From sharing to using – what’s next for 360Giving?

I’m excited to be launching 360Giving’s new strategy today.

Unlocking the power of grants data - strategy title imageOur success over the past three years means that for the first time in the UK, it’s possible for anyone to see and compare grants awarded by over 100 funders all in one place. This data is transforming the knowledge base of civil society, powering new and exciting data tools and strategic decision-making (for example on patchwork philanthropy, funding to homelessness and approaches to core funding).

While this is leading to meaningful change, there is still some way to go if we’re going to make the most of the information being shared. We appreciate the support we have received over the past three years and want to build on this momentum, helping grantmakers to shift from sharing data to using it more in their day to day work. This is what our new strategy focuses on – unlocking the power of grants data. It’s been designed around four key goals:

Goal 1: Normalise open data sharing

We will continue to provide pro bono technical support to organisations that want to publish their grants data in the 360Giving Standard, encouraging them to take more ownership of the process.

Building on our one-to-one support and workshops offer, we will develop a virtual help desk and a series of how-to guides and other tools that support the release of high quality data. We want all grantmakers to understand the importance of sharing their data so that anyone can easily find out who is funding who, where and what for.

Goal 2: Improve data quality

Increasing the quality of the data that’s being shared is key to our vision. We will ensure a minimum data quality threshold is met and that the data is regularly improved.

We will work with grantmakers to help them understand their data and what would make it more useful – so it can tell true stories about their funding.

Goal 3: Increase data literacy

If we want charitable giving to be more data-informed we need to build capacity to use data and help people feel part of a community.

We will improve data literacy through a series of data expeditions, a new Data Champions programme and a data maturity framework for grantmakers to help them assess their progress in embedding data into their work.

Goal 4: Grow data use and shared learning

Having data about £26 billion worth of grants means we can support sector-changing analyses; but only if people know how to use the data and understand what questions they can ask of it.

We will work with grantmakers and developers, providing a space for them to come together and explore shared questions and challenges in using data. We will create a resource library that will be open to everyone to use and borrow ideas from.

We will continue to provide tools and platforms that make it easier for people to access the data that’s being shared – so its not only analysts and geeks that can use it. We will upgrade our flagship GrantNav platform and continue to improve 360Insights, which brings together data from 360Giving, the Charity Commission and Companies House. We will also launch a Giving Map, showing UK funding distribution through the lenses of deprivation and charity location.

When Fran Perrin launched 360Giving back in 2015, she wasn’t sure how it would be received; but we have been delighted by the support from across the sector. We don’t pretend to have all the answers so experimenting and learning is key to this strategy – to better understand who is using 360Giving data, what for, what help is needed and what changed as a result.

Read the full strategy or a summary: www.threesixtygiving.org/unlocking

If you’d like to get involved – either to publish your data or to use it more effectively – get in touch. We’d love to hear how we can help you as we go on this data journey together.