When Indigo Trust Director Fran Perrin was investigating where her grants could make the most impact, she wanted to see what other organisations were already funding. However, she found that information was hard to come by as foundations weren’t sharing that information in a way that made it easy to access or compare. So, rather than try and solve it all alone, she brought together a community of funders and other experts to explore what could be done about it.
Using Collaboration and partnership, Indigo Trust brought together a group of like-minded organisations to develop and support the idea of sharing grants data in an open, comparable format that anyone could access and use free of charge. The collaboration involved a range of approaches, from meetings and workshops through to setting up a project steering group. Having clear, tangible goals was a key part of getting the collaboration to work. In this case, the main goal was getting more grantmakers to share their data, and developing a data standard to help them do it.
The collaboration was supported by a range of grant-makers and incubated by innovation funder, Nesta. A year later an independent organisation, 360Giving, span out of the collaboration to continue its ground-breaking work.
There are lots of different parts needed to realise a strong open data ecosystem around philanthropy. However, rather than try and develop everything themselves, 360Giving has focussed on its core mission of creating a strong pipeline of open grants data, while collaborating with other organisations to develop ways to use this data. For example, they are collaborating with BeehiveGiving.org – a platform that uses the data 360Giving is opening up to enable charities to find funders that could support their work. Or partnering with GrantNav – a tool which enables people to look up where grants from funders who publish using the 360Giving data standard are going. This focus means that each organisation can concentrate its resources on delivering its core goal, and not be distracted with developing other areas.
The collaborative approach of the whole initiative has also meant that 360Giving has developed close relationships with a range of grant-makers and tech builders, and their impact is increasing every day. In three years they have grown the community of organisations that are sharing their data to 75 funders, opening up 280,000 grants worth over £24 billion, and with more data being shared all the time.
About the Principle
Collaborate and build partnerships
How does this apply to the case study?
You can’t do everything yourself, nor should you. Collaborate or build partnerships with others in the sector to strengthen the product or service. For example, partnering with other organisations who have domain knowledge or routes to scale.