Open Philanthropy Data Talk May 10 at New America Foundation


During Sunshine Week this year, my friend Lucy Bernholz published a “Modest Manifesto on Open Philanthropy” — a must-read that discusses the need for foundations to make their information more publicly accessible. As always, Lucy was provocative, and suggested several ways the philanthropic sector can embrace the kind of transparency Sunlight advocates the government adopt.

She wrote this manifesto as she and I (and Engagement Director Jake Brewer) were emailing back and forth about innovations in transparency and the Public Online Information Act (POIA). (And right before that, Paul and Kerry from Sunlight coined the “Data Jamming” meme.)

I felt so inspired by Lucy’s post that I asked her to come discuss the manifesto and some other ideas about emerging trends in philanthropy with Sunlight’s staff. We then decided the conversation would be much richer and more practical if we opened it up and made the talk, well, public.

As Lucy aptly describes it,

Philanthropic data – particularly grants data – are ready to be used for similar kinds of good. The information that is already reported by foundations holds untapped potential for fueling engagement, action, and innovation in communities if it is made open, public, and accessible. Data on grants can be the raw material for better community planning, greater collaboration between funders and better coordination of all of a community’s stakeholders. It is critical for the kinds of low cost technological innovation that we can’t predict, we can only unleash.

Interested in joining us? Then come to the New America Foundation next Monday, May 10 for what Lucy is calling a DataJam. But, come with ideas, because this will be a rapid-fire brainstorming, networking, and idea jam on philanthropic data as the fuel for the future. You’ll need to RSVP here – and soon!

If you can’t make it in person, check out the livestream from the New America Foundation, and you can also follow along with on Twitter using #GiveData.

(The DataJam is hosted by Lucy Bernholz, Blueprint Research & Design; The HAND Foundation; The New America Foundation; and The Sunlight Foundation.)