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What 360Giving Data Can Tell us About Giving for Women


For International Women’s Day, we decided to see what grants have been awarded for women’s causes using data published to the 360Giving Standard.

Using GrantNav, we looked at the grant descriptions and searched for keywords that we know are related to projects targeted at women (women, girl, mother, female, rape, domestic abuse).

For grants made in 2017, we got 829 results, compared to 1,523 in 2016. The lower figure in 2017 is due either to multi-year funding, or because some grantmakers who first published to the 360Giving Standard in 2016 have not shared any data for 2017 yet.

In 2017, we found £49.8 million of funding for women’s causes. London Councils provided the most funding. Their grant programme has a priority focusing on domestic abuse and they awarded £15 million as part of this, which accounted for 61% of their total giving in 2017.

The Co-operative Group gave 316 grants to women’s causes in 2017 – more than any other funder; but overall this accounted for 3% of all the grants that the Group awarded in 2017. This reflects their funding approach, which is to provide lots of smaller grants averaging £2,500.

In the 360Giving dataset for 2016, a grand total of £134 million was granted for women’s causes. This is 2.6 times more funding compared to 2017. Initially, we thought this was due to missing data for 2017, meaning we couldn’t compare the results over the two years. However, when we dug into the numbers for the Big Lottery, we found an interesting trend.

Looking at the 360Giving data for grants awarded in 2016, 73% (£96.7 million) were provided by the Big Lottery. However, in 2017, it awarded £11.5 million for women’s causes, which is a drop of 88%. This made us wonder what caused this change?

The reason is grant duration. Half of Big Lottery’s grants have a duration of 12 months or longer, so the grants that were awarded in 2016 were still running in 2017 and beyond. Almost half of the funding awarded in 2016 was provided under its Women and Girls Initiative. The average duration of these grants is 50 months, which means we would not expect to see any funding renewed until 2020. So what at first may have appeared to be a drop in funding is actually good news – the Big Lottery has committed large amounts of multi-year funding to women’s causes; and because they share this data openly, we can now see it alongside other funding to women’s causes.

This analysis looked at 360Giving data for grants made in 2016 and 2017, providing us with a snapshot of funding to women’s causes. In order to get a more comprehensive picture we need your help. If you are a grantmaker, please share your data in the standard format we have developed so that for International Women’s Day in 2019 we can get more insights into funding to women’s causes.