Increasing Transparency of Australian Philanthropy
6 September 2018 at 3:56 pm
Philanthropy is set to be “more strategic, responsive and transparent”, with the launch of an online platform advocates say provides “unprecedented insight” into the distribution of philanthropic funding in Australia.
A joint initiative of Philanthropy Australia (PA) and the US-based Foundation Center, Foundation Maps Australia is an interactive and searchable mapping platform aimed at creating greater transparency within philanthropic giving.
PA CEO Sarah Davies said the platform – which launched on Thursday at PA’s national conference – was “a game-changer” for Australian philanthropy.
“For far too long the philanthropic sector has been hamstrung by a lack of information and now, for the first time, users will be able to see where grants are going across the country as well as where Australian funders are granting overseas,” Davies said.
The platform allows users to see funding trends, identify who else is funding in their areas of interest, and discover potential new partners for collaboration.
Searches can be made by grant, grantmaker, and grant recipient location, while grants are also searchable through a number of sub-categories like subject area, support strategy or grantmaker type.
Lauren Bradford, director of global partnerships at the Foundation Center, said the platform would effectively visualise Australia’s giving data.
“As our field becomes more strategic and tackles increasingly complex and ambitious social challenges, our ability to work effectively requires timely and accurate data,” Bradford said.
“Through our joint efforts, we hope to turn data into insight providing donors with opportunities to collaborate and achieve their visions of a better world in previously unimagined ways.”
The Foundation Map currently contains data on 8,701 grants, 3,661 recipients, and $552 million in grants.
Krystian Seibert, industry fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University, told Pro Bono News this represented a third of structured philanthropy in Australia.
“It shows that there’s a strong appetite for voluntary transparency and openness within philanthropy in Australia,” Seibert said.
“It’s likely that this appetite will grow over time, and the data will become even more comprehensive in its coverage.”
Stage 1 Foundation Maps Australia: data on over 8,700 grants worth $552M going to over 3,660 recipients. Not bad for our first round of tracking philanthropic donations in Australia! All @PhilanthropyAus members can upload their granting data through our website #PA2018Conf pic.twitter.com/msQk5IgE3z
— Sarah Wickham (@sarahjwickham) September 3, 2018
Caitriona Fay, the national manager of philanthropy and non-profit services at Perpetual Trustees, said the initiative was “an investment in the capacity of the philanthropic sector.”
“Through increased awareness of the flow of philanthropic grants across Australian funders and communities, the sector will be better placed to understand granting needs, opportunities for collaboration and the potential for impact,” Fay said.
“This initiative enables us to cross leverage data to identify meaningful insights that will help make philanthropy in Australia more strategic, responsive and transparent.”
This project was funded by the Ian Potter Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy and Perpetual Limited.