About the Philanthropy Classification System
In 2012, in order to better meet the needs of the philanthropic sector, the Foundation Center began an extensive revision of our Philanthropy Classification System (PCS), reexamining both the terms included in the taxonomy and the overall structure. The goal was not to create yet another standard, but to work towards creating a more broadly adopted standard that more accurately reflects the work of the field and can serve as a more relevant tool for a 21st Century global philanthropy community.
The Center consulted partner organizations, received feedback from the sector to complete the final revisions, and released the first version of the PCS in December 2014. The Center will be recoding our entire database over the next 4 months and the PCS will be reflected in our online products during the second quarter of 2015. Until that time we will continue to publish data using our prior Grants Classification System
The Philanthropy Classification System (PCS) describes the work of grantmakers, recipient organizations and the philanthropic transactions between those entities. The Center’s Classification System in 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:
- Who? = Population Served
- What? = Subject and Organization Type
- How? = Support Strategy and Transaction Type
- Where? = Geographic Area Served (geotree.foundationcenter.org)
Our newly designed site lets you explore each facet of the taxonomy through the Visual Navigation tool, Quick Search, A-Z search or a hierarchy view.
We will continue to update the site as we complete our recoding efforts and begin to publish data in our resources using the new PCS model. You can also learn more about related resources and other new features available in the Tools and Resources section of the site.