The Foundation Center has announced a new partnership with fifteen leading U.S. foundations to release their grant information in a consistent, open, and frequent manner.
As part of the Reporting Commitment initiative, each foundation will report its grant information to the Foundation Center on at least a quarterly basis. The center will then feature that data on its transparency-centered Web site Glasspockets.org. Published under a Creative Commons license, the data will be provided in a machine-readable open format and coded to an open geographic standard developed by the center and known as GeoTree. An interactive map vizualization of the data — also available on Glasspockets.org — will enable people to see at a glance the national and global reach of the participating foundations' grantmaking.
"By making their grants information available in open format and in near-real time, these foundations are helping philanthropy join the era of Big Data," said Foundation Center president Bradford K. Smith. "This brings us one step closer to being able to see how foundation grants, government spending, and private investments are coming together to address the issues of our time."
The participating foundations have made a commitment to each other and the field based on the belief that accurate and accessible information is critical to effective collaboration, strategic decision making, and a more engaged philanthropic sector. They include Atlantic Philanthropies, the California Endowment, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Annenberg, Bill & Melinda Gates, Energy, Getty, William and Flora Hewlett, Robert Wood Johnson, W.K. Kellogg, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, Gordon and Betty Moore, Charles Stewart Mott, David and Lucile Packard, and Rockefeller foundations.
"As more and more foundations join the Reporting Commitment, new insights will emerge from the data, with benefits that reach far beyond the participating foundations," said Hewlett Foundation president Larry Kramer. "Open access to accurate, consistent, current data will make it easier for organizations and people seeking grant dollars to find effective partners for their work, greatly enhancing the philanthropic sector as a whole."