Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Opening up DonorsChoose Data

(photo from http://data.donorschoose.org/open-data-unleashed/)

DonorsChoose - one of the most established crowdfunding platforms - has opened up its data. And there's a lot of it - in 2013 alone the data set includes 130,000 school projects, more than 300,000 donors, and $60 million in donations.

DonorsChoose is making the data available (more than 20 million records) in partnership with a company called Looker so that scholars, policymakers, journalists, parents, kids - well, really, anybody - can visualize the data. You do have to request access to the data - you can do that here.  You can access the data API, download the data, or just scroll through several prepared visualizations - all as part of the HackingEducation initiative. 

This is an important model as crowdfunding platforms like DonorsChoose proliferate. We need to be able to understand, differentiate, study, and monitor these platforms if, as they predict, they succeed in becoming a bigger and bigger part of the funding landscape. Visibility into their data is one way to do this - hats off to DonorsChoose for taking this step.  

*Blueprint2014 includes the prediction of a crowdfunding scandal in 2014. Given the investments that have been made in building these platforms, passing regulations about them, testing them, and promoting them there is a vested interest of crowdfunding supporters to both prevent scandals and, if/when they happen, distract us from them. Visibility into the data about money flow, deals done, promotions promised, etc. etc. will help keep these kinds of platforms - which in any other day and age would be referred to as marketplaces - trustworthy. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for writing this post, and helping us spread the news about our open data! We are so grateful for supporters like you.

You might find the insights from our Data Scientist on http://data.donorschoose.org interesting, too!

All the best,
DonorsChoose.org Marketing Team