Philanthropy Classification System

About the Philanthropy Classification System

The Philanthropy Classification System (PCS) is Candid’s (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar) taxonomy, describing the work of grantmakers, recipient organizations and the philanthropic transactions between those entities. Candid’s Classification System is based on the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) and has been expanded over the last three decades to include the emerging work we have evidenced while capturing and indexing the work of the sector on a global scale.

The facets of the PCS illuminate the work and answer the following questions about philanthropy:

This site lets you explore each facet of the taxonomy through Quick Search, A-Z search, or a hierarchy view.

You can also learn more about the history of the PCS in the Resources section of the site.

Quick Search

Search across all the facets.

Suggestions will appear as you type, select a suggestion to view the full record.

Explore the Facets:

  • Subjects Describes WHAT is being supported. Example: Elementary education or Clean water supply.
  • Populations Describes WHO is being supported. Example: Girls or People with disabilities.
  • Organization Type Describes WHAT type of organization is providing or receiving support.
  • Transaction Type Describes HOW support is being provided.
  • Support Strategies Describes HOW activities are being implemented.
  • Geographic Area Served ( Details WHERE the impact of funding is taking place. Example: a recipient is located in Washington, DC but provides rural programs in Kenya.

The classification system can be downloaded in Excel.

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Use the PCS

The PCS is available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

Find out more

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.