UK’s largest charitable funder publishes £6 billion of grants data


Alliance magazine


360Giving’s campaign to open up UK grants data and make grantmaking more informed and effective has received a huge boost with over £6 billion worth of grants published by the Wellcome Trust.

The UK’s largest charitable funder has shared data on the billions of pounds worth of grantmaking it has made since October 2005 in the open, standard format developed by 360Giving. This means that, for the first time, the data can be easily seen alongside other major funders of research such as Gatsby, the Wolfson Foundation and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, building a bigger picture of science funding across the UK.

Alyson Fox, Head of Grants Management at Wellcome said: ‘Our funding supports over 14,000 people in 70 countries, and over the next five years we aim to spend £5bn to improve health for all. We always want to be open about who and what we fund, and have made our grants data available on our website for several years. By sharing this richer and more standardised dataset with 360Giving we want to help people see our funding alongside other organisations and get a better picture of the overall funding landscape.’

Fran Perrin, Founder and Director of 360Giving said: ‘This major release of data brings 360Giving closer to its ‘moonshot’ ambition for 80% of UK grants to be made openly available by 2020. The Wellcome Trust is the UK’s largest independent grant funder, so we are pleased that it is on board with the greater grants data movement. By adopting the 360Giving Standard as many grantmakers are now doing, Wellcome’s data can be more easily shared and used alongside that of other funders. More open, comparable data will improve the sector’s ability to make informed, evidence-based funding decisions and ultimately bolster the impact of UK grantmaking.’

Peter Hesketh, Chief Executive of Gatsby said: ‘We’re very excited to see the progress 360Giving has made since Gatsby started sharing its data in 2016. Being able to see like-minded funders sharing their data alongside ours gives our grantmaking more context and helps us see science funding in the round – making the grants easier to interrogate and analyse.’

In the two years since 360Giving launched, 75 funding organisations are now sharing their data using the 360Giving Standard, representing over £24bn of grants made to all corners of the UK.

360Giving is focusing on three goals: to support more grantmakers to publish their grants data in an open, accessible and standardised way; to build an evidence base about how open grants data can be used for better decision-making and learning; and to develop tools that help people to understand and use the data.

Several high profile and influential organisations are actively using the 360Giving format to open their funding data, including the Big Lottery Fund, BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Gatsby, Henry Smith Charity, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Nesta, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Robertson Trust, Sport England, Tudor Trust and the Wolfson Foundation. The Standard is also in use by central government departments and at a local level including several community foundations, local authorities and housing associations. All the data can be accessed via GrantNav, a platform that brings together the data published using the 360Giving Standard, making it easy to view and explore.

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