Philanthropy Classification System


Describes WHO is being supported -  details characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnic heritage, etc.) of the population(s) being targeted as the intended beneficiary of support and services being provided

Example: Girls or People with disabilities

Code is applied to:

  • grantmaker profiles to represent populations who are consistently intended to benefit from support being awarded (no requirement or limit on number of codes) 
  • recipient profiles to represent the populations served or impacted on an ongoing basis by the services provided by the organization (not required ;can have up to 5 codes)
  • grant details to reflect the populations intended to be served by that specific grant award  (not required; can have up to 5 codes)

Additional Details

The Foundation Center does not apply population coding to represent the general public, including the ethnicity of the general public being served by recipient in a country outside of the United States.  For example, if a grant is awarded to a recipient in China, we do not assign a population code of Asian descent.

Multiple codes will be used to capture different characteristics of the intended population to be served (e.g., disabled children, abused women, Hispanic refugees) or multiple population groups (e.g., disabled as well as low-income senior citizens or adolescents of African and Latin American descent)

If multiple codes can be applied from a subcategory, or the level of detail is not available to apply greater specificity in our coding, the Foundation Center will apply a higher level, or parent term.  For example, recipient that provides services to low-income boys and girls of Hispanic and African descent will be coded as Economically disadvantaged peopleChildren and youth, and People of color. 

 Similar to our subject and geographic area served coding practices, population group codes at the grant level only vary from those used on the recipient organization if the grant details indicate that the work being supported by the grant is different or more specific than the default coding already applied to the recipient organization.  For example, Spelman College may receive an award "For conference on leadership efforts for Hispanic youth." This will be classified using People of Latin American descent and Adolescents at the grant level; the recipient organization is coded as a university with no population indicators.

Foundation Center Updater

Grantmaking organizations may supply suggested codes for their profile using our Updater tool. 


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