US Powerhouse NFP Information-Sharing Services Join Forces
6 February 2019 at 5:09 pm
The merger of two of the largest US information-sharing services in the NFP and philanthropic sectors could mean more collaboration with Australian organisations, according to sector experts.
The Foundation Center, one of the world’s leading sources of information on philanthropy, sharing over 13 million grants, has teamed up with Guidestar, an open database which profiled 2.7 million organisations.
From Wednesday, the organisations will operate as a single not-for-profit organisation, Candid.
Candid president Bradford Smith and vice-president Jacob Harold said while the products and services would not change, the merger meant the company now had the most comprehensive data tools on not for profits, foundations, and grants, and could better connect people who wanted to make a difference to the right resources.
“We will be able to ask and answer questions we couldn’t alone. We’ll be able to share more data and deeper insights,” Smith and Harold said.
“We’ll be able to do more for you – and for anyone looking for tools to navigate the nonprofit sector.”
Krystian Seibert, industry fellow for Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne, told Pro Bono News the merger was a smart decision, as individually, both were powerhouses when it came to building knowledge bases on the philanthropic and NFP sectors.
“The merger will enable them to build scale in their operations and combine their different strengths in order to enhance their impact even further,” Seibert said.
He said the two organisations had an excellent understanding of not only the US sector but increasingly the rest of the world, and he hoped the creation of Candid meant more collaboration with Australian organisations.
“The Foundation Center already collaborate with Philanthropy Australia as part of its Foundation Maps Australia initiative, and it would be great to see even more collaboration between the new organisation and the not-for-profit sector in Australia,” he said.
The deal has been in the works since 2012, with Smith describing the act of two philanthropic organisations coming together as “rare”. But he said they were joining from a position of strength.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that while donors did not initiate the merger, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been the biggest philanthropic supporter of the two organisations, made a four year, $16 million grant to cover costs associated with the merger.
A website has been created for the company, but is currently directing customers to Guidestar and The Foundation Center’s individual site to access services and resources.