"Reporting Commitment" Opens Up Grants Data
Fifteen of the U.S.'s Largest Foundations Partner With the Foundation Center, Encourage Others to Join Effort for Philanthropic Transparency
A group of the largest U.S. foundations have formally committed to release their grant information in a consistent, open, and frequent manner, in an effort to more effectively address the issues facing our communities and our world. To date, 15 foundations have partnered with the Foundation Center and agreed to open up their grantmaking data in this initiative known as the "Reporting Commitment."
"In essence, the Reporting Commitment liberates grants data from the confines of a single foundation and brings knowledge sharing to the fore," said Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the 15 current participants. "This effort — with its emphasis on transparency and collaboration — positions data as a strategic resource within and beyond the philanthropy sector."
Grant information, which will be reported at least quarterly by each foundation, is available on the Foundation Center's transparency-centered web site, Glasspockets.org. Data from the participating foundations is in a machine-readable open format and coded to an open geographic standard, developed by the Foundation Center known as GeoTree. An interactive map of the data — also available on Glasspockets.org — allows people to see at a glance the national and global reach of America's largest foundations.
"By making their grants information available in open format and in near-real time, these foundations are helping philanthropy join the era of Big Data," said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "This brings us one step closer to being able to see how foundation grants, government spending, and private investments are coming together to address the issues of our time."
The participating foundations made this commitment to each other and the field based on the belief that accurate and accessible information is critical to effective collaboration, strategic decision making, and a more engaged philanthropy sector. Foundations around the world — large and small — are encouraged to join the Reporting Commitment, increasing their own transparency and contributing to the knowledge resources that drive philanthropic impact. Additional information and resources for foundations interested in participating are available on Glasspockets.org.
"As more and more foundations join the Reporting Commitment, new insights will emerge from the data, with benefits that reach far beyond the participating foundations," said Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, another participant in the initiative. "Open access to accurate, consistent, current data will make it easier for organizations and people seeking grant dollars to find effective partners for their work, greatly enhancing the philanthropic sector as a whole."
The Foundation Center has licensed this collection of data under Creative Commons, making it open and free to the social sector, researchers, developers, media, and the general public.
About the participating organizations to date:
The Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. The Foundation and its Board of Directors are also directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission to advance public well-being through improved communication. The Foundation encourages the development of effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. For more information, please visit annenbergfoundation.org or call (310) 209-4560.
The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited life foundation that makes grants through its five programme areas: Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, Reconciliation & Human Rights, and Founding Chairman. Atlantic is active in Australia (final grants made in 2011), Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam. For more information, please visit atlanticphilanthropies.org or call (212) 916-7300.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. For more information, please visit gatesfoundation.org or call (206) 709-3400.
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, please visit The Endowment's Web site at calendow.org or call (213) 928-8622.
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy. For more information, please visit carnegie.org or call (212) 207-6273.
The Energy Foundation's mission is to promote the transition to a sustainable energy future by advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy. For more information, please visit ef.org or call (415) 561-6700.
The Getty Foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the J. Paul Getty Trust by supporting individuals and institutions committed to advancing the understanding and preservation of the visual arts in Los Angeles and throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.getty.edu/foundation or call (310) 440-7320.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit hewlett.org or call (650) 234-4500 ext. 5744.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org or call (877) 843-RWJF (7953).
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. For more information, please visit wkkf.org or call (269) 969-2079.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. For more information, please visit macfound.org or call (312) 917-3690.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, patient care and scientific research — around the world and in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please visit moore.org or call (650) 213-3021.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. Besides Flint, offices are located in metropolitan Detroit, Johannesburg (South Africa) and London. The Foundation, with 2011 year-end assets of approximately $2.13 billion, made 456 grants totaling $89.3 million. For more information, please visit www.mott.org or call (810) 238-5651.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a family foundation created in 1964 and guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of the founders, Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987) and David Packard (1912–1996), who helped found one of the world's leading technology companies. The Foundation provides grants to organizations to work on issues our founders cared about most: improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and conserving and restoring the earth's natural systems. For more information, please visit packard.org or call (650) 917-7142.
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, the Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. For more information, please visit rockefellerfoundation.org or call (212) 852-8216.
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