Help Center

Getting started with Cause IQ

Learn the basics of Cause IQ to help you get underway with the website

In this help article...

What is Cause IQ?

Cause IQ is a database of information on nonprofits. Both nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies use Cause IQ. Nonprofits use Cause IQ to help find new funding opportunities, and for-profit companies use Cause IQ to help grow their businesses and provide insights to their clients. Cause IQ's database is built from over dozen sources and our purpose-built tools are designed with the end-user in mind, so you can easily get to where you need to go.

Cause IQ's nonprofit customers access the website with the goal of finding development and funding opportunities. Cause IQ helps our nonprofit customers accomplish this goal by creating searches that identify grantmaking foundations based on grant and grantee characteristics, and by understanding where peer organizations get funding from.

Cause IQ's business customers come to us with goals of growing their company, providing insights to their clients, and improving their sales operations. Cause IQ helps our business customers accomplish this goal by allowing users to easily search for and identify nonprofits in their target markets, generate bulk lead lists, research specific organizations in-depth, find key personnel and contact information, and conduct market research on the organizations that matter to the user most.


  • Search: A group of nonprofit organizations that meet the selected search filters of a Cause IQ customer.
  • Field: A financial, geographical, categorical, or other characteristic of a nonprofit organization that you can view, search, and/or export in Cause IQ.
  • Filter: A financial, geographical, categorical, or other characteristic field that you can use to refine an organization search in the search interface.
  • List: A group of nonprofit organizations that were each hand-selected by a Cause IQ customer (e.g., list of clients).
  • Organization: An IRS registered nonprofit within Cause IQ's database.
  • Form 990: An IRS tax form that's filled out and submitted by most tax-exempt organizations to provide an overview of the organization's activities, governance, and detailed financial information.

Which nonprofit organizations are in Cause IQ?

Cause IQ's database of nonprofits contains organizations that file a full Form 990, Form 990-PF, Form 990-EZ, or a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) with the IRS. These organizations add up to about 1,900,000 nonprofits within Cause IQ.

All organizations in Cause IQ

Please note since international organizations outside of the United States don't register with the IRS, they won't be included in Cause IQ's database. Also, religious organizations (e.g., churches) aren't required to disclose financials to the IRS, so we won't have all of them in Cause IQ. Lastly, public colleges and universities aren't 501(c) registered organizations, so they won't be in Cause IQ.

Where does Cause IQ's data come from and how often is it updated?

Cause IQ collects, cleans, and analyzes data from over a dozen sources. Our current sources of data include:

  • Manual research
  • IRS Form 990
  • IRS Form 990-PF
  • IRS Form 990-EZ
  • IRS Form 990-N (e-Postcard)
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule A
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule C
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule D
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule J
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule H
  • IRS Form 990 Schedule I
  • OMB A-133 Single Audit findings
  • OMB A-133 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance programs
  • DOL Form 5500
  • IRS Business Master File
  • IRS extract of tax-exempt organizations
  • Metadata from IRS Form 990 XML files
  • Department of Education College Scorecard
  • Organizations’ publicly available information
  • Secret sauce

In addition to the above data sources, Cause IQ has a variety of proprietary systems to clean, match, aggregate, classify, and categorize information on nonprofits, key personnel, and service providers. To see a list of all organization fields available, click here to check out our filter and field glossary.

Information in Cause IQ is constantly being updated, with different data sources having different update frequencies. On average we get around 41,000 new Form 990s from the IRS every month (due to a variety of fiscal year ends and filing dates), which we then usually have digitized and quality controlled within 2-3 weeks. For key personnel, because we source staff and board members, as well as their contact information, from six different sources, each source has its own update frequency, from weekly to yearly.

To help equip you to make informed decisions, all of our information is marked with Most recent data and Date of data dates, which indicate the most recently updated confirmed data source for that organization or person. Please note that this date corresponds to when the information was up-to-date, not when the data entered our system, so all Form 990 financial information is dated according to when that organization submitted the information to the IRS, not when Cause IQ received the information.

Find the types of nonprofit organizations that matter most to you

You create Cause IQ searches so that you can work with the nonprofits that matter most to your company and organization's mission.

For example, you can create searches to:

  • Identify organizations meeting target financial thresholds (using the Total revenues or Total expenses filters, for example)
  • Find organizations working with specific vendors (using the Tax preparer firm, Fundraiser solicitor firms, or IT products used filters, for example)
  • Segment organizations in target geographic areas (using the State, Metro area, or County filters, for example)
  • Find grantmaking foundations based on grantmaking characteristics (using the Median grant amount, Grant recipient types, or Grant geographic focus filters, for example)
  • Find a specific organization

You create a search from Cause IQ's search interface, which you can access from:

Here's a look at where you can access the search interface from your dashboard:

Access the search interface from your dashboard

The search interface has a search filter sidebar on the left of the page that is used to add filters to create a search of relevant nonprofit organizations.

Here's an overview video showing you how to add filters from Cause IQ's search interface to create an organization search:

How to access detailed information on an organization

When looking for organization information on a single nonprofit, the place to start is their organization profile page.

Organization profile pages

A Cause IQ organization profile page is where we store and display all the available information we have on a single nonprofit. These profile pages provide a detailed look into the organization's financials, personnel, vendors, funding/grantmaking information, and if reported, fundraising events, related entities, and more.

You can access a nonprofit's Cause IQ profile page from anywhere where the organization's name is linked within the Cause IQ website. This includes from:

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions that we get from customers that can be answered within an organization's profile page:

Where can I download an organization's Form 990 PDFs?

You can find and download available Form 990 PDFs in the Financials section of an organization's profile page. Just scroll down to the tab sections, click the "Financials" tab on the left, and then see the list of Form 990s in a table at the top of that tab page.

Where can I see personnel and contact information for an organization?

You can view all the identified staff and board and contact information (e.g., email address, direct phone number) in the Personnel section of an organization's profile page. Just scroll down to the tab sections, click the "Personnel" tab on the left, and then view all identified staff and board and contact details.

Where can I download all the information that Cause IQ has for a specific nonprofit?

You can download all the information we have, including the past five years of digitized financial information, in a detailed Excel report from an organization's profile page. Just click the "Download" button at the top of the page and select "Download report (XLSX)". Check out this help article for more information on our detailed Excel reports.

Here's a quick look at an organization's profile page in Cause IQ:

If you want to learn more about Cause IQ's organization profile pages, check out this help center article.

How to see information on multiple organizations at once

If you're looking to analyze and understand organization data for multiple organizations at a time, the best tool to use is Cause IQ's search table tool.

Table tool within the search interface

Cause IQ's table tool displays organizations belonging to your target searches or peer lists in a tabular format. You choose the organization data fields that you want as the column headers, so you can easily understand and compare relevant data points.

Here's a look at Cause IQ's table tool:

Search table tool

To learn more about the table tool, check out this detailed help center article.

Where to access key contact information

Cause IQ's contact information can be accessed from the Personnel section of an organization's profile page and from an individual personnel's profile page.

Personnel section of an organization's profile page

For organizations with identified staff and board in Cause IQ, their profile page has a Personnel section that lists all the identified personnel, and when available, displays the individual's email address, direct phone number, LinkedIn, and compensation details.

Here's a look at the Personnel section of an organization's profile page:

Personnel section on an organization's profile

Check out this help article to learn more about the Personnel section of an organization's profile page.

Personnel profile pages

All identified personnel in Cause IQ have a unique profile. Cause IQ's personnel profiles contain all the descriptive, contact, and compensation information that we have on an individual. You can access an individual's personnel profile by clicking on their name from the Personnel section in the corresponding organization's profile and from Cause IQ's people search.

Here's what a Cause IQ personnel profile page looks like:

Personnel profile page

If you want to learn more about Cause IQ's personnel profile pages, check out this dedicated help center article.

Where to go from here and where to get help when you need it

Schedule a one-on-one onboarding training or website refresher

Whether you're brand new to Cause IQ or haven't accessed the website in a while and are looking for a refresher, Cause IQ's team is always happy to schedule one-on-one phone calls or web video meetings. Feel free to schedule a 30-minute meeting from this link here or you can reach out to our team directly at [email protected]

Want to bulk download organization and personnel information?

Cause IQ's purpose-built export tool is designed for you to generate bulk reports of personnel and/or organization details. The export tool is included with Cause IQ's Pro subscription and Cause IQ's Core subscription customers can use the export on an a la carte basis to generate bulk lead lists. If you're a Core subscription user and want to learn more about creating a la carte export reports, check out this help article for more details.

Cause IQ's Help Center

Cause IQ's Help Center is chock full of best practice articles, how-to videos, deep dives into specific features, and much more. Click here to access the help center.

Contact the Cause IQ team within the website

When you're working in Cause IQ and you want to contact the Cause IQ team to ask a question, the easiest place to reach out is from the orange circular chat widget at the bottom-right of the screen. Our team monitors this chat throughout the day, and we will respond ASAP to make sure you're questions are answered.

Here's a look at where you can reach the Cause IQ team in-app:

Reach out to the Cause IQ team in-app