We have entered the world of ‘Big Data’, but private philanthropy seems to have been slow to jump on the bandwagon. Why is this? Larry McGill looks at the potential payoffs for foundations of having better data, while Lucy Bernholz imagines what philanthropy and social investing will look like when they really get built around data, as opposed to adding data to existing practices, as happens now.
The special feature includes a conversation between Bradford Smith and Rosa Gallego, who compare notes on data collection and use in Europe and the US; a write-up of a virtual roundtable in which representatives from philanthropy organizations around the world discuss how data collection and sharing could be improved; and a collection of stories from around the globe illustrating creative uses of data. Cautions about potential pitfalls and limitations come from Maria Chertok, Luc Tayart de Borms, and Kelly Notcutt and Tamzin Ractcliffe, while Cole Nussbaumer and Jeff Stanger offer practical advice on how best to present your data.
The September issue of Alliance also includes a rundown of what foundations can take from Rio+20; Melissa Berman looking at how global giving has changed over the last ten years; Renata Truzzi and Lee Davis assessing the current state of social business in Brazil as the country prepares to host the Social Enterprise World Forum; an open letter to emerging philanthropists from Fay Twersky; and further opinion columns, articles, reviews, conference reports and global updates.