360Giving is an online platform that allows funders to publish data about what, who and where they fund.
All the data is presented in a consistent, uniform format, in line with the 360Giving Data Standard which was developed specifically for the purpose and has now been adopted by the UK government as its official data standard for sharing statutory grants.
The charity also provides training and tools to help people analyse and use the data effectively so that funders can make better decisions about funding.
One such tool devised to help users access the data is GrantNav, a grants search engine; while 360Insights allows users to combine the grants data with other charity and company data taken from official registers, and create visual representations of gaps and overlaps.
And in 2019, 360Giving launched Data Champions, a programme designed to help grantmakers learn how to develop a data culture in their organisations.
In March 2020, as Covid ripped through the population, 360Giving turned its full attention to creating a Covid-19 Grants Tracker, so that funders and others could keep tabs on where emergency funding was being directed. In the end, more than 68,000 Covid grants were uploaded to the tracker.
And, in response to calls from the sector, the charity also contributed to developing a shared taxonomy – the DEI Data Standard – to enable funders to report on diversity data consistently.
Since 360Giving launched in 2015, it has published data on 773,000 grants totalling £177bn from 243 funders. Over 30,000 users access the platform every year.
An independent evaluation has estimated that the return on investment so far is over £10bn, assuming that a share of grants worth 10% of the value of the total grants covered by 360Giving avoids being funded in duplication as a result of grantmakers sharing and accessing data and making more informed funding decisions.
Charity Awards judge Paul Streets said 360Giving has driven enormous change in the sector, so the default now is for foundations to be open about their grants. “It’s enabled those who are looking at funding themselves, or looking for funding, to drill down and look at who is funding what, where, and which funders are out there.
“It has really driven the quest for transparency across the sector, in a sector that has traditionally been very secretive, not sharing its data and not working hand in hand. So as a tool for accountability and transforming the sector, it’s pretty enormous.”
CC Reg no. 1164883