Foundation Center Launches Tool to Visualize Impact of Philanthropy

Resource type: News

Philanthropy News Digest |

The New York City-based Foundation Center has announced the launch of a data visualization tool to help grantmakers, policy makers, researchers, and others better understand the impact of philanthropy around the world.

Philanthropy In/Sight allows registered users to create customized Google maps to explore giving patterns, emerging trends, and funding relationships globally, nationally, or at the community level. Updated weekly, the center’s data on some 97,000 grantmakers and more than 1.6 million grants can be combined with dozens of demographic and socioeconomic data overlays to create mashups that help users understand where foundation dollars are having the greatest effect and where funding is most needed. Users can click on “pins” on a map for details about funders, recipients, and grants; display giving geographically by country, state, county, city, metro area, congressional district, or ZIP code; and choose from among twenty-six fields of interest and 1,100 specialty areas.

Demographic and thematic data for the project are drawn from a variety of sources, including theAmerican Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The center plans to add more data sets in the future to enlarge the view of communities and populations in need. With support from national foundations, the center also plans to offer In/Sight to regional associations of grantmakers and funder affinity groups free of charge for one year through their organizations’ membership sites.

“This next-generation mapping tool brings a whole new level of transparency to the $46 billion industry of philanthropy,” said Foundation Center president Bradford K. Smith. “Whether your interest is global warming in Alaska, tropical diseases in Zambia, or who’s funding what in your local congressional district, Philanthropy In/Sight has the answers. Foundations want to be more strategic, governments look to them for innovation, and the public expects solutions. The future of philanthropy starts today.”

 Foundation Center Launches Philanthropy In/Sight.” Foundation Center Press Release 7/13/09.

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Foundation Center, Philanthropy In/Sight