Creating a Funders Based Ecosystem

How to build an Ecosystem around a set group of grantmaking organizations

Building a Funder-based ecosystem is NOT a way to find new funders but a great way to compare foundations and discover new nonprofits. Build a FUnder-based Ecosystem when you have a set group of funders/foundations in mind and want to compare them or discover who their nonprofits are. 

Step 1

Select Ecosystems from the top navigation bar, then select the Funders option. An Ecosystem built around funders will include the funding organizations you choose and all of their grantees.

Screen share circling the Ecosystems tab and Funders ecosystem select

Step 2

Click inside the Funders box to add the funding organizations you'd like included in your Ecosystem. Type into the box to look up the funders by name or EIN.

If you've already created a List of nonprofits on Impala that you'd like to base on Ecosystem off of, see instructions here.

Screen shot showing the bar for adding funders in the search bar

Step 3

If you want to adjust your Ecosystem to include more funders or filter out certain nonprofits you can use the Second Level of Connectivity and Advanced Criteria respectively. All these are optional. If you don't want to add any additional filters just select the gold Define Ecosystem button.

Second Level of Connectivity - If toggled the Ecosystem will include funders that support these Funders' grantees (which other Funders also support the same Nonprofits as the Funders you've selected) 

Advanced Criteria - click Advanced Criteria to add any additional filters to your Ecosystem.

  • Geographies - type to search for states, counties, or cities within the US to only include nonprofits based in one of those locations.
  • Causes - select the Add Cause button and either use the search at the top to look for the cause area(s) that you're interested in, choose from the listed options, or select the arrow to the right to look at subcategories. Choose as many cause areas as you like. This will filter your results to only include nonprofits that have at least one of those cause areas. They do not need to have all.
  • Keywords - type in the box a keyword or phrase. This will filter your results to only include nonprofit organizations that have that word or phrase is their name or mission statement. Add multiple keywords to broaden your search.
  • Exclude nonprofits - type in the name or EIN of a nonprofit you don't want in this Ecosystem.
  • Attributes - select add attribute under include or exclude. On include, it will remove any nonprofits that do not have at least one of those attributes. If you add under exclude it will remove any nonprofits that have at least one of those attributes.
  • Financials - choose a minimum and/or maximum operating budget or total assets. This will exclude the nonprofits who are outside of the range you select during the most recently reported year. This is a good way to only look at nonprofits that may be a similar size to yours.
  • Include DAF grants - as a default this is toggled on and the Ecosystem include all matched grants. If you toggle this off the Ecosystem will exclude any grants issued by a funder that only gives grants through a Donor Advised Fund. This applies mostly to Ecosystems with second degree connectivity.

Step 4

You can preview the number of nonprofits and funders that will be in your ecosystem on the bottom navy blue bar. Once you are happy with all the criteria you set, you can view the full Ecosystem by selecting the gold Define Ecosystem button.

Screenshot showing filled out criteria and Define Ecosystem button


Your Ecosystem is now ready for you to dig into! If you want to change your filters, select Edit Filters from the top left. If you want to revisit this Ecosystem, select the save icon on the right, next to the New Ecosystem button.

Screenshot showing a defined Ecosystem with edit and save options circled