In response to the lockdowns and closures of the COVID-19 pandemic, the publishers of Foundation Directory Online (Candid) decided to extend access to the Essential version of that database to the public for free through what is now called the day pass system. This guide will explain what the database is, how to gain access, and tips for exploring.
In order to visit and search Foundation Directory Online Essential, first contact the provider nearest you. For those in Forefront's area, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the FDO Essential day pass link. All others can locate their nearest resource center from Candid's website.
After you receive the link via email, you will be asked to create an account and sign up for a day pass. Save the link you receive from the Forefront Library, as it will be needed to revisit the site in the future. The day pass allows users to access Foundation Directory Essential remotely in a 24-hour window. There is a clock at the top of the screen that will tell you how much time remains in the pass. After the 24 hours, the clock will show the next date on which you can activate a new pass (every 30 days). To activate your new day pass, revisit the link you received from the Forefront Library and login with the credentials you created.
Since you will be able to create individual accounts in Foundation Directory Essential, you will have access to the MyFDO features that were not previously available. You will be able to create dashboards and save searches and return to them each time you activate a new pass.
Foundation Directory Online is a database that contains profiles of over 238,000 U.S. grantmakers with details gathered from IRS data, various online resources, and philanthropic news as well as self-reported information. FDO Essential is less robust than FDO Professional in that features like grant details and recipient profiles are unavailable but is an excellent place to begin researching.
This video was record in March of 2021, before the day pass system was finalized. While information about the database and searching it is accurate, please follow the steps laid out in the rest of the guide to gain access.
Make the most of each Foundation Directory Essential day pass for remote access by using the tips below: