opening for impact

How Funders Can Leverage their Data


Funders in the social sector — whether governments
or foundations — typically give out grants to nonprofit organizations with the intention of having an impact on a specific area or social problem. The traditional relationship of funders with nonprofit organizations is to provide these funds and ask the nonprofit organization to submit an evaluation of what was accomplished. Funders amass this valuable information, but too often it ends up sitting in files unused and unshared. With the increasing amount of data now being collected by funders, clearly funders have other resources to support
the social sector beyond just their grantmaking dollars. In fact, the social sector is starting to realize that funders’ data is an underused resource with the potential to reshape the sector. To take advantage of these opportunities, some funders have begun opening their data to grantees and the
public, and are learning how sharing data can increase their impact.

This report is part of the Transform the Sector 2017 Series and provides an overview of how funders are opening up to increase their impact. It also provides additional context and background on this topic.