, or any of Cause IQ's other quantitative and qualitative fields.

Here's an example of how you can use the table tool to understand more about the foundations in your search:

  1. After you've created your search, click the "Table" tab from the search interface to launch the table tool.
  2. Next, decide which data points you want to compare and customize your table. You might decide to add a few grantmaking-related fields to the table: Median grant amount, Grants to all govts., orgs., and individuals, and Number of grants made. To do so, click the "Change columns" link found in the upper right side of the page. Here you'll find the same field selector used for creating searches in Cause IQ; navigate down to the "Grantmaking characteristics" category to access grant-related fields and add them to your table.
  3. Your table should now display columns of your selected fields. You can click on any of the column headers to sort the list of foundations by that particular data point.

Here's a screenshot that shows the table tool customized with the fields mentioned above, sorted by the Grants to all govts., orgs., and individuals column:

Table tool - search for specific foundations


Looking at the table above, you can quickly understand that that a small number of foundations in this search (7 out of 1,500+) award over $1B in grants annually, and these larger foundations do not make up the majority of your potential funding pool. You can do similar comparisons by clicking on other column headers to see how those metrics compare.


Understand trends among the organizations in your search results with the analyze tool

Another way to work with your search results is to use the analyze tool, which allows you to view summary trends among the foundations you've identified. This tool is helpful when you want to see a breakdown of things like where the majority of foundation grant recipients are located, what nonprofit types and issues are funded most/least by the foundations in your segment, and how large the funding organizations are based on their revenues.

Almost all of Cause IQ's quantitative and qualitative fields can be added to the analysis report. For quantitative information (e.g., Total revenues, Median grant amount), the analyze tool summarizes the details in a bar graph. The graph also provides the average, median, sum total, and breaks down where the organizations fall with respect to the quantitative field by percentile. For qualitative information (e.g., State, Grant recipient types), the details are summarized in a list for you. The list shows you the top 10 results with respect to the selected field, and you can view all the results by selecting "Show all values".

To launch the analyze tool, click the "Analyze" tab from the search interface. You'll then need to click the "Change fields" button on the upper-right of the page to select the fields you want to analyze. Be sure to click the blue "Change fields" button to save your field selections. The page will update with summary stats for each of the fields you've added to the analysis. Note that you can download your analysis report to Excel by clicking the "Download report" button at the top of the page.

Here's a screenshot showing the analyze tool with the fields mentioned above added to the analysis:

Analyze tool - search for specific foundations

There are a few things you can learn from looking at this analysis:

  • The majority of foundations in this segment have Total revenues between $1m and $4.9m. From this, you might infer that medium-sized foundations are a potential sweet spot for grants to organizations like yours.
  • The Median grant amount for these foundations is $25,000. This could help you formulate the size and scope of the grants you apply for.
  • Foundations in this search make the most grants to nonprofits located in California and New York. However, you can scroll through the full list of states to see where yours falls in the list (assuming at least one organization in your state receives a grant from these foundations). It can be helpful to know that foundations already make grants to organizations in your state, before you begin the outreach and grant application process.


Conduct in-depth research into the grantmaking activity of a specific foundation

Another way to work with your search results is to do further research into the grantmaking activity of individual foundations. Every foundation in your search has a unique profile page that displays all the information Cause IQ has on them. You can access a specific foundation's profile page by clicking on their name from the list view or table tool. For grantmaaking organizations, Cause IQ has a grantmkaing section within the organization profiles that includes detailed information about what kinds of nonprofits a foundation supports, where those grant recipients are located, what issues they fund, and a listing of individual grants made.

Here's a screenshot of the grantmaking tab that shows a foundation's grantmaking overview and a breakdown of grant recipient characteristics:

Top of the "Grantmaking" section

Check out the See grants that a foundation makes article to learn more about using organization profile pages to do further grant research, including how to download grant information into an Excel report that you can share with colleagues.


Download foundation grantmaking information in bulk from Cause IQ

You may be interested in downloading a list from your search results that includes grantmaking details, financial info, and perhaps personnel contacts for every foundation that meets your search criteria. Nearly all of Cause IQ's 400+ qualitative and quantitative organization fields can be added to an export. If you're interested in pulling staff and board member information, you can also select specific types of individuals (chosen by job title levels and functions) and available contact information (emails and/or phones) to include in an export. Export reports arrive as a CSV file and can be downloaded directly from the export tool, accessed from your dashboard, and are emailed to the address associated with your account.

If your subscription includes bulk exporting, you can click the "Export" tab to open the export tool and proceed with the process of setting up and generating a report. This article from our help center walks through the steps to generate bulk lists in Cause IQ.

If you have a Core Subscription with Cause IQ, you have the ability to purchase a la carte exports at a cost of $0.90/record. Here's an article with how-to video from our help center that explains in detail how to create a la carte exports.