The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and Foundation Center recently formed an exciting new partnership that will improve the quality and effectiveness of grantmaking nationwide through the strategic collection and sharing of data on philanthropy. Plans include projects around philanthropy data, research, and tools, which will be strengthened by grantmaking data contributed by members. That data will inform new resources such as regional research report templates and data visualizations, giving us improved access to the story of philanthropy in our region and helping to inform funding decisions and track trends.
The Forum’s mission is to leverage the collective knowledge of its association members so that each can be the highest quality provider of philanthropic support services in their regions, while a Foundation Center priority is to empower donors with the knowledge tools they need to be strategic. The partnership will tap the unique strengths of each organization in order to achieve shared goals.
The partnership will entail establishing platforms and systems for collecting data contributed by Forum members and translating it into knowledge services that will benefit not only the Forum membership, but the broader philanthropic sector. Specific plans include the following:
Philanthropy Data: To support a vibrant and effective philanthropic sector, the partnership will launch a “donor data campaign” to encourage members of regional associations to centralize and standardize giving data at Foundation Center. This current data will be accessible to all members through an interactive mapping platform helping to inform funding decisions and track trends in each region.
Philanthropy Research: Templates for research reports will be created so that 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 and empower users to draw actionable conclusions from the information.
In recent years, Foundation Center and individual Forum member associations have partnered on a wide variety of projects, including more than 40 research reports and fact sheets, and Forum members have participated in Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. This partnership is a natural evolution of those preceding collaborations, all of which have in common the goal of spreading knowledge to strengthen philanthropy and the good it can achieve. The national scope of the partnership, however, will introduce efficiencies and broaden its impact.
Get on the Map
The "Get on the Map" campaign — a partnership of the Forum for Regional Association of Grantmakers and Foundation Center — is a new data-sharing initiative dedicated to boosting the quality and availability of fresh, detailed grantmaking data across the Forum Network.
Through this partnership, regional associations of grantmakers can run their own peer-led campaigns to recruit members to share grants data using Foundation Center's eReporting Standard. The data is then centralized at Foundation Center and made freely accessible to all members in the region through the Foundation Maps platform — a highly interactive and searchable mapping tool.
Foundation Maps will provide complete and up-to-date answers to questions like:
- Who else is funding a particular issue in our region?
- What organizations are tackling that issue?
- Where are the funding gaps?
- Who may be natural collaborators?
- And much more...
Learn more about the Get on the Map campaign and download the toolkit to get started!