La Salle University has introduced a new digital resource that will help connect the campus community with funding sources for projects of just about any scope.
For the first time, the Foundation Directory Online is available at La Salle’s Connelly Library and through the library’s website. Considered one of the most comprehensive grantmaker databases, the Foundation Directory is a subscription-based search engine that bridges grant-seekers to more than 235,000 grantmakers around the world. These include private, independent, corporate, and international foundations, as well as public charities and U.S. Federal funders.
According to the Foundation Directory, only one out of every 10 U.S. foundations maintains a website. Similarly rare are locations at which the Foundation Directory is available, said Laura Otten, Ph.D., the director of La Salle’s Master of Science program in Nonprofit Leadership.
“You can count on one hand the number of places in the Philadelphia region where you can access the Foundation Directory,” said Otten, who directed the Nonprofit Center at La Salle for 20 years before her retirement from that role in May. “In my years working with nonprofit organizations and those who run them, it’s common for a grant-seeker to be unsure where to turn to find grant funding.”
For grant-seekers of any experience level, the Foundation Directory “is an invaluable tool” in their effort to win funding for varied projects, Otten said. Grant-seekers can locate grantmakers by using just a few keywords, or they can broaden their existing funding base, all while significantly shortening what could have been a tedious and lengthy process, Otten said.
Connelly Library offers a guide for using the Foundation Directory. The University’s librarians are available to provide support, said Dean and University Librarian Sarah Clark, Ph.D., MLIS.
“Foundation Directory Online is a research tool to help La Salle faculty, staff, and students find the private and independent foundations, corporate foundations, U.S. federal funders, public charities, and international foundations most likely to fund our projects,” Clark said. “Not only will this resource allow La Salle University to tap new funding sources to better support our teaching and learning activities, the collaborative funding model, where costs were shared between five university departments, allowed us to subscribe to a resource that none of us could have afforded alone. The library hopes to explore this collaborative funding model for similar resources in the future.”
The Foundation Directory has value for multiple constituencies at La Salle, according to Otten—from clients of the Nonprofit Center at La Salle, to University faculty members looking to fund research projects or staff members seeking funding for a new campus center or institute.
“Just about everyone can relate to having a brilliant idea but not having the money to support it or execute it,” Otten said. “That’s what makes the Foundation Directory such a wonderful resource for La Salle.”
—Christopher A. Vito