Socialize With Us

Get Answers When You Need Them

Monday, March 27, 2017

By Kym Buzdygon, Knowledge Services Specialist, Visualizing California Philanthropy, Foundation Center

First, the most important part of this blog post: Did you know you have FREE access to a tool that compiles funding data from members of all of the California regional associations? Thanks to a generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation, you can access Foundation Maps: California through your NCG membership.

Check it out here (you’ll need your NCG log in to access the Map). 

If you’ve read this far, you might be saying to yourself, “I’m a pretty busy person, and I don’t have a lot of time to learn new tools. How can Foundation Maps: California be helpful in my work?”

Right now the sector is operating in a funding landscape with a lot of uncertainty. Almost every day there are new executive memoranda and orders that set off waves of confusion, protests, and anxiety among diverse groups and organizations. Philanthropic institutions are looking hard at their role in this new reality and may need to pivot rapidly in order to support long standing portfolios as well as address new priorities that can pop up almost overnight.

Foundation Maps: California gives you access to data about funding from all of the member organizations of the California regional associations of grantmaking. While complete data is available through 2014, eReporting, in which foundations send their grants data directly to Foundation Center, means there is access to some grants data that is as recent as 2017. Interested in becoming an eReporter? Click here to learn more.

You can search the database by location and subject, and use additional filters such as population served and support strategy. You can then sort your results by Foundations, Recipients, and Grants and export that data in a PDF or csv file. A demo is really the best way to learn how to use the Map! Contact me at

What kind of searches can you do?

The possibilities are endless! Some examples of recent use cases include looking at giving by congressional district in southern California, conducting an overall landscape analysis on funding in San Francisco, and investigating which other funders are also funding the same recipients in the field of medical research for children with complex conditions. One of the most effective ways to narrow your search is to set some preliminary parameters until you find the kind of grant you’re looking for. Then you can see how that grant is coded, and adjust your search parameters accordingly. You can also use features like Pathways to see who else is supporting the same grantees, and Constellations to visualize the funding ecosystem.

How does access to this information help you?

It means that you can quickly identify potential collaborators, find potential gaps in funding that need to be addressed, and analyze longer term trends in giving. And you can access all that information from your workspace to get answers when you need them. You can also download helpful visuals from the Map to aid in presentations to your board or other staff. It’s easy! (And did I mention free for NCG members?)

As foundations, nonprofits, and local governments mobilize to protect vulnerable citizens, enforce important environmental regulations, and work to advance social justice, connectivity and transparency are important to ensure that resources are being deployed efficiently and effectively. Foundation Maps: California is a free source of regional funding data that can aid you in doing this important work.


I am available to give you a personal demonstration, so please get in touch! My Foundation Maps: CA office hours are Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. You can email me at or call (213) 680-8866 x 218. And keep an eye out for fun tips and tweets on #MappingMondays.