Philanthropy Classification System

PCS FAQ

Can I provide feedback or submit a term for consideration?

Absolutely!  If there’s a term you have a question about or something you think we should consider adding or changing, you can email us at taxonomy@candid.org or complete our Feedback Form. Please be sure to choose one of the Purpose selections on the form before submitting.

How frequently is the PCS updated? 

No taxonomy is ever final. It must change to reflect the evolving nature and needs of the field. However, since the PCS serves as the basis for classifying and accessing all of Candid’s data – collected at any point in the past, present or future – changes to the taxonomy must be made judiciously. This is also necessary to minimize disruptions to external users who have adopted PCS for use in their own systems and work. Candid has committed to reviewing the PCS approximately every two years based on feedback we receive from our partners, users and staff. The most recent update was completed in April 2019.

How is the PCS different from the NTEE?

The Philanthropy Classification System is based on the NTEE and the majority of the Subject codes overlap between the two models. Over the 30 years since the NTEE was first drafted, Candid has continued to update our taxonomy to better describe the activities of the philanthropic sector, whereas the NTEE focuses on entity types. Candid is frequently tasked with producing research reports, data visualization tools, and websites that focus on specific topics being funded in the sector. As a result of these efforts, we’ve updated and added codes to the various facets of the taxonomy to fill gaps as we’ve identified them.

Realizing that many organizations in the sector rely on the NTEE as the basis for their taxonomic work as well, Candid has a ”crosswalk” or comparison between the two systems. You may request a copy by e-mailing taxonomy@candid.org

How do you determine populations served?

“Population Served” codes are applied to grantmaker, recipient, and grant records in Candid’s database.

For grantmaker profiles, the population served represents the populations who are consistently intended to benefit from the support being awarded by that organization. Not all grantmakers have this indicator. For those that do, there is no limit to the number of codes that may be applied to a profile. Please note that grantmakers may have individual grants that are coded to a level of specificity that is not indicated in their general profile based on the specific work of the recipient organization or the activities supported by a particular grant.

For recipient profiles, the population served represents the populations who are consistently served or impacted on an ongoing basis by the organization’s programs. Similar to grantmaker profiles, not all recipients will have this level of specificity applied and specific grant awards may have more granular coding based on the work supported by a particular grant.

Population served information is applied at the grant level only when there is enough evidence in the grant description to warrant a code being applied AND that information is different, or more granular, than the information already included in the default population served coding of the recipient as outlined above.

How do you determine geographic area served?

A “Geographic Area Served” code may be applied to grantmaker, recipient, and grant records in Candid’s database.

For grantmaker profiles, the geographic area served represents the locations where grantmakers provide support based on the location of recipient organizations or the geographic focus of those organizations’ work. For example, a grantmaker may support work being done in Africa, which means grants may be awarded to organizations located in Africa as well as domestic organizations who run programs in that region. These codes represent the longstanding areas supported by an organization across their grant portfolio and are not updated on a grant by grant basis each year.

For recipient organizations, the geographic area served is generally the same as the recipient location and a code is not assigned. Additional codes are applied as needed if the organization’s work extends beyond the city where the recipient is located, such as to an entire county, state, or another country.

Geographic area served information is applied at the grant level only when there is enough evidence in the grant description to warrant a code being applied AND that information is different, or more granular, than the information already included in the default geographic area served coding of the recipient as outlined above.

How do you determine subject codes?

Subject code is applied to grantmaker, recipient, and grant records in Candid’s database.

For grantmaker profiles, the subject codes represent the primary areas of focus a grantmaker consistently supports from year to year in its grant portfolio and is not updated on a grant by grant basis each year. This information is obtained from the grantmaker’s mission statement, online materials, and tax returns. In some cases, it is provided directly by grantmakers.

For recipient organizations, the subject codes represent the core activities and services of the organization. This information is generally derived from the organization’s mission statement, online materials, and information provided by funders or the organizations themselves.

Subject codes at the grant level are applied only when the coding varies 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, Candid will then apply coding at the grant level. This information is generally derived from grant descriptions provided by grantmakers participating in our eReporting Program and descriptions available on a funder’s Form 990-PF tax return. Some funders also provide this coding when they share data with Candid.

 

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