Understanding the local funding environment is a complex and often difficult task. A myriad of different organisations, from charitable trusts to housing associations provide funding to a given geographical area or theme. Because much of the data that shows where the funding is going is sitting in a closed spreadsheet or computer program – often labelled in an ad hoc way, it is almost impossible to work out how the funding sector as a whole is making an impact. This creates very real problems when strategic funding decisions need to be made, as there is no easy way to understand who is supporting what and where.
Over the past few months 360Giving has been developing a pilot programme to support grant giving organisations working in Greater Manchester. This started at the beginning of March and aims to address some of the challenges faced by funders who see the benefit of making grant data open in a standardised way.
A number of organisations working in Greater Manchester are already making their data available to the 360Giving Standard. From looking at data extracted through GrantNav we can see that 14 grantmakers have funded projects since 1998; and if we drill down we can see that certain boroughs have twice as many funders as others. This is probably down to a funder such as a CVS, local authority or housing association having a defined geographical area of coverage, but it might also mean that organisations in certain boroughs aren’t aware or don’t have the capacity to apply. It is only through aggregating and analysing the data that these insights can be found.