There are over 10,000 charitable foundations in the UK. Between them, they generate a vast amount of data. But this data has not traditionally been seen as a resource in the same way that money has been, and this is a missed opportunity. In this report we outline how grant-makers can use data at both an individual and a collective level to improve their funding practice.
Valuing data: How to use it in your grant-making
We are used to stewarding financial resources toward public benefit—data is a resource that we need to steward with the same integrity.
Lucy Bernholz, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
From the funding application process through to implementation and evaluation, grant-making involves a continuous creation of data. More and more funders are making their grant-making data publicly available, to support evidence-based decision-making and to improve transparency and accountability. But we think more of this can be done to improve grant-making throughout the UK.
In this paper we explore how grant-makers can make better us of data within their organisations. We also argue that to really harness the value of data, funders must take a more collaborative, shared approach to using data. By highlighting specific examples and emerging approaches, we outline how this could best be achieved.
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With thanks to The Indigo Trust for supporting this work, and all those who contributed their time to the research.