NCCS Data Web Tips


The database

  • Is case insensitive.
  • Insists on single quotation marks (') around values in a search string, e.g., NTEECC = 'A02'. If you edit complex queries, don't use MS Word--the program will change ending single quotation marks to closing single quotation marks (or backticks) which the database doesn't recognize. Use a text editor like Notepad instead.
  • Disregards Enter - you must click on Select buttons to choose something.
  • Is somewhat non-intuitive. When you use the Table tool, it immediatly gives you ALL of the contents of the subset database. You then have to scroll to the bottom of the table to find the form where you build a search (a "Filter").
  • Is based on mSQL. You may write complex custom filters if you're familiar with that programming language.
  • Doesn't like the Back button (works somewhat better in Firefox than IE)
    • If you lose your table, re-enter the subset you were using. At the bottom of the page you'll find your search history listed and you can click on any query statement to pop it into the filter box and quickly rerun the search.

There is a known issue with Mozilla, that it does not display the Alt tags.


  • Most often use Table tool (table tool) for reports.
  • Use Extract tool (extract tool) to generate downloadable file for large results sets.
    • Change your setting from comma-delimited format to tab-delimited to make it easier to open in Excel.
    • The downloadable file will be compressed or "zipped" - you can "unzip" with a free program called Winzip. You must do this before you will be able to open the file in Excel.
  • Use A-Z, Z-A links in column headers of results tables to sort by given variable.

Comparison of Most Frequently Used Subsets

Digitized Data

Core Data

multiple years

annual subsets

many more specific variables

foundations as well as charities plus other organizations

requires permission for some functions - request from NCCS
immediately available to all NCSU users

Variable Tips

Narrow results to county level with state/county FIPS codes. See country-wide list online at For NCCS purposes, you will only need the five-digit FIPS code from this web site; they’re listed in the format SSCCC where SS is the two-digit state code concatenated with the three-digit county code, CCC. Note that for states with one-digit state codes (Alabama – Connecticut), you must use the leading zero.

Code Comparison


NPC Codes

broad subject categories

more specific audience categories

assigned by IRS

assigned by NCCS

available in all subsets
available only in NCCS Master subset

Return to the main NCCS resource page