How To Access Foundation Directory Online for Free in Kentucky

January 25, 2024
min read
Finding Funding

Foundation Directory Online (FDO) is a research tool to help nonprofits find the grantmakers most likely to fund their projects. It is one of the most extensive, up-to-date databases of grantmakers and the grants they’ve awarded available today, with more than 242,000 foundation profiles, and you can access it for free at some public libraries!

AND NEW FOR 2024 - get Foundation Directory Essential for free through Candid's Go for the Gold Promotion!

Three libraries in Kentucky and two just east of us are members of the Candid Funding Information Network, which gives library patrons access to the Directory free of charge. Read on to learn exactly how to access this invaluable resource.

Before you head to the library: Detailed tutorials and search tips for navigating the database can be found on FDO’s YouTube Channel. Tutorials can be viewed ahead of time to maximize search time at the library.


The service is available only at the Central Library Branch located at 140 E. Main St. Lexington, KY 40507. Current operating hours can be found on the library’s website at: https://www.lex

Once inside the Central Branch, take the elevator to Floor 3, and look for the “Kentucky Room”.  Appointments are not necessary. FDO may be accessed by using computers inside the Kentucky Room or by using a personal laptop that is connected to the library’s open Wi-Fi. 

Before leaving the library, ask for a validated parking ticket at the customer service desk. This will provide two free hours of parking in the garage adjacent to the library.

Click here for step by step directions.


The Louisville Free Public Library system offers in-person free access to the FDO through Candid. You do not need to be a library card holder, but you must use a library computer to access Candid and the directory. This service is offered at every Louisville Free Public Library branch.

To access Candid, visit the library branch nearest you, and use either one of their available desktops, or check out a library laptop. Navigate to the library's main website and hover your mouse over "Research" in the top menu bar. In the drop down menu, choose "databases". Next, in the left hand column you will find a search field. Type "Candid" and hit search. The link to Candid (and the FDO) will then appear. Alternatively, if you're reading this article on a library computer, you can click here.

For assistance, visit the branch's main desk.


In Erlinger, you can access FDO by visiting the Kenton County Public Library Erlanger Branch in person at 401 Kenton Lands, Erlanger, Kentucky 41018. Please note that the database is only accessible at the Erlanger branch. Hours and directions can be found here. Parking is free.

You can use any public computer at the Erlanger Branch to access FDO. There is an ample computer lab inside the library. There are also reservable meeting rooms if you would like to bring your own laptop to access the database using their wifi. 

To arrange a time for a quick tutorial and help accessing the database, please contact the Erlanger library directly at (859) 962-4000 or

Eastern Kentucky

There are two Candid partners near Eastern Kentucky located in Huntington, WV and Bristol, VA.

Bristol, VA

You do not need to be a resident or have a library card to access FDO at Bristol Public Library. Visit the library in person at 701 Goode Street, Bristol, VA 24201 and use one of their public computers or your own laptop to access FDO. 

If you are using one of the library’s public computers, you will need a library ID number to access them, a librarian can help you set that up.

If using your own laptop, simply get on the library’s wifi when you arrive. If you need any assistance, a librarian can help you.

As a bonus, the Bristol Public Library’s Jones Creativity Center may be able to do an intro training on using the database for you if you contact them ahead of time at 276-645-8790 or

Huntington, WV

You do not need to be a resident or have a library card to access FDO at the Cabell County Public Library Main Branch at 455 9th Street, Huntington, WV, 25701. The library has a guest pass system you can use to access the database on their public computers or your own laptop using their wi-fi.

When you arrive, ask for David Owens for a brief tutorial on how to access the database. You can also contact David ahead of time to ask for a small meeting room if you’d like to use your own laptop. He can be reached at You can also find out more through the library’s live chat system on their website.

Free Foundation Directory Essential - Go for the Gold Promotion

New in 2024, small nonprofits can get one free year of FDO Essential, with 111,000+ grantmaker profiles and the My FDO tracking system, through Candid'd Go for the Gold Promotion.


To be eligible, your nonprofit must have annual revenue or expenses totaling less than $1M AND earn a 2024 Candid Gold Seal of Transparency. To get your gold seal, first claim (or update) your free Candid Profile. Next follow the steps here to get your coupon code and access your complimentary annual subscription.

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