Advances social sector’s ability to share information globally to improve outcomes
Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar today announce the release of BRIDGE (Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities) information as open data. This enhancement makes it easier to identify and share information about entities around the world that are working to advance social good. The ability to distinguish these organizations from each other and to gather scattered information about them is vital to understanding their activities, impact, and funding.
BRIDGE assigns a unique, 10-digit code to organizations and entities anywhere in the world that contribute to the social sector. Such entities include non-governmental organizations, foundations, schools, religious organizations, and companies, among others.
“Each BRIDGE number acts like a numerical fingerprint, facilitating the combination of disparate sources of data about a single organization,” shares Jake Garcia, vice president for Data and Technology at Foundation Center. “Expanding its use will unlock exciting possibilities for how data across organizations and systems can be combined and consolidated, which over time will grow our collective knowledge.”
Since BRIDGE was launched in February 2016, approximately three million BRIDGE numbers have been assigned. A social sector entity that is not represented in the searchable database can easily apply for a number through any of the partners.
Previously, BRIDGE numbers were available only by looking up individual organizations on a one-by-one basis. As of today, this information can be downloaded in bulk in CSV format. Files are available for Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The files will be updated periodically to include new organizations that have obtained BRIDGE IDs.
The release of BRIDGE information as open data enables more sophisticated use and analysis of the information. BRIDGE users can:
- Discover the range of data that exists about entities of interest.
- Integrate BRIDGE data into their own systems.
- Manage their own data, minimizing the likelihood of duplicate records.
- Be findable, especially in contexts where an official registration number is not available or does not exist.
- Enable data sharing with other organizations.
- Track information about organizational units (e.g., business branches, departments, chapters of national organizations, etc.) in addition to organizations as a whole.
These benefits will only increase as the use of BRIDGE numbers and data expands.
In addition to the BRIDGE numbers, entity name, city, state/region, country, external ID, and external ID type fields are provided for most of the organizations in the online registry and in the downloadable files. BRIDGE open data is made available for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
“Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar are excited to offer BRIDGE as open data,” says Jacob Harold, CEO of GuideStar. “We hope that easier access to this data will spark information sharing and analysis that will transform the social sector. We invite social sector entities to obtain their BRIDGE numbers, organizations to incorporate BRIDGE data into their workflows, and those interested in strengthening the social sector data infrastructure to join us.”
BRIDGE collaborators invite others to contribute data and help sustain this effort. To learn more about these opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BRIDGE project was made possible with support from the Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Google Inc., as well as early collaboration from TechSoup Global.
This post is drawn from a September 25, 2018, press release issued by Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar.