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Coming together to celebrate 360Giving

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A recording and summary of our celebration event

On Thursday 29th September, 360Giving hosted an in-person event to mark our founder, Fran Perrin OBE, stepping down as Chair, to celebrate everything achieved so far and to share the plans in our ambitious 2022-25 strategy. At the event Fran, Tania Cohen (Chief Executive, 360Giving) and our new chair Fozia Irfan OBE reflected on the past, present and future of 360Giving. 

It was so brilliant to see so many partners and publishers from across the funding community coming together to celebrate what has been achieved collectively, as well as Fran’s individual leadership and vision. We originally intended to host this gathering in March 2020… Two and a half years (and lots more learning) later, we finally did it! 

Thank you to all of the friends and funders who came along to the event. For those who couldn’t make it, you can hear a recording of the speeches below or read the full speech transcript here –  360Giving Event Transcript.

Fran Perrin OBE

Fran spoke about the origins of 360Giving, and how she struggled in the beginning of her philanthropy to identify who to support: “when I was in my early stages of being a donor, I always thought I must just be the clueless one. Everybody else must know what’s going on and I’m the only one who can’t navigate it”. She founded 360Giving to help overcome that problem, and 360Giving always has been “more than a data project” – it is something that is used by people: researchers, academics, charities – and every kind of funder publishes their data using the 360Giving Data Standard. 

She highlighted how important it has been that 360Giving’s work has adapted to suit the needs of foundations and the charities and communities they serve. The Covid-19 Tracker was built very quickly so that we could see where funding was going to mitigate against the impacts of the pandemic. In addition, the DEI Data Standard adds so much value, and the DEI Data Group has managed to reach consensus on an area that has been too complicated for people to agree on before. The 360Giving Data Standard will keep on evolving to meet the needs of the sector, with upcoming changes to improve our understanding of geography, regranting and grantmaking to individuals. 

Fran ended her speech by focusing on what she was most proud of, and that was that publishing grants using the 360Giving Data Standard has always been voluntary, and that it is driven by so many people and is owned by the funding community. It is because of the passion and drive that others have that she can step away from being Chair with confidence. 

Tania Cohen

Tania thanked everyone who contributed to 360Giving in some way – especially Fran and 360Giving’s former Chief Executive, Rachel Rank. In fact, this celebration event was originally meant to be Rachel’s leaving do in March 2020! 

Tania also thanked the 360Giving team, in particular, Katherine Duerden, who has played a vital role in supporting funders and doubling the number publishing their data over the last 2.5 years, rising to the challenge in difficult circumstances. She acknowledged the hard work of our technical partners, Open Data Services Cooperative who develop, maintain and support our tools and the 360Giving Data Standard, and our brilliant Trustees and Stewardship Committee who govern the 360Giving Data Standard and provide us with invaluable advice. 

Last and by no means least, Tania thanked the funders in the room who publish their open data and 360Giving’s funders, for their financial contributions that make the work possible and for advocating our work with their networks. They are: The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, Indigo Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Tudor Trust and Pears Foundation. Funder collaborations and partnerships are at the core of what 360Giving does, and will be even more important as we implement our 2022-25 Strategy. 

Fozia Irfan OBE

The speeches came to a close with Fozia looking to the future. Fozia thanked Fran for her vision which has led to 360Giving being such an important part of the grantmaking sector. 

Fozia also reiterated the point that data is needed to make transformational change – it is vital that the funders know as much as possible about who and what they fund. And collaboration around the data is key, and it is something that funders can get better at. She highlighted the recent analysis that 360Giving produced for the Access to Justice Foundation which covers the size and scope of the sector, income sources, and relationships between funder collaborations as an example of how useful open grants data can be, and already is, for influencing change. 

She ended the event with a call to action to funders to support 360Giving, to share what they would like to see the team do, and to use open grants data: “360Giving cannot work without you. It just simply can’t. It relies on your input, it relies on you taking part, it relies on you reading the guidance, providing the questions, challenging us, provoking us. Saying to us: “Well, why aren’t you doing this? Why aren’t you doing that?” That’s what we need to do to continue to grow.”

Thank you 

Of course we’d like to end this blog with another huge thanks to Fran. Without her we would not have 233 funding organisations publishing data, 750,000 individual grants in our tools, and £175 billion worth of UK grants published using the 360Giving Data Standard. Fran will remain as Founder of 360Giving and will continue to champion our work.