Wednesday, February 01, 2012

And the award goes to...

...Humanity United for it's creativity in presenting foundation information. Here's the link to what they're calling their 2011 Performance Report. It looks good, it's inviting, it's somewhat interactive, it's designed for the web. It brings the concept of annual report into the 21st Century.

Most of the information is what you'd find in an annual report - it's sort-of compliance plus. But the plus is important.

  1. It's a performance report which means they're learning. 
  2. They're looking for feedback on it. 
  3. It includes the foundation's results from the Center for Effective Philanthropy's Grantee Perception Report - which is no longer a groundbreaking step, but it's a good one. 
  4. I like the way they broke down the information under Program Data - particularly including breakdown of new/continuing grantees. This shows they've considered the information needs of one of the key audiences for these reports (potential grantees). 
  5. They include information on Program Related Investments - an area which is often hard to decipher from foundation reports. 
  6. It's February 1 2012 and the annual report for 2011 is live! Say hello to real(er) time reporting. May we soon say goodbye to mailed hard copies of reports from two years ago. 

My (unsolicited) suggestions for improvement:

  1. The grants data should be made for web 2.0 - machine readable, downloadable. At the very least,  please include hyperlinks to the organizations funded. 
  2. It's not really a compliance report, so this may be nitpicking, but there is no information on foundation investments except one PRI for $600K. Where is the rest of the money invested? In this age of transparency and financial savvy understanding where a foundation invests is becoming of as much interest as knowing where it makes grants. 
  3. The interactivity is limited to being able to pick your layout and view. You even have to dig to bottom of President's letter to find way to contact the foundation. Their twitter handle is @HUtweets. The videos are good, the stories are useful, but there's room for much more. 
The report is a great step in the right direction. My hat is off to Humanity United (and I thank them for bringing it to my attention in the comments on this post). 

In my "Person's choice Award" for foundation data presentation it's good to see someone giving the Knight Foundation a run for their money. As I wrote last year I'd love to see real awards for foundatin transparency, data sharing, and data visualization. After all, incentives have been known to work. 

Remember, Humanity United is looking for feedback - so please chime in and help them out with your thoughts. 

1 comment:

moda said...

wery nice thanks