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Searching text with keywords and phrases

Search text fields by keywords, phrases, and groupings of words to find what you're looking for

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Many text filters in Cause IQ let you search for a combination of keywords and phrases. Currently, those fields include the Detailed description, Name, Grant purpose descriptions, Street address, Fundraising event: name, Program service, keywords, and Trade, past, or other names. Constructing those types of queries is a little different than normal searches.


If you want to search for words that must appear next to each other, or any other type of phrase, then you can put those words in quotes and the search engine will require them to be together. For example, if you were searching for organizations based of a specific Fundraising event: name and wanted to find organizations throwing a spring gala, you would search:

"spring gala"

with the quotation marks, which would require those matching words to be present. If you searched the words without the quotation marks, then the search engine would match either "spring" or "gala".

Boolean operators

Cause IQ support AND, OR, and NOT operators, in addition to the + and - operators. By default, every word in your text search is connect with an OR, so that any entity with one or more matching words will turn up as a result. If you were to search for the name of organizations with the following query:

american united +family -foundation

the search engine would require "family" to be present, require "foundation" be absent, and both "american" and "united" would be optional, although entities with "american" or "united" in their name would appear higher in the results list. Similarly, if you were to search:

american AND united NOT foundation

the search engine would require "american" and "united" to be present and "foundation" to be absent from the organization's name.


Oftentimes we want to search for a combination of phrases and boolean operators. This is where groupings come in, using parentheses. You can nest as many parentheses as you want, putting separate search terms in each one. For example, if you searched for the following organization name:

american AND (society OR association)

the search engine would require the word "american" to be present, and would also require either "society" or "association" to be present as well. You can form complex queries combining phrases as well, such as if you were searching an organization's description:

("take action" OR "action center" OR "contact your representatives") AND (donate OR "sign up") NOT activist

the search engine would require one of the phrases in both parentheses, but all resulting descriptions must not have the word "activist" in them. Also, because boolean operators can use words or symbols, the above query is equivalent to:

+("take action" "action center" "contact your representatives") +(donate "sign up") -activist

because the default operator is OR, so when a "-" or "+" isn't present immediately before a word, phrase, or grouping, the search engine assumes an OR operator.


When you want to search for multiple possible matches, such as "San Francisco" or "San Diego", you can use wildcard placeholders. For example, if you were searching cities and typed in:

san *

you would match any city that starts with "san" and has anything else behind it. The asterisk ("*") character matches zero or more characters. You can also use the question mark ("?") to match just a single character. Using wildcards might slow down your searches, though, because it takes more computation power to go through all of the possible matches.

Proximity phrases

A normal phrase search requires that words in the phrase be directly next to each other. However, using proximity searches, you can also give the search engine some leniency in the positions of words in a phrase. You do this by entering the tilda character ("~") after the phrase, followed by the number of word position changes that are possible. For example, if you were searching the name of an organization and entered:

"american foundation"~1

the search engine would allow one word position changing, matching "American Foundation for Suicide Prevention" and "American Endowment Foundation", but not "American Israel Education Foundation". However, if you searched for:

"american foundation"~2

the search engine would match "American Israel Education Foundation" as well. Please note that the search engine prioritizes organizations that have a more exact phrase, so "American Foundation for Suicide Prevention" would appear above "American Israel Education Foundation".

Reserved characters

Because the search engine needs to have special characters, such as parentheses, in order to interpret queries, certain characters cannot be searched. These characters are:

+ - && || ! ( ) { } [ ] ^ " ~ * ? : \ /

If you try to use one of these queries in a way not described above, the characters will be ignored.