Foundant: COVID-19 Funding Data

Summary

COVID-19 funding will dominate the philanthropic sector’s programming and funding for the foreseeable future. Knowing this, Foundant has been working to identify and report across our solutions and clientele. 

Our goal is to help answer the many questions that will come up regarding the philanthropic sector’s response during, and after, this current crisis. Too often, we see clients and the sector asking questions of data after it has been collected which cannot be answered due to lack of consistent, accurate reporting across funders. 

We believe this data has the ability to provide an invaluable resource to our clients, the sector, and the public. This is why we have proactively and systematically worked to categorize our clients’ data using Candid’s established taxonomy. While the current societal impacts of the COVID-19 virus are devastating, we hope a better understanding of how the sector responds to such a crisis can provide invaluable insight for future challenges.

Our hope is that as many clients as possible will use this information. Once the data is being collected across a significant number of clients, we will be able to begin using data visualization tools to show where money is flowing and for what purpose. 

This data belongs to our clients, not us. We will not charge or attempt to sell this data to anyone, at any time


What was done?

Foundant has released a new System Question to track funding related to COVID-19 in GLM and SLM. A similar field was added to CommunitySuite to allow tracking of Donor Advised Grants or Grants not run through GLM or SLM. 

These fields can be added to the approval process for new grants or used to code grants that have been reclassified. Using this field will allow for consistent data tracking across the sector. 

Aggregated, anonymized data using the Support Strategies taxonomy provided by Candid will show where, how much, and for what purpose COVID-19-related funding is distributed. We strongly encourage our clients to add and use this field; however, use of the field is voluntary and strictly opt-in.

Your questions answered:

Why is this so important?

Never before has the philanthropic community been so aligned to solve a common crisis. The financial impact, as well as the philanthropic gifts made, will be at historic levels. Yet siloed data will make meaningful analysis impossible. 

The COVID-19 field in GLM, SLM, and CommunitySuite will allow us to identify and normalize the data in the future. To answer the questions we will have then, we need to identify the grantmaking efforts of the sector, not just each individual grantmaker. Think of the COVID-19 tracking field as a tag in your system that allows you and the sector to easily identify what happened during a very tumultuous time.

Will Foundant charge for this?

Absolutely not. This data will be shared in an aggregated and anonymous format to those who would benefit from it. As we add other ways for this data to be leveraged, it will always be to benefit the funding and nonprofit communities. With over 2,000 grantmakers using our solutions, Foundant has enough presence to create statistically significant data to understand trends, spot inefficiencies, and identify gaps.

What if we don’t want to use the field?

Simply, don’t add it to your approval forms in GLM or turn it on in CommunitySuite. However, please consider what you are objecting to and share your thoughts with us.  

Can we have access to the data?

Your data is easily reportable within your existing system for evaluation. You will also have access to the aggregated, anonymous data through either regular communication or most likely through our posting a link to access it online.

How does Foundant plan to use the data?

Foundant is looking to use the data first and foremost to inform our clients of their combined efforts. However, with this data properly tagged, the potential uses are still to be determined. We plan to ask our clients what they would like the next steps to be, whether that’s evaluate information or perhaps use the flagged data to reduce workload for nonprofits as they report out or request additional dollars. 

Who owns the data?

The data captured in your systems is always yours. The collected data in aggregated, anonymous form would be a resource for the sector.

About the Author

Foundant Technologies

For more than a decade, Foundant Technologies has specialized exclusively in making philanthropy easier and more impactful through intuitive technology solutions. All of our cloud-based solutions focus on grantmaker, grantseeker, scholarship provider and community foundation needs with the goal to make day-to-day tasks streamlined and help maximize the impact of the philanthropic community.

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