Happy 1st birthday to GrantNav – come and join the party!
By Rachel Rank
A year ago we launched a UK first with GrantNav, the free to use search tool that lets anyone easily explore and download grants data for some of the UK’s largest charitable funders.
The platform has put grantmaking on a new trajectory that has the potential to crank up the sector’s impact.
GrantNav has experienced phenomenal growth in its first year. When we launched it in September 2016, it included data from 26 funders. It now features more than 200,000 grants worth over £10bn from 48 funders. Collectively, these organisations represent the full gamut of grantmakers and you will recognise many of them including small, large, family, corporate, institutional, local authority and government funders who have joined the #greatergrantsdata movement by sharing their information in an open, comparable way.
People are regularly using GrantNav, with an average of 1,000 different people using it each month. Some are conducting basic searches to see who else is funding the same kind of activities, such as this example from an online forum run by the Alzheimer’s Society, where a user looks at the end dates of grants for dementia projects. Others are building on top of GrantNav search results and using different tools, for example to visualise funding to a specific place.
I spent half of today solving problems using https://t.co/vDPRZHKDv7 . It's just so brilliant – I think I'm in love with a database
— Tom Steinberg (@steiny) November 3, 2016
Using open data to underpin funding decisions is a new science and it’s encouraging to see GrantNav being used by different people in different ways, depending on whether they are data analysts, or (like me) just want to find out who else is funding what without having to wrangle any pivot tables.
The potential of the 360Giving dataset is improving all the time. With more data being opened up every month, we’re able to do more sophisticated network analysis, such as looking at funding patterns. We’re also going to make GrantNav even more user friendly by creating better instructions and examples of use.
When we launched GrantNav in September 2016 it was a UK first, and it remains the only place to access open, comparable data on UK grantmaking. But it isn’t the only show in town.
Other platforms that use 360Giving data are also being created, including CAST’s Beehive Giving, which is working with grant seekers to help match them with the best potential funders; and OSCI’s Local Insight, that looks at the latest data and analysis for local communities and services.
We are delighted to celebrate a year of GrantNav and how quickly it is growing. We now need you to bring your information and questions to the party and help it come of age.
We run regular Data Surgeries which bring grantmakers together to talk about sharing and using the funding information they collect. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed to find out when the next Surgery is: @360Giving
In the next few months we’ll also be launching a Challenge Fund that will look at common challenges faced by organisations and how funding data can be used to help answer them. Look out for details on our website and via Twitter.
GrantNav will be improved by having more data, which in turn will encourage more users. As the dataset grows, so does the usefulness of GrantNav. If you would like to know how you can open up your grants data then please get in touch.