Valuing data: How to use it in your grant-making

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.

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.

Let us know what you think of the report over on Twitter: @NPCthinks

With thanks to The Indigo Trust for supporting this work, and all those who contributed their time to the research.