360Giving helps funders publish open data about their grants by publishing it in the 360Giving Data Standard. Their vision is for grantmaking in the UK to be more informed, effective and strategic. ‘Find that Charity’, developed by David Kane and supported by 360Giving, is a tool for finding data about non-profit organisations.
Open data standards are vital if the data is to be useful across stakeholders, and in the grants sector the standard is facilitated by 360Giving.
Over 180 UK funders now publish data about their grants in the 360Giving Data Standard – that’s £65bn of grants data, which anyone can access and use to understand grantmaking in the UK.
A big part of publishing high quality grants data is having good organisation identifiers, so users can tell which grants go to the same organisations.
360Giving helped develop “Find that Charity”, a tool for finding non-profit organisations. It contains information about 647,683 charities, government bodies and other nonprofits, gathering data from 20 official sources. The tool makes it easy for charities to understand and improve their own data and, in a year, has had 1,300 users.
A challenge in developing the tool was building the search function, given the difference between the trading name and registered name of many organisations (eg ‘Comic Relief’ is registered as ‘Charity Projects’).
Find that Charity lets you search by trading name and still find the correct record. Though the data is gathered from official sources, it can be inconsistent and unstandardised. This tool highlights the need for regulators to publish data in a consistent format so it can be fully and effectively analysed: this will help improve decision making for charitable giving.