Search allows anyone in need to find free and reduced cost social service programs that can serve them in their area. Our search allows your users to browse by category, or search keyword. By default, programs are sorted by relevance, meaning that our search boosts programs that are the most likely to help. This includes programs that are closer, serve a wide range of people, or are claimed by the organization providing the service. Narrow your search based on the person you’re helping or attributes of the program to find the right program even faster!
How it works
When a user types in their zip code, the search will return the programs that serve that area. This includes local, county, state, and national programs. This allows users to see all the programs available to them, even if they are outside of their local area, so that they can make the right choice when choosing a program to help.
From there, users can browse for programs by category or search using a keyword, and filter results to find the most relevant programs to meet their needs. Search results will be sorted by relevance by default but users can elect to sort by distance.
Each program has its own program card as it has it may have its own unique eligibility criteria, next steps, and contacts. To see all programs offered by an organization, click on the name of the organization on the Program Card.
Category Search/ Service Tag Search
Each program is “tagged” with the services that it offers and those services generate our category bar. By choosing one of the categories at the top, it will find all programs in the coverage area with that service tag. All programs in the search results will have that Main Service tag on the program card.
Programs will then be sorted based on relevance by default. Relevance boosts programs that are the most likely to help. This includes programs that are closer, serve a wide range of people, or are claimed by the organization providing the service.
You may see a full list of our tags at openeligibility.org
Because services are often related, there is a hierarchy with our tags/categories.
When searching for a broader service, it will also show search results for the more specific categories nested underneath. However, when a user searches for a more specific category, with no other categories underneath, it will only show search results that contain that tag.
Example: If you were to search for “mental health care” you may see search results that have the “counseling” tag but do not have the “mental health care” tag. However, if I searched for “bereavement” I would only see search results with the “bereavement” tag.
Keyword search allows a user to type in a keyword, program name, or Community Based Organization (CBO) name. By default, program results will be sorted by relevance.
Typeahead suggestions will appear based on program names, provider names, or service tags.
Programs containing all of the word(s) in the keyword search in the provider name, program name, or description are going to be under the “Best Match” heading. From there, programs will sort by relevance.
Programs that contain some of the words will appear under the “Possible Matches” heading and will again be sorted by relevance.
Example: “Pet food” → Best Matches have “pet food” in program name; Possible Matches have only “pet” or only “food”