Please find below responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about 360Giving. If you have any further questions about our work then please get in touch with us.

1. What is open data?
Open data is defined as data and content that can be freely used, modified and shared by anyone for any purpose. For a more detailed definition of open data see: http://opendefinition.org/.

2. What is the 360Giving Standard and why is it important?
The 360Giving open data standard is a set ‘fields’ and definitions to help organisations describe and format their grantmaking in a consistent way. For example, there are fields for the amount of funding applied for by each grantee, the amount awarded, and the start and end dates of delivery.

The Standard provides a common way to share transparent and interoperable information on grantmaking. Data published to the 360Giving Standard can be located and “read” easily by different applications. This is important because it means 360Giving users can compare grant data from different sources.

For more detailed information on the Standard and the code lists used, see: http://www.threesixtygiving.org/standard/.

3. What kind of organisation can publish data?
There are no restrictions on which organisations can publish their data to the 360Giving Standard. 360Giving considers grantmakers to be any registered organisation that provides non-repayable funding in the form of a charitable gift to charities or other voluntary or community organisations. Any grantmaker can publish to 360Giving, including charitable trusts and foundations; central and local government agencies; and other publicly-funded bodies that primarily make charitable grants.

4. What are the benefits of openly publishing grants data?

  • Open grant data can be compared on a like-for-like basis, offering a bird’s eye view of who is awarding what, to whom, where, across the giving sector.
  • Open grant data is fuelling a growing movement of progressive grantmakers and grantees who want to make the giving sector more effective and strategic.
  • Open grant data can show geographic and sector overlaps in funding as well as ‘cold spots’ where awards are low. This enables applications and awards to be more informed and targeted.
  • The data allows grantmakers to identify grantees they would otherwise be unaware of, and vice versa. Furthermore, the time and resources that often go into desk research to find the most appropriate grantmakers or grantees, should be reduced by using 360Giving.

5. What does 360Giving get out of encouraging grantmakers to publish their data?
360Giving wants to see a future where all grantmakers publish grant data openly and as a matter of course, and that by doing so they are able to make the best, most strategic funding decisions possible. 360Giving is initiating this movement with support from like-minded grantmakers.

6. What’s the 360Giving business model?
360Giving is a registered charity with a non-profit operating model. We are currently funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Indigo Trust and Nesta through grants. We are initiating a movement in the UK giving sector: making publishing grant data the default for grantmakers, and using open grants data the default for the whole giving sector.

7. Will this always be a free service or will 360Giving charge?
Any grantmaker can publish to the 360Giving Standard free of charge. There is no membership fee and accessing and using data published to the standard will always be free.

8. Who manages the open data standard developed by 360Giving?
The Standard was developed by 360Giving, with inputs from technical experts that have developed other open data standards including Open Contracting and the International Aid Transparency Initiative. The 360Giving Standard is maintained by a multi-stakeholder group that includes representatives from 360Giving, grantmakers, data users and technical experts. The group discusses the information included in the standard and reviews when upgrades and any changes are required.

For responses to FAQs about the process of opening up grants data visit our Resources.