‘Reporting Commitment’ Opens Up Grants Data

In an initiative known as the “Reporting Commitment,” fifteen of the largest, and most influential, U.S. foundations have formally committed to release their grant information in a consistent, open, and frequent manner.

Grant information, which will be reported at least quarterly by each foundation, will be available on the Foundation Center’s transparency-centered web site, Glasspockets.org. An interactive map of the data – also available on the website – 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 are encouraged to join the Reporting Commitment, increasing their own transparency and contributing to the knowledge resources that drive philanthropic impact.

“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, a 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.