Program Settings FAQ

Program Information

What are Next Steps and how are they Used?

Findhelp’s mission is to connect people in need and the programs that serve them (with dignity and ease). The “Next Steps” tab on each program card is a big part of how we do that, and is something that differentiates us from other resource directories.

To us, finding a program to meet a need is just the beginning. The “Next Steps” are the immediate action items a person in need should take in order to receive services from a program.

Examples include:

  • A food pantry who’s best next step is for the person in need to present at the location in person.
  • An agency who requires a person in need to call and verbally walk through an intake form with a case manager.

Why does findhelp use this model?

We recognize that every program has a different set of best practices someone looking for services should follow to get help. That’s why we allow providers to update their Next Steps and include an email address, phone number, or other option and indicate the best way to get in touch.


Connect Button

If you are looking for services or navigating on behalf of someone else, you can use the Connect button on the Next Steps tab to let the program provider know you’re interested in learning more or getting help. After clicking the Connect button, you’ll be asked to fill out a short form to send information to the provider.


What are Search Tags? ("What services do you provide?")

Every program listed has specific "search tags" that make it easier for people to find a program that meets their specific needs. Once claimed, you have the ability to update your search tags to ensure that your program listing accurately reflects the services you provide so people in need can find you.

There are two types of search tags:  

1. Primary Services ("


These are the main services that someone would receive when connecting with your program. These search tags are what someone would see when looking at your program card.

 Example: You offer a job-skills training (primary service) program that also includes a free lunch (secondary service) during the training.


2. Secondary Services ("What secondary services do you provide?)


These are services that you provide but not the main services that someone would receive when connecting with your program. These search tags will not appear on your program card, but they may help someone narrow down their search results and decide between similar programs.

Example: You offer a home maintenance and repairs (primary service) program that also offers transportation (secondary service) services to people that have already been approved for the program.


Question to help determine if something is a primary or secondary service:

  • "Is this service the primary reason people seek out your program?"
    • YES ---> primary service
    • NO ---> secondary service


What is FPIL and how is it calculated?

Also referred to as the Federal Poverty Guidelines, FPIL is one measure of poverty within the United States and is released annually. There is one set of guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. Alaska and Hawaii each have their own set. FPIL measures a family's annual cash income. That's how it differs from other poverty indicators that measure total wealth, annual consumption, or a subjective assessment of well-being. The Department of Health and Human Services issues the poverty level guidelines each January.

The poverty level determines who can receive federal subsidies or aid. These programs include:

  • Food Benefits
  • Medicaid
  • The Affordable Care Act
  • Head Start
  • The National School Lunch Program
  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • The Children's Health Insurance Program

How is FPIL calculated?

To calculate percentage of poverty level, divide income by the poverty guideline and multiply by 100.

As an example, for 2017, the Federal poverty guideline is an annual income of $24,600 for a family of four. If a family of four has an annual household income of $36,000, the FPIL is 146%. (36,000/24,600) x (100)= 146

To easily calculate FPIL, for families of other sizes:

  • Add $4,180 for each additional person to calculate for larger families.
  • Subtract $4,180 per person to calculate it for smaller families.


To read more about FPIL, click here.  For a FPIL calculator, click here.



Search Behavior

My program isn’t under the right category. How can I fix that?

The Program Edit tool gives your organization the ability to ensure your program listing is displaying up to date information for individuals in need seeking out your services.

Programs appear in categories if they have the corresponding tag on their program. To add tags so that your program shows up in that category, follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in
Step 2: Click on the “My program tools” tab then “Edit program listings"

Step 3: For the program that you would like to update, click the blue “Edit Program” button on the right


Step 4: Under the “About Your Program” section, you will see a subsection called “What are the main services?” Here you can tag your program based on the services you provide


Step 5: If your program offers other services in conjunction with the main service you can add Secondary tags. However, your program will only show in categories where the tag is a main service.


Step 6: Save your changes by scrolling to the bottom of the page and click the green “Save and go back” button




Why do people who don’t qualify keep applying?

Sometimes you may receive referrals from people who are ineligible for your services. Make sure that your program is in the correct category and has eligibility information. If you are still receiving referrals for ineligible Seekers, you may want to enable a Screener

Program Category

Ensure your program is showing up in the correct categories by looking at how your program is "tagged". You can check and make changes to your tags on the general Edit Program Information page.


Listed Program Eligibility

Ensure your program is displaying the correct eligibility information. You can check and make changes to your eligibility on the general Edit Program Information page.


Screening applicants before they connect

Gather additional information from people in need who are attempting to receive your services by setting up a free screening form for your program.

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