Get Your Data Out of your System and Onto the Map!
One of the biggest challenges our granting clients – and, indeed, many organizations – face, is access to current, reliable data on the web. While many maintain their own databases of statistics, trends, contacts and the like, there’s been no reliable central location where information on who is funding what and where, leading to something akin to a scavenger hunt when looking for details on regional giving.
Back in October, 2014, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grant Makers and the Foundation Center came together to create a partnership, aimed at improving the quality and effectiveness of grant making through the strategic collection and sharing of data.
And thus, Get on the Map was born.
Get on the Map’s goal is to create platforms and systems for collecting and translating data into intuitively searchable information via an interactive mapping tool. Specific areas of focus include:
· Philanthropic Data: Encourage members of regional associations to centralize and standardize giving data. This data will be accessible to all members through an interactive map, helping inform funding decisions and tracking trends.
· Philanthropy Research: Templates for research reports will be available so information about regional giving can be more easily and efficiently published and shared, providing regionally focused funders with critical information about funding patterns in their communities.
· Philanthropy Tools: Data visualization, benchmarking, and knowledge management tools will provide regional associations with continuous access to comprehensive data on the work of their member foundations, empowering users to gain valuable insight from the information.
Twenty regional associations participated in the kick-off, sharing data from more than 2,700 organizations. That translates to over $38 billion in grants across the United States. The Get on the Map campaign encourages funders to share information through the Foundation Center's eReporting system.
Participants receive a free interactive map of their own grants, and regional associations will be able to provide access to a map of their members' giving data, creating a national picture of what is being spent where, and in what areas of interest. Administered through the Foundation Center's powerful Foundation Maps platform, the maps provide open access to information about the activities of fellow funders.
Interested in learning more? Check out the Get on the Map toolkit for everything you need to get yourself started, including an informative series of webinars to help guide curious funders through the process of joining this amazing online community.