Press button data sharing a reality for Community Foundations

A new tool funded by 360Giving will make publishing data a doddle for community foundations that are using Salesforce to manage their grantmaking.

The tool allows community foundations to automatically export data formatted to the 360Giving Standard cutting hours off the time it might otherwise take for them to prepare their data.

The tool has been tested over the summer as part of a pilot project. It was developed in consultation with several community foundations, who fed back on the process and instructions provided. It has been possible to create this tool because the community foundations use the Salesforce platform in the same way. There are now six community foundations sharing their data to the 360Giving Standard, meaning they can all view their grants through the same prism and alongside other funders working in their area.

Network analysis visualisation for UK grantmaking in 2016

Collectively, 46 community foundations awarded £71m worth of grants in the last year, reaching all parts of the UK and investing in a wide range of causes that matter to local people. By making publishing data quick and uniform it delivers huge potential for the Community Foundation movement to identify, aggregate and compare the kind of grants they make. We hope this will not only support their policy work, but also highlight their services to other grantmakers as well as fund seekers.

So far four foundations have tested the tool: Essex, Oxfordshire, Surrey and the Quartet. We shared our findings on the pilot at the recent UKCF conference in Cardiff, where we held a session on data sharing.

Steven Mackenzie, Development Officer for Essex Community Foundation says:

“We are delighted to be able to publicly share our grantmaking and further build the national picture on giving. The clear instructions provided coupled with the automation available within the Salesforce platform we use meant that the whole process could not have been easier.”

Anne-Marie Rogers, Marketing and Communications Executive of Quartet Community Foundation, says:

“We’re passionate about inspiring more philanthropy and we hope others will use this information to make more and better grants. We are transparent about our grantmaking and already publish details of our grants made on our website. By sharing the information with 360Giving we aim to help individual philanthropists, grantmaking trusts and researchers to find more detail on where our grants are going and understand trends across the West of England.”

Kate Peters of Community Foundation Surrey says:

“The new tool has made sharing our data very easy and much easier than I thought. The motivations to share our data are of course transparency which is so important today, but also to inspire and inform donors who are interested in what is going on in the area. We already publish our data, but 360Giving offers a much better way to present data than to have it as a list on our website. The more community foundations share their data the stronger the argument for community foundations as donors and charities will see the breadth of what we do.”

We will continue to work with the Community Foundation network over the coming year to identify shared questions, challenges and ideas for new platforms and tools. We already started by looking at network analysis to see which organisations fund the same grantees. If you have more ideas for using the data please contact info@threesixtygiving.org to find out more about this project and to get involved.

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