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Improved GrantNav launches as we celebrate turning six

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We’re excited to be celebrating our sixth birthday today, and to be launching a new and improved version of our flagship tool, GrantNav, our search engine for grants data. We reflect on how GrantNav has progressed over the past five years, and highlight how you can make the most of its new functionality. 

GrantNav is our free search-engine for grants data. It is the UK’s first and only place to access open, comparable data on UK grantmaking and remains our flagship tool, helping anyone to explore and download data on over 580,000 grants worth over £108bn given to causes across the UK.

Image with screenshots of 2016 and 2021 GrantNav. Text reads 'how it started 2016...£8.5bn. How it's going 2021...£108bn.'

GrantNav over the years

2016: GrantNav launched with 25 funders

GrantNav launched in September 2016 with data about 184,000 grants worth £8.5bn from 25 funders. And we’re pleased to say, it received a standing ovation at the launch event. The tool was basic in functionality, but allowed anyone to explore grant data published in the 360Giving Data Standard.

Screenshot of 2016 GrantNav search page. It is orange with search bar in the middle and numbers underneath of data in the tool: 25 funders; 124,212 recipients; 184,483 grants.

2018: Improving the user experience

18 months after the launch, we decided to improve the tool’s user experience with a focus on language and guidance. We added a currency filter to show grant amounts in different currencies, added geocodes to the data internally so that the Region, District and Ward filters worked in search results, and we introduced support for accented characters.

2020: Monthly manual updates become daily

In 2020, we enhanced the backend functioning of GrantNav by connecting it to a new 360Giving Datastore. The Datastore centralised the files published in the 360Giving Data Standard and meant that GrantNav updated automatically on a daily basis, rather than requiring a manual monthly process. Funders publishing data could therefore see their grants in the tools the day after they published.

2021: An enhanced GrantNav launches

Now, nearly five years after GrantNav was first created, we are excited to be releasing a refreshed and improved version of the tool! Back in March we soft-launched an upgraded version of it and shared the new features in a blog post. Since then we’ve been smoothing out issues and adding further features.

Screenshot of 2021 GrantNav search page. Orange with white search box and new 360Giving logo. Text reads: 196 funders, 266,843 recipients and 583,207 grants.

So, what’s changed?

The new GrantNav includes better search functionality and user experience. This includes:

  • More information in the search results summary. This includes graphs showing the results by amount and date awarded, and highlighted grants including the largest, smallest, most recent and oldest grants in the results.
  • A link to view the dataset in 360Insights, our free tool to help you understand specific funders better. This means you can explore the results of your search in more detail for smaller result sets.
  • Better filters so you can make more specific selections, including setting a date range and an improved recipient search.

Screenshot of GrantNav search summary which is in a pale yellow box. There’s a link to 360Insights at the top, two orange bar charts on the left showing the amount awarded and the date awarded, and written stats on the right and bottom. Illustration on the far right.

 

In 2020-21, an average of 2,560 different people used GrantNav each month, in comparison to 1,000 in the first years. We’re excited to be launching this improved version of the tool and to support the growing numbers of users to understand and compare grants data in the UK.

We are working on upgrades to 360Insights, our free tool to help understand specific funders better, and look forward to releasing more news about this.

 

Read our blog post, ‘how has the grants data grown?’, where we reflect on how the data published in the 360Giving Data Standard has changed over time.