What is the background of the Funding Information Network?

The Funding Information Network was begun more than 50 years ago, informally, with the installation in the late 50s and early 60s of a few satellite "depository libraries" in Illinois, Kansas, and Texas. These libraries provided some of Candid's books and materials on foundations for public use. Since that time, the network was grown each decade to include partners in all regions of the United States, and in multiple countries worldwide.

What is the purpose of the Funding Information Network?

Our Funding Information Network enables us to reach thousands more people in communities across the country and around the world. The program consists of hundreds of community-based organizations that house and provide - free of charge to the public - a suite of our trainings and tools to their local communities.

These network partners can be found in every corner of the United States and in several countries around the world. Funding Information Network organizations are deeply committed to being the fundraising information hub in their communities; they host trainings for the public, give one-on-one support to those with questions on the fundraising/proposal writing process, and provide free access to Foundation Directory Online, our flagship web-based application of foundations and grantmaking organizations.

What is the cost of joining the network?

Network partnership with Candid's Funding Information Network requires an annual fee of $2,995* for the Access Program or $5,995* for the Training Program. The fee is billed on an annual basis (12 months). 

In addition to Candid's premiere products and training materials, network partners benefit from free in-person and online training and conferences as well as a wider network of like-minded partners who are working in the field of nonprofit and fundraising information services. 

*Annual fees are subject to change.

Which program is right for my organization, Access or Training? 

The Access Tier is intended for those organizations working to support the information and data needs of local nonprofits by primarily providing access and support to our web-based applications, notably, Foundation Directory Online (FDO). Access FINs typically serve a variety of audiences in addition to nonprofits, and therefore will not be required to conduct group trainings on Candid resources. While training is not required for Access FINs, many of these partners may still provide orientations to FDO and other Candid resources, along with any other relevant content and support services. Access FINs are a valued and important part of Candid's extension of mission, helping to provide free access to funding data for nonprofits.

What types of organizations can join the network?

Active, engaged network partners are what drives the Funding Information Network. A great partner is plugged in to their community needs in a fundamental way. They have (or are willing to begin establishing) connections with local funders, nonprofit agencies, and other community organizations in order to promote the value of the program and to invite community members to take part in its trainings and orientations.

Network partners might be local libraries, United Ways, community foundations, colleges, or other nonprofit entities. Partners provide Candid resources to the public free of charge, are constantly going out into the region to meet people where they are, hosting trainings, orientations, tutorials, and other events to constantly bring in new customers to use their services.

How does the program benefit my community?

In a recent survey of Candid customers working in fundraising, 60% of those who have actually received a grant in the past 2 years stated that our resources were an important reason for their success.

Having a program in your community means that the people who are seeking to improve your community through nonprofit projects and agencies can advance their knowledge and skills at the local level and apply those skills to their work.

Network partners plug in to the most comprehensive, highest-quality, and internationally-known tools and resources for fundraising that members of their communities need in order for their local nonprofit projects to thrive. And partners provide those resources to their community members locally, whether it's at the local library, United Way, or community foundation.

Simply put, network partners can positively effect the improvement of their communities and their communities' nonprofit players.

How does the program benefit organizations who become partners?

Network partners ARE the nonprofit funding experts in their communities. Beyond that, partners drive economic development by supplying local nonprofits with fundraising information and skillbuilding opportunities to successfully fund their projects and make their programs financially sustainable.

Network partners ask - and then through their resources, they answer - one central question: "Are the funders with good intent in this community connected to the people who are solving problems in this community?" This ability to be the established connection point between these two major agents of local change is a powerful position to hold.

Being a network partner also means that your own organization can use the world-class funding research web-based application(s) that you are offering to your communities - and at a deep discount compared to what you would pay as an organizational subscriber. FIN Program Benefits Chart

How do I apply, and what is the process like?

Once your application has been received, Candid staff will review your application and get in touch with you to discuss your partnership viability. Once accepted, you'll agree with the Standards of Operation, pay the annual fee, and begin to get set up with the subscriptions and other materials at your site.

To help you prepare, you can review the list of application question detailed at the bottom of this page

What is expected of partners?

The Funding Information Network is an extension of Candid’s mission. Through partner locations, underserved nonprofits can access resources they might not have been able to given their limited capacity. Candid regularly refers users these partner location, and we know they will have a positive experience because of our FIN program standards for operation.

Our standards allow users in your community to know what to expect when they show up at your door. Since 2015, we have conducted the annual Network Achievement Report, which evaluates all of our FINs on their dedication to our standards. Since 2015, 99 percent of FINs responding are meeting or exceeding basic standards for operation.

Our standards are slightly different for our Access and Training programs. See more about program eligibility and standards on this page

What technical assistance can we expect to receive from Candid as a network partner?

Network partners gain access to Candid's suite of products, including three web-based application subscriptions and exclusive Candid training materials.

In addition to the Candid's premiere products and training materials, network partners benefit from free in-person and online training opportunities and conferences as well as a wider network of like-minded partners who are working in the field of nonprofit and fundraising information services. 

A dedicated staff team administers the program - answering questions daily via email, phone, and on-the-ground touchpoints. At our five field office locations, Center staff serve as local regional contacts for network partners, providing training, outreach, and support.

In addition, Candid hosts an annual free conference, Network Days, which is exclusively for partners. Network Days is widely acclaimed as an energizing 2-day event that allows network partners from across the globe to meet, learn, and grow. Network partners also connect online anytime, via two exclusive online groups, sharing knowledge, stories, and collaborative thinking.

Finally, Candid hosts the Ask Us chat program, where ace staff librarians answer tough fundraising and nonprofit questions, helping partners who may not have the expertise themselves. We also offer hands-on training materials for our classes, including exclusive train-the-trainer webinars, so partners can enter the classroom and teach our content with ease and confidence.

Do you offer a remote option for your tools? 

The challenge of serving our respective communities has never changed as quickly and drastically as it has in 2020. As COVID19 hit, Candid acted quickly to develop temporary remote access to FDO Essential for our existing partners so that their services would not be interrupted even as their buildings were closed.

We’re happy to extend this offer through the 2021 partnership year to new organizations who apply to join our network. We reserve the right to update terms as we explore the best possible way to offer this access.

Who do I contact for more information?

You can contact the Funding Information Network team at any time by emailing networkmail@candid.org

Apply now to become a network partner