Washington, DC-based Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (Giving Forum)—a national network of 34 geographically organized philanthropic associations that together have a membership of more than 4,300 grantmaking organizations—and New York-based Foundation Center have announced a new partnership to improve the quality and effectiveness of grantmaking through the strategic collection and sharing of data on philanthropy.
“The philanthropic sector talks increasingly about such things as field alignment, strategic collaboration, and leveraging core competencies,” said Lawrence T. McGill, vice president for research at Foundation Center. “This partnership is a golden opportunity to put those principles into action.”...
“The Forum Network has both deep regional roots and a broad national reach, and our regional associations’ members are key to strengthening connections and knowledge sharing across the giving sector. However, at present, only a handful of our associations has access to up-to-date grantmaking data on their membership, and none have sophisticated online tools that allow the data to be queried and explored in real time,” said Michael Litz, president and CEO of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. “Opening these new resources to the Forum Network will be a game-changer for those striving to be more strategic and impactful in their philanthropy.”
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.
As members of the Giving Forum and partners of the Foundation Center, NCG is excited to hear about this new developement. We look forward to learning more about how this alliance can support the sharing of knowledge to strengthen philanthropy and increase its impact.