That is the question for this event at The New America Foundation on May 10, from 12:30 - 2:00 pm.
join us via videostream, Skype, and Twitter.
We will videostream the event.
We're working on a skype call in line.
Join in via Twitter at #GiveData.
I'm delighted to be hosting this event with The New America Foundation, The HAND Foundation and The Sunlight Foundation.
I write a lot about open data. I laugh at tweets that say "Open is the new black." Or "Transparency is the new black." I have been arguing for two decades now, in various forms and media, that foundations have a lot more than cash to give to the fields they are trying to change - they have data and information as well.
Simply put, foundations have a lot of information at their fingertips that is possibly of use to those they fund. (And those they don't). Their daily activity - grantmaking - generates a ton of data (more accurately, terabytes of data) that might be useful to policymakers, nonprofits, the media, activists, community members - if they could get hold of it, mash it together with government data or research data - and look for new patterns, new stories, or new solutions.
So, let me say how excited I was to hear that The World Bank has opened its data sets to the public. That TechSoup Global and Guidestar International are merging. And that GrantsFire has become a project of The Foundation Center. And that the Mott Foundation streams its grants information. And that the Ford Foundation's new website has a searchable database of all their grants (next step is to make this exportable, right?) And that some of the online giving marketplaces are interested in making their APIs public.*
These are all steps toward data sharing. The meeting on May 10 is another step in that direction.
*In English, a public API means opening up the software tools that allow others to access and use your data.