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A quick guide to currency and amounts in 360Giving

Charitable grants are about the good that can be done with the money we give. At present, it isn’t possible to find a complete dataset on all charitable grants in the UK. To help with that, we set up 360Giving, a data standard for UK grantmaking.

Organisations publishing to the 360Giving data standard report on how much they have awarded to each person or organisation receiving a grant. For each grant, the grant maker provides the currency code from the International Standard for currency codes. They also provide the amount awarded and have the option to provide other amounts, for example the amount applied for and the amount disbursed. So, in 360Giving, the currency and the value are reported separately – why is this?

Why separate currency and amounts make for more useful charitable grants information

  1. It makes the charitable grants easier for machines to read and use: when we say machines, we mean services that automatically seek out information like our GrantNav tool.

  2. It’s flexible for publishers who use different currencies: so if a publisher makes a grant in Euros and another in Pounds Sterling, this is easy to report without using symbols € and £.

  3. It makes for more consistent information: sometimes symbols like € and £ don’t show up properly in spreadsheets and other tools.

This decision was a small part of our wider goals of making charitable grants more useful and usable through standardising. As a human reader using Excel, £100 might make sense to us, but it isn’t as useful for machines, for re-using the information or for making sure the information is seen the same way by everyone who uses it.