October 10, 2012

15 Foundations to Speed Up Release of Grants Information

Fifteen of the country's biggest philanthropies have agreed to release information on their grants in a consistent, timely way, the Foundation Center said Tuesday.

Known as the "Reporting Commitment," the project is the latest attempt by the Foundation Center to encourage openness on the part of philanthropies.

The 15 foundations will provide their grant-making data to the Foundation Center on at least a quarterly basis. Some will release that information daily.

The grants data will be shared on the Foundation Center's Web site in an open format so it can be independently sorted and analyzed. An interactive map of the data aims to provide viewers with a sense of the geographic reach of U.S. foundations.

Bradford Smith, the Foundation Center's president, wrote in a blog post that philanthropy is playing catch up.

"In a world where value is being created exponentially by analyzing enormous real-time data sets generated through search logs, consumer purchases, and Facebook 'likes,' philanthropy remains an industry with $640- billion in assets that relies on two-year old data to understand its own grant trends," he said.