Foundation Center Partners With Grantmakers for
Effective Organizations to Offer Members New
Philanthropy In/SightTM Mapping Tool
New York, NY — May 18, 2009. The Foundation Center has announced that Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) will serve as the exclusive beta site for its new mapping tool, Philanthropy In/SightTM, leading up to the product's release later this spring. During this soft-launch period, staff at approximately 350 GEO member organizations will have the opportunity to test-drive the application and provide feedback on how they are using it to inform their grantmaking initiatives.
Philanthropy In/Sight is a next-generation mapping application that uses Google maps to plot the location of foundations and their grantees. Behind these maps is the Foundation Center's database of some 96,000 grantmaking institutions and more than 1.6 million grants distributed around the world. Users can drill down to view individual grants and cross-link between the funder, recipient, and grant profiles. Maps can be customized to view aggregate giving trends from the broadest country or state levels to more narrow congressional district or zip code areas.
For the Center, Philanthropy In/Sight advances a key organizational goal of providing grantmakers with the data infrastructure and tools they need to be more strategic and increase the impact of their grantmaking. Toward this end, the Center is enhancing the tool with a rich array of demographic and socio-economic indicators that can be layered over its grants data — creating the first mashup application of its kind — enabling grantmakers to better assess areas of need and measure the effectiveness of their giving.
According to Foundation Center president Bradford K. Smith, "Philanthropy In/Sight brings a tremendous new capacity to grantmakers by presenting powerful visual portraits of how and where their resources are being spent to address critical issues in the world. Through our collaboration with GEO, we're hoping to gain more insights into how grantmakers will use this tool in real-world scenarios as the basis for planning and assessing their programs and priorities."
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations collaborated with the Foundation Center earlier this year on initial beta testing of Philanthropy In/Sight among a select group of its members. In this expanded partnership, GEO is making access to the mapping tool available to its full membership to engage a broader cross-section of grantmakers. Access is available via member login at GEO's web site at www.geofunders.org.
"Philanthropy In/Sight harnesses the Foundation Center's extensive data set in a way that enables grantmakers to more easily find partners and collaborate on shared priorities," according to Kathleen P. Enright, president and CEO of GEO. "Members of the GEO community are keen to find ways to make more informed, data-driven decisions that improve their work. We are thrilled to partner with the Foundation Center to provide this powerful tool to our community."
Following the beta test period, the Center plans to make Philanthropy In/Sight available to GEO and other regional associations of grantmakers and affinity groups, free of charge for one year, through sponsorship support it is seeking from a group of national foundations. It will also be available on a subscription basis for individual users and through enterprise licenses for large institutions.
Smith envisions broader use among other audiences interested in the spending patterns and outcomes of private giving for social benefit, such as think tanks, academic researchers, the media, congressional staff, and even the White House. "The Obama Administration should find Philanthropy In/Sight particularly helpful," said Smith, "given its interest in exploring partnerships with America's foundations to leverage public dollars available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and its planned 'social innovation' fund."
About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 600 foundations, the Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions in every U.S. state and beyond. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.
About Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations is a coalition of more than 350 grantmaking organizations committed to building strong and effective nonprofit organizations. Understanding that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success. More information about GEO and a host of resources and links for grantmakers are available at www.geofunders.org.
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