News & Updates

360Giving calls on government to open up its grantmaking data to achieve new ‘joined up’ charities strategy

The government’s new joined up Civil Society strategy announced yesterday will take a giant leap forward by opening up all its grantmaking data, says 360Giving.

Will Perrin, co-founder of 360Giving, said:

“It’s fantastic that the government is aiming for a joined up approach to the way Whitehall works with charities. Tracey Crouch is an effective operator and she can pull it off.
“For a quick start the government should publish the Cabinet Office database of all government grants as open data with as much detail as possible. Then, through tools like GrantNav the government can see all its own work on one screen and compare to the sector’s own grantmaking. Without comparable data joining up is a nightmare.”

The new strategy aims to coordinate and improve how public sector bodies interact with the charity sector. They say it is not about finding new funding for charities but making better use of the resources the government already has available.

Rachel Rank, CEO of 360Giving and member of the Charity Commission Digital Advisory Group, said:

“We welcome this announcement by the Minister and encourage her to start by looking at what data is collected about charities across government. Data is an asset that it has at its fingertips and if opened up has the power to transform grantmaking and how charities and government can work together.
“Charities are often asked to submit the same information by different government agencies, in different formats and at different times of the year. Not all of this information is made publicly available or it is locked away in PDFs.
“Developing a more coordinated and data-savvy approach to engaging with charities will not only reduce the reporting burden on charities themselves, but it will save the government time and money and ensure they are receiving the same information and in a consistent way.
“This makes the information easier to access and use helping us gain a better understanding of the true size and scale of the sector and all the important work it does.”

More than 60 of the UK’s leading grantmakers are now sharing more than £10bn worth of data on who, where and what they fund using the 360Giving open data standard that means the information can be shared and compared.

360Giving is focusing on three goals: to support more grantmakers to publish their grants data in an open, accessible and standardised way; to build an evidence base about how open grants data can be used for better decision-making and learning; and to develop tools that help people to understand and use the data.

Among those publishing their information to the 360Giving Standard are the Big Lottery Fund, BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Henry Smith Charity, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Tudor Trust and the Wolfson Foundation.

The 360Giving Standard is also in use at a local level including several community foundations, local authorities and housing trusts.

Posted in News & Updates

Nine new organisations swell 360Giving dataset

More than £10bn worth of grants are now been published to the 360Giving Standard with the addition of nine more grantmakers in the last two months.

The new organisations include family, corporate and community foundations who collectively add £58m worth of grants, plus $404m from the Arcadia Fund, taking the total number of organisations that are sharing their grants data in an open, comparable way to 52.

Kate Stewart, Director of Programmes of community funder Power to Change which has published 165 grants, totalling £13 million made between 2015 and 2017, says:

“There is no reason that trusts and foundations should be left behind by the move towards data transparency. Indeed, there is no real excuse to let that happen.

“Trusts like Power to Change are, rightly, trying to learn as we progress, so that we are better funders and make the smartest and most effective decisions in the future. And we want to work alongside councils, corporates, charities and more, to have the biggest impact we can in a relatively short time.”

The other eight charitable funders who joined our #greatergrantsdata movement are:

Arcadia Fund, founded by philanthropists Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin to preserve cultures and the environment and promote open access, which has now published 194 grants worth $404 million representing 15 years of grantmaking from 2002 to 2017.

Corra Foundation, previously called Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, that has for 30 years contributed to improving the lives of individuals and communities experiencing disadvantage across Scotland and in developing countries has published 609 grants made between 2015 and 2017 worth £6 million.

Dunhill Medical Trust, which funds research to understanding ageing and age-related diseases, and community-based organisations supporting those in later life, has published 124 grants awarded to community-based organisations worth over £5 million from 2009 to 2017.

Equity Foundation, that supports projects delivering societal change through community projects in the Stockport area, has published 44 grants worth £70k made in 2016 and 2017.

Essex Community Foundation which since 1996 has distributed £30m of charitable funding directly into Essex, Southend and Thurrock making it a great place to live, work, learn and grow, has published 342 grants worth £2 million made between 2016 and 2017.

The Fore, a partnership of the Bulldog and Golden Bottle Trusts which has provided financial and advisory assistance to charities for over 30 years has now published 51 grants between 2013 and 2016 worth £1 million.

Pears Foundation, an independent, British family foundation, rooted in Jewish values, that annually invests between £15m and £20m in good causes focussing on well-being which has now published 224 grants for two years of data up to March 2017 totalling £28.5 million.

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the membership body for third sector organisations in Scotland, has published 129 grants worth £1.5 million from 2014 to 2017.

 

Any grantmaking organisation can share their funding data using the 360Giving Standard, regardless of where, what or how much they fund. Find out how you can share your data and help build the bigger picture of UK grantmaking by contacting Katherine Duerden via info@threesixtygiving.org.

Posted in News & Updates

$30k Digital Impact grant aims to improve sharing of grantmaking data

Why and how the Ariadne network of 600 funders collect and share data and how they might do so better will be under exploration thanks to a $30k grant from Digital Impact, part of the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford University.

360Giving will advise the network on open data formats as part of the project, with The Engine Room leading the research component. This will include interviews with Ariadne members to understand the risks and emerging best practice in sharing grants data openly. It will cover issues such as data redaction, licensing, informed consent and ownership.

The aim of the project is to address perceived risks around sharing grants data and establish processes to diminish that risk in order to support the whole grantmaking sector to improve how it collects and shares data.

Ariadne and The Engine Room will publish a report and framework in spring 2018 and also take part in a conference at Stanford University to share their learning.

Julie Broome, Ariadne Director, says:

“An effective and just social sector relies on coordination across funders and transparency about what they are supporting, but there are sensitivities in funding information, and sharing data in irresponsible ways can cause harm. This project will examine the data shared by funders in the Ariadne network, and produce actionable learning on members’ data maturity, the perceived impact of opening data, and the decision-making process for opening it. It will produce a responsible data decision-making process and, offer insights into the challenges funders face when publishing data.”

Rachel Rank, 360Giving CEO, says:

“We are excited to be part of this project. The award will fund a key piece of work to understand some of the barriers to publishing open data and will create a rigorous framework to mitigate them which we believe will encourage more sharing of grantmaking data.”

The full list of grantees from this year’s funding round is available via the Digital Impact website.

Posted in News & Updates

Nine new publishers join 360Giving Open Data movement

A broad mix of funders are the latest to publish their grantmaking data using the 360Giving Standard. The nine new organisations range from larger national funders, smaller local foundations, a corporate foundation, three community foundations, a livery company, family funders.

Together they take the total number of publishers to 43 and add another 2,730 grants worth £33.5 million – taking the total number of UK grants that are openly accessible to the world to 208,148, worth a total value of £8.9 billion. The full list of new publishers are: The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Community Foundation for Surrey, Cheshire Community Foundation, Quartet Community Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Millfield House Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, R S Macdonald Charitable Trust and Walcot Foundation.

‘More than the sum of the parts’

We asked some of our newest publishers why they have opened up their grantmaking data and why other grantmakers should follow suit.

Fiona Ellis, Trust Manager at Millfield House Foundation that funds policy change for a better society, says: “Making grant data open helps grantmakers understand the context of their own grantmaking; helps grant seekers see who might be interested in them – or not; and helps any lottery ticket buyer or donor that supports a grantmaker to see what happens with their money.

“I’d recommend others to participate since a whole picture is worth more than the sum of the parts.”

Sam Grimmett Batt, Senior Grants Officer of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, established by The Clothworkers’ Livery Company in 1977, and donating more than £125m since then to improve the lives of people and communities, particularly those facing disadvantage, says: “We are keen to help potential grantees to understand the type of awards we make and publishing our data in an open format is an excellent way of achieving this. We would encourage other grantmakers to publish both for ethical reasons and to play their part in strengthening the evidence base for the grantmaking sector.

Both agree that the process, though perhaps daunting, is well supported by the 360Giving team.

Sam Grimmet Batt says: “We found the process of publishing easy due to the excellent support provided by 360Giving. They were very helpful and always willing to explain technical processes in layman’s terms.”

While Fiona Ellis says: “I found the process initially daunting because I don’t use spread sheets but the help I got from 360Giving helped hugely. It really isn’t that hard at all.”

And the process can deliver efficiencies to your own data processes as the Clothworker’s Foundation discovered. “The publishing process helped us to streamline our data gathering processes and provided a valuable insight into our workflows for storing, managing and disseminating data,” says Sam.


Explore 360Giving data in our tool GrantNav. If you are interested in publishing your data and want to find out more contact Katherine Duerden: katherine.duerden@threesixtygiving.org

Posted in News & Updates

360Giving future secured to 2020 with Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Grant

We are delighted to have secured a £360,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to continue our work encouraging more funders and statutory bodies to publish their data to the 360Giving Open Data Standard – a shared format that makes the data available in an open and comparable way. The grant is to cover core costs over the next three years and will allow us to launch a Challenge Fund later in the year welcoming ideas for new data tools and platforms.

“This multi-year grant that covers our core costs will allow us to be more opportunistic as we go forward with our mission to make sharing and use of open grants data a vital part of good grantmaking,” says 360Giving CEO Rachel Rank.

Gina Crane, Communications and Learning Manager of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which has been publishing its grantmaking data to the 360Giving Standard since February 2016, says:

“We believe in the potential of open data, and 360Giving data can form the basis of new tools that everyone – those seeking funding as well as those looking to make grants and investments – can use to understand and improve giving in the UK.”

As part of its funding, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation offers a range of additional support and resources to grantees, including training and advice, meeting room facilities and connections to free resources and to other grantees.

This is the second grant the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has provided to 360Giving. In 2016 they supported the development of the GrantNav platform, which lets users search, explore and download grants data published to the 360Giving Open Data Standard. Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s data can be downloaded here.By making a wealth of grant information available in one place, GrantNav saves users time and money, allowing funders to be more informed, and those seeking funding to make more targeted applications.

Take a look for yourselves at the grants data being published using the 360Giving Standard: http://www.threesixtygiving.org/data/find-data/

Posted in News & Updates

New Publisher: Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland inspires and supports giving that strengthens communities and enriches local life. It has built an endowment of nearly £75 million and has awarded more than £100 million in grants.

It has now published grants awarded between April 2015 and March 2016 – a total of 1284 worth £6,871,922 – using the 360Giving Open Data Standard, which are now available to explore in the GrantNav platform.

The Foundation’s Director of Partnerships Adam Lopardo says: “We aim to be transparent and show how resources are being used. We already publish a basic list of grants we make every year but expanding the amount of data and publishing it alongside others, we believe creates a powerful tool for other funders and grantees to use. It has also made us think about data we don’t capture, what we lose out by not capturing that data and we are looking at how we might capture it going forward.

“Publishing our data presents a learning opportunity. We already connect people who want to make a difference with organisations who can make a difference here in the North East, but in a world where it’s harder for local causes to be seen, heard and funded, we want to champion them as widely as possible. Through our partnerships programme we want to connect groups in the North East to relevant funders from across the UK and vice versa. Being part of and promoting 360Giving and the GrantNav tool helps us see who else is supporting the sector in the North East and they can see us.

“It helps grantees find and better understand funders who might support their work. Funders in turn can find out who else has funded the groups who are making applications to them. Hopefully the result will be more successful applications from groups and more informed grantmaking by us and other funders.

I found the process to be absolutely fantastic and 360Giving were very patient considering many of the questions I asked were actually available on the 360Giving guidance! It means that when we publish the next set of data it should be very simple to do.”

Posted in News & Updates

New Publisher: Barrow Cadbury Trust

Committed to structural and long-term catalytic social change, Barrow Cadbury Trust works in the areas of criminal justice, migration, and economic justice.

It grants in excess of £3m a year and has now published grant-making data going back to April 2012 to the 360Giving Open Data Standard. This adds 397 grants worth £13,504,355 to the dataset.

Head of Programmes Debbie Pippard says: “We decided to publish to the 360Giving Standard as we strongly believe in transparency and making our data as accessible as possible for people. We believe in the potential of Big Data and want to be a part of that and we encourage others to join us.

“360Giving were very helpful and knowledgeable. Our data was in pretty good shape and with a bit of tidying we were able to publish almost everything immediately. But you don’t have to bite off everything in one go. You can publish in stages. Now our data is standardised we will be able to publish updates at the push of a button.”

Visit Barrow Cadbury Trust website to access their data, or explore their grants in GrantNav.

Posted in News & Updates

360Giving named as one of UK’s most transformative digital organisations

We are delighted to have been recognised as one of the UK’s most transformative digital organisations having been named among 10 ‘Digital Charities of the Year’ in the 2017 Digital Leaders 100 (DL100) List.

The global initiative promotes effective, long-term digital transformation across government and industries.

The independent list recognises 100 people and organisations across the UK who are leading the way in digital transformation in all sectors. Previously, the list has featured industry names such as Martha Lane-Fox, Mike Bracken, Liam Maxwell, Kevin Cunnington and Eileen Burbidge.

The 100 finalists that make up the list will now compete for the public vote in one of 10 categories. You can help us get to the top of the Digital Charity of the Year list by voting for us at digileaders100.com.

This year’s list is made up of individuals and organisations, with 50 from the private sector, 29 from the public sector and 20 from the nonprofit sector.

The DL100 list has a 50/50 gender split, recognising the diversity in digital transformation roles and the leading women across the industry. 360Giving was founded by Fran Perrin who saw the massive potential in creating a digital place where grantmakers and seekers can increase their knowledge of where grants go in the UK and thereby improve the effectiveness of the sector.

Lord Francis Maude of Horsham, Chair of Digital Leaders, said: “The Digital Leaders 100 list 2017 is once again highlighting the progress that has been made in digitally transforming the UK across all sectors. Our Digital Leaders community have pulled out all the stops to let us know about the hidden heroes, quietly getting on with the UK’s digital transformation without themselves seeking recognition. It’s great to see such a strong list from outside London this year reflecting our own National programme and the growing importance that digital transformation has in organisations irrespective of size or sector.”

Robin Knowles, CEO of Digital Leaders, added: “This is the annual list membership that money can’t buy. A truly independent list nominated by our growing community and shortlisted by 10 independent judges before a public vote puts them into order.

Judges for the DL100 shortlist include, Lord Maude of Horsham, Chris Yiu, Director of Uber, Rachel Neaman, CEO of Corsham Institute, and Maggie Philbin, CEO of Teentech.

The final list order and category winners will be announced at the DL100 Awards Dinner at St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel on 22 June 2017.

Remember to vote for us at: http://www.digileaders100.com/#categories – voting closes at 12 noon on Friday 9th June 2017.

Posted in News & Updates

Diving into the data: Join our Greater Manchester pilot

Julian Tait

Julian Tait: Project Lead, Greater Manchester Pilot

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.

As part of the pilot we will be running a number of free workshops at the end of April and beginning of May. We would love to see you there. More information and workshop registration can be found here.

Posted in News & Updates

Exploring the gold mine of funders’ data

Shona Curvers

Shona Curvers, Researcher, NPC

Conversations around data are gaining momentum in the charity sector. Open data in particular—freely used, modified, and shared by anyone—is generating a lot of hype, and for good reason. Seeking out and analysing open data from various sources – including government data – offers funders a number of practical benefits. It can improve our understanding of social need, which leads to more strategic decision-making. And funders who open up their own grants data are providing a valuable resource not only to other funders, but to charities and statutory organisations more broadly. These are some of the points that have been explored in NPC’s latest report produced with support from the Indigo Trust, Valuing Data: How to use it in your grant-making. The report explores, in plain English, the many benefits of the voluntary sector making better use of their own data, and open data.

A sensible first step for many funders is to think about the data they’ve already collected before looking to external data sources. Funders are often sitting on a gold mine of data, in the form of every grant application – successful and unsuccessful – containing unique insights into their funding practice.

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, for example, improved the internal coding and tagging of their grants to categorise them more efficiently. They can now break down their grants according to keywords or beneficiary groups to gain a more granular understanding of where their money is going. By mapping this data against feedback from grantees, the Foundation can explore whether different approaches to funding work better with certain types of organisations, grants or activities.

And, as mentioned above, grants applications aren’t only a useful data source for funders themselves. Comic Relief has published their long list of applications for their Tech for Good funding programme. This will help to raise awareness around digital initiatives in the charity sector, and to potentially attract investment to some of the applicants who were unsuccessful. It will act as a valuable resource for funders who are interested in supporting digital projects, but lack the expertise to confidently assess grant applications. Comic Relief also hopes this move will encourage funder collaboration in the ‘tech for good’ space.

As more and more funders make their applications and grants data publicly available in this way, the data landscape becomes increasingly rich, creating new opportunities for analysis and improvement. Initiatives like 360Giving and their open data search platform GrantNav are playing a crucial role in encouraging this process.

There are of course barriers when it comes to working with data.

Leadership, for example, is a key concern; organisations need buy-in from senior management and the board in order for data to become embedded in the way they operate.
Not to mention, making good use of data demands a certain level of skills, knowledge and resources. But there are a range of external sources that funders can draw on to build their capacity in this area. DataKind UK, for example, offers a range of community events such as social mixers, to connect data scientists with social sector experts, or educational workshops. There are also plenty of publications that provide charities with basic, practical information on what open data is all about. Ultimately, up-front resource allocation will translate into worthwhile long-term benefits.

Conversations around data are gaining momentum, and starting by taking stock of where you currently stand will leave you well placed to benefit from the many opportunities data has to offer.

Posted in News & Updates