Digging deeper into open grants data: why might we find variations between communities?

The open grants data movement is gathering pace with the recent demonstrator project from 360 Degree Giving and there are some interesting demonstrations of how to visualise this material here. Given the volume of data they’ve now released – 240 000 grants, totalling some £16Bn – we need to think how to interpret these figures. In my previous post on open grant data I pointed to one of the challenges: Continue reading Digging deeper into open grants data: why might we find variations between communities?

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Hunting snarks below the radar in the social economy

NESTA have recently funded some pilot research projects designed to improve our knowledge about small-scale, “below-radar” organisations in the social economy. The five projects were presented at a meeting in June and there are more details of the discussions here. The morning generated an animated discussion but how useful is research into this kind of activity? Continue reading Hunting snarks below the radar in the social economy

Hype, hope, help? A perspective on open grantmaking data

What will the growing enthusiasm for open data do for research on the voluntary and community sector? There’s a lot of hope, but I wonder whether there’s also a fair bit of hype; the results may be opaque as much as they are open.

There’s growing support for 360 Degree Giving’s ambition that 80% of grants awarded by UK charitable foundations and other funders are reported as open data. The Nominet Trust and NCVO are enthusiastically backing this. Some funders are publishing their award data already. What can we learn from their grants data? And what do we need to know?

Continue reading Hype, hope, help? A perspective on open grantmaking data