MILLEDGEVILLE — The Mary Vinson Memorial Library will soon offer grant-seekers the opportunity to get connected to a number of resources around the world right at their fingertips.
The Funding Information Network (FIN), formerly offered at Digital Bridges, is a network of libraries, community foundations and other nonprofit resource centers that can be found across the United States and around the world. The FIN provides greater access to the best funding and grant-seeking resources for nonprofit organizations and individuals.
“The FIN is like a matchmaking database for funding resources. It connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed,” said Sarah Hamil, outreach coordinator at the library. “It used to be housed at Digital Bridges, but we’ve taken over since they closed. In 2012, Digital Bridges held a workshop to teach the community how to use the FIN. If you took advantage of the workshop, then this is just a continuation of the project here at the library.”
In addition to the online database, reference manuals and other print materials are also available to help individuals search for funding resources for their particular projects.
“For example, if you want to do a project on environmental beautification in the Milledgeville-Baldwin County area, you would specify the location and how much money you’re looking for on the FIN and it will point you in the right direction to a list of resources that can help you,” Hamil said. “This is really valuable. There are so many people who want to give and so many people who are in need, and the fireworks happen when you find the organization that wants to help you accomplish your goals.”
The library must pay a yearly subscription fee to the Foundation Center in order to access the FIN. For the library’s 2014 subscription, Digital Bridges has agreed to cover the cost of the $1,000 fee.
“I want to thank [former Digital Bridges Nonprofit Specialist] Colin Moore for working with us to have a smooth transition and matching the subscription fee because we might not be able to support the database. Now we can get the ball rolling at the public library,” Hamil said. “We hope to have a few computers set up specifically for FIN by early February for patrons and community members to use.”
Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is supported by nearly 550 foundations and is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.
“This is a huge asset for our library as well as our community. It means that folks will have a place to come to look for the help they need to execute projects that will only happen if they are funded by an outside source,” Hamil said. “There are all sorts of grants out there; you just have to know what to look for.”
For more information about the Foundation Center, or FIN, visit www.foundationcenter.org.