Blog home

Share grants data to inform the sector, locally, regionally, and globally

By Kati Neiheisel
March 19, 2020

Map showing global grantmaking by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which supplied the information through Candid’s eReporting program.

If you’re a grantmaker, you can inform multiple conversations important to the sector at large by sharing grants data with Candid.

Candid, created when Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces, celebrated our one-year anniversary on February 1 with a renewed dedication to helping those who want to change the world connect to the resources they need to do it. One way we can help, with your assistance, is to provide timely and accurate grants data so we’re not responding to today’s issues with data from two years ago. To that end, we have a goal of collecting FY 2019 grants data by June 30, 2020.

Why share your grants data?

Sharing grants data through Candid’s eReporting program helps you take control of your story. You can share more details about your grants via eReporting than in your IRS Form 990, which means you can communicate better about what the grant is meant to accomplish and whom it’s meant to serve.

Candid gives you a way to share this story with key audiences by providing you with a complimentary map (like this example for the Hewlett Foundation) of the grants data submitted through eReporting. You can use this map internally, sharing with colleagues and board members, or externally by posting on your website, as the Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust has done.

We’ll include your shared grants data in several Candid platforms, where it will have even more impact. These platforms include:

  • Foundation Directory Online (FDO)which helps nonprofits connect to the resources they need to do their work. Although a subscription service, FDO is freely available at our more than 400 Funding Information Network partners.
  • Foundation Maps, the easiest way to see who is funding what and where around the world to inform everything from advocacy to strategic planning.
  • Foundation Landscapes, public websites that combine data visualization tools, original research, and more to illuminate critical issues in philanthropy. Examples of landscapes in which your data may be included (if relevant) are: Advancing Human RightsFunding the OceanInvesting in Native Communities, and Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy. These projects aim to reduce duplication of efforts and encourage cooperation between different philanthropic actors.
  • Research reports. Strategic decisions are only as good as the information that goes into making them, so our researchers analyze and interpret the most current philanthropic data to get you the insights you need.
  • Get on the Map. If your organization is a member of a regional association participating in the Get on the Map campaign, your shared grants data, and that of other participating members, will appear in dashboards, giving reports, and a custom regional map hosted by Candid’s Foundation Maps platform and accessed through your association’s member pages.
  • Coronavirus funding summary. This section of our pop-up webpage is tracking philanthropy’s response to the coronavirus.

How should you share grants data with Candid?

The eReporting Instructions tab of our recently revised Excel template has all you need to know to get started, including links to resources.

If you use one of our software partners’ grants management software, create a list of your most recent grants data using the export report or prepare your grants data using one of the two templates in this file:

  • The simplified template is recommended for those new to eReporting or for those funders only collecting basic data on their grants. It includes required fields (similar to data provided in the grants list in your 990) plus a few priority fields, such as geographic area served.
  • The complete template contains all eReporting fields, including fields that offer you the opportunity to report grant subject, population served, and support strategies (e.g., general support). Please note, not all fields are required to use the complete template—just send as much information as you can!

Whichever template you use, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to send more detailed grant descriptions. In general, a good grant description includes WHAT, HOW, WHO, and WHERE. The more details provided, the more accurately we can code the grant. This Transparency Talk blog post by one of your peers includes excellent tips on how to improve grant descriptions. Those who are able to are also encouraged to code their data using Candid's Philanthropy Classification System (PCS).  If this isn’t possible for you and you wish to provide your own coding, please contact us and we’ll work with you to create a crosswalk.

What can you do moving forward?

  1. Send your FY 2019 data by June 30, through Updater or email it to egrants@candid.org.
  2. Set a reminder to eReport regularly—annually, quarterly, periodically after board meetings, or monthly.
  3. Send more detailed grant descriptions.
  4. Consider using Candid’s PCS taxonomy to code your grants or contact us about doing a crosswalk.
  5. Consider sharing more data, especially priority fields such as Geographic Area Served.

If you have any questions at all, please contact me at egrants@candid.org.

Tags: Foundations and grantmaking; Candid