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COVID19: how a small data task can make a big impact for funding


The voluntary sector will play a vital role in supporting communities affected by the coronavirus crisis in the UK. We know there are many important things to think about, but we ask funders to do a small task to make a huge difference to the sector’s ability to coordinate. 

Funders can ensure that funding made in response to the crisis can be tracked – and the best use of resources can be made – by publishing their grants data in the 360Giving Data Standard including ‘COVID19’


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These are unprecedented times. As governments, businesses and civil societies around the world find ways to adapt and mobilise in response to the coronavirus crisis, we are all considering the roles we can play.

The role of funders is, and will continue to be, a vital one. Many funders across the UK are currently planning and reviewing their responses to the crisis, and some have already begun to make extra funding available. 

Sector bodies are also drawing on lessons from previous emergency responses to highlight how funders can adapt their approaches. The current coordination efforts led by London Funders is a great example of this

Strategic funding and an open approach

On Friday, our Founder and Chair Fran Perrin, and our Trustee Will Perrin announced three emergency grants, £1 million to the Trussell Trust to support running foodbanks nationwide, £1 million to the National Emergency Trust to support their Coronavirus Appeal, and £500,000 to Oxfordshire Community Foundation to re-grant to organisations most in need in their local area. 

Fran and Will said that their strategic approach had been informed by their work with New Philanthropy Capital and The Philanthropy Workshop, and advised other donors to look to their local communities, other less fortunate communities and the national interest, in planning their responses. 

They also reiterated the need for funders to publish data about their grants openly to ensure they can be tracked, and that the best use of resources can be made.

How funders can enable the best use of resources across the UK

Funders awarding grants in response to the coronavirus outbreak can help to enable the best use of resources across the UK by publishing their data in the 360Giving Data Standard, and including ‘COVID19’ in the data. 

The 360Giving Data Standard is a uniform and consistent way to describe grants data. Publishing data in this standard format means it’s easier to find, understand and compare funding across the UK. If all funders awarding grants in response to the crisis publish their data in the standard, and use the phrase ‘COVID19’ in the grant description, it means their grants can be tracked alongside others, giving us all a fuller picture of where resources are being targeted, where might be underfunded, and how efforts could be coordinated best. 

For help publishing your grants data, visit our ‘How to publish’ page. You can also contact our support team, who can help at every step.

How can I track COVID19 funding?

For those looking to search and compare funding data to inform their funding decisions, or for other research, GrantNav is a search-engine for grants data. GrantNav pulls data shared openly in the 360Giving Data Standard, and now updates on a daily basis, making it possible to track funding responses in close to realtime.

As more grants are published in the 360Giving Data Standard, we will have more insights and understanding of where relevant grants are going across the UK

If you want help using 360Giving data, whether you are a funder, a researcher or anyone with a question you want to answer with the data, we offer free Office Hours where we can help you. Visit our Support page for more information.