Philanthropy Classification System

Draft Review

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, reexamining both the terms included in the taxonomy and the overall structure. The goal is 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 changes we’re proposing are designed to streamline the top level categories while also enhancing the ability to capture rich descriptions about a grantmaker’s area of focus, the activities related to their grant, the strategy behind the support, the type of support being provided, and details about the target populations and geographic areas. Such improvements will provide a level of detail not currently available using the most commonly adopted taxonomy in the field, the NTEE

 We are inviting the sector to review and provide feedback on our proposed changes. The deadline for feedback has been extended to June 30, 2014.  You can access the new draft for review and comment in one of the following ways:

  • Using our new Visual Navigator tool 
  • Using the Hierarchy View below
  • Downloading a excel version 

Detailed instructions about each of the review and commenting options, in addition to other helpful information about the project, can be found in our Taxonomy Draft Review FAQ. You can also contact Jeannine Corey, director of grants information management, with your questions or comments,


New Taxonomy Draft—Individual Facets Files
New Taxonomy Draft—Full Taxonomy


You can use our new Visual Navigator to explore and discover the terms used in each class and the relationships between them!

Find Out More

Learn more about the proposed draft and how you can provide feedback.

Draft Review FAQ


Click on the "+" expand the hierarchy. Click on a term see details, including usage notes and relationships.

    Term Information

    Select a term on the left to see details.

    Moved From:
    Broader Terms:
    Narrower Terms:
    Related Terms:
    Use For: