There is a lot of talk, across many diverse industries, about “big data.” But what does that really mean? It’s really nothing more than what it sounds like, data – and a lot of it. The real value is in the information and insight it can provide, if it is used properly.
The philanthropic community has accumulated massive amounts of data over time and, while this data is very valuable, there’s room for improvement. Much of the data is not as current as we’d ideally prefer, and it’s often not easy to access. That’s why it’s important to understand not only how to use this data, but also how to collaborate in order to make it better and more reliable for everyone.
When foundations and applicants work as a community to report their organizational information and experiences everyone benefits. Applicants can make better informed choices about the grants they are considering applying for. Foundations can make better decisions about which nonprofits to give their funding to and applicants are held to a higher standard. By working together, we can build a data set that contains accurate, trustworthy, and timely information that helps streamline the grant process for everyone.
Recently we have partnered with GuideStar, Foundation Center, and GreatNonprofits to provide a new service called Foundant Connect. We think this is the next big change for the philanthropic community since online grantmaking, and Foundant is proud to be part of it. Connect is the “go to” place for foundations to access information from the philanthropic sector’s leading data sources. However, we need your help. If everyone works to keep this information accurate and up-to-date – by reporting and sharing information on a regular basis – the entire community will benefit.
For a video providing a more comprehensive look at Foundant Connect, and how it can help foundations, click here.