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 New publishers

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 New publishers

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 New publishers

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

A Question of Geography…

How many times have you said “I wish we knew who was funding what in our area?”

Maybe you’ve even been that brave volunteer who offered to try and pull the data together from whatever other group members could supply – and then regretted it. At 360Giving, one of the many reasons we are passionate about encouraging charities to publish their grant-making data to our standard is because it will make that process a lot simpler.

There are now 33 funders publishing data– from The Big Lottery with 163,000 grants to One Manchester with 66. To show people what you can do with all that information we built GrantNav, just one tool that helps people uncover the stories the data can tell. This month, we caught up with funding and capacity building officers who’ve been exploring how that works.

Dipali Chandra from Charitable Trusts West Midlands, contacted the office for help with using the data in GrantNav to look at grants being awarded at ward level. After explaining some of the inner workings of the tool, we asked her what being able to access the data meant for her work. “It’s about having the conversations we’ve never been able to have before” Dipali said. “we literally used to say that we can’t discuss these questions because we don’t know anything”.

Of course, there are still limitations – GrantNav’s filtering function uses the grant recipients’ address to locate the funding, rather than the project location and many funders haven’t included this kind of information in their data yet. But with a GrantNav data report including volume funders like The Big Lottery, BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief as a starting point, the much-needed conversations were launched.

Dipali also put us in touch with Austin Rodriguez, from the Neighbourhood Development and Support Unit at Birmingham City Council. Austin describes himself as a self-taught spreadsheet wrangler. He pulled data from 360Giving data together with other information supplied directly by funders and compared it with local public sector data profiling the population and needs. From this he was able to put together a report to advise the Partners Investing in Neighbourhoods & Communities group on how they were doing at getting funding into some of the most deprived wards in Birmingham.

Graph showing amount of grant funding by ward created by Austin Rodriguez, Birmingham City Council

Austin was excited by the data because it helped him to question assumptions and provide insights about how well joined up things are (or aren’t). The myth that grants were going to only the usual suspects was debunked by the numbers (101 grants, 81 recipients). Then the data supported a strong correlation between the spread of grants across different wards, and the number of established community organisations in those wards. It also highlighted areas of significant underinvestment, compared to need and assets, as well as insights about dependency on grants.

These are just the first reports we’ve had back in to the office about how data is being used in the capacity building and fundraising sector to support decision making and learning and we’re looking forward to hearing more over the next few months.

Graph showing average grant size by ward created by Austin Rodriguez, Birmingham City Council

If these stories intrigue you, what can you do?

If you’re a bit of a data dabbler – no need to be an expert – you might like to look at our top tips for working with 360Giving Standard data and geography so you can explore some patterns and trends emerging in your area.

If you’re in Manchester we’re currently running a publishing and use of 360Giving Standard data with workshops for total technophobes right through to experienced data users – find out how you can get involved.

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

360Giving wins Women in Data Award

360Giving has won the Open Data Institute (ODI) Women in Data Award 2016. Fran Perrin, Alice Casey, Katherine Duerden, Anna de Pulford and Rachel Rank jointly won the award, presented by ODI President Sir Tim Berners-Lee for a female individual or group making waves in the world of open data.

This is the third year the ODI has run the Open Data Awards, which celebrate innovation and excellence in open data across the world. The Women in Data award was presented for the first time in 2016, in recognition of the ODI’s commitment to championing gender diversity in the industry. When announcing 360Giving as the winner, Sir Tim Berners-Lee emphasised his personal support for this new award, noting the need for more women in the tech industry.

Fran Perrin, accepting the award said:

“We are so honoured to win this award for Women in Data. I’m privileged to work with this amazing team including Alice Casey, Anna de Pulford, Rachel Rank and Katherine Duerden.

I would also like to thank three awesome women in data; Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund; Caroline Mason, Chief Executive of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; and Helen Goulden at Nesta. They understood that 360Giving is using open data to transform the charity sector for more informed, strategic grants to help more charities and people. Their leadership on opening up their grants to the 360Giving Open Data Standard is helping us to really make change happen.

This was genuinely a team effort so I would also like to thank the men involved; Tim Davies, Steven Flower, Ben Webb and Will Perrin.”

Other nominees for the award were Louise Corti, for her work at the UK Data Service; and Serah Njambi at Open Knowledge International. The full list of award winners is available at: http://theodi.org/news/open-data-awards-2016-open-innovators-from-around-the-world.

Photo credit Edafe Onerhime

Women in Data award winners with Jeni Tennison, CEO of ODI and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Photo courtesy of Edafe Onerhime

 

Posted in News & Updates

New joint initiative launched to build the next key piece of open data infrastructure

A group of leading open data standards bodies have announced an exciting new collaboration to tackle a shared problem: how to accurately identify organisations.

The identify-org initiative was launched on Friday 7th October at the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Madrid. It brings together key organisations driving standards for open data across a range of sectors including contracting, extractives, international aid, agriculture and philanthropy. A challenge shared by all these initiatives is how to accurately and consistently identify an organisation. Whether it’s a charity in the UK, a company in Malaysia, or a government department in Canada, the ability to describe these different entities in a consistent way is key to opening and linking up data about their activities, ensuring it is accessible and useful.

The initiative will establish an open interface so that anyone can find known organisation registries; it will also embark on a research process to highlight others. Acting together, the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), Open Contracting Partnership, 360Giving, Joined Up Data Standards (JUDS) and the Initiative for Open Ag Funding will build a key piece of open data infrastructure to enable the free exchange of information on entities, regardless of sector or jurisdiction.

To do this, the project partners have agreed to support efforts to gather and share information on different registers of organisations across the world, backed-up by a common methodology to describe these in open data. In turn, this will provide a foundation for the open data community to both share and use identifiers about organisations, using this common protocol.

The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) kick-started this work in 2012. IATI has agreed to share its initial efforts with identify-org, enabling others to build upon the ‘list of lists’ of registries of organisations.

By working together, the project partners are pooling their knowledge of the different organisation registers that are currently available so it can be used by different standards bodies in a consistent way.

//END

Notes for Editors:

Contact name: Rachel Rank
Title: CEO, 360Giving
Contact: +44 (0)7983 409 406 / rachel.rank@threesixtygiving.org

  1. For more details about Identify-org visit: https://identify-org.net/
  2. For more details about the eight project partners, visit: https://identify-org.net/supporters/

 

Posted in News & Updates