FC – New open data tool lets users create free customized data on the fly

This autumn the Foundation Center launched Foundation Stats, an online tool that provides free and open access to a wealth of data on US foundations, comprising multiple years of aggregate-level statistics. The intuitive web-based platform can be used by anyone to generate thousands of customized tables and charts on the size, scope and giving priorities of the nearly 82,000 independent, corporate, community and operating foundations in the US.

It includes an Application Programming Interface (API) so that web developers can freely extract the data for their own use under a Creative Commons Licence.

Here are some examples of how Foundation Stats could be used:
•    A philanthropy association could generate charts that dynamically reflect the giving trends of the top 50 foundations in its state.
•    A strategist working on a public-private partnership for school funding could instantly produce a PDF of top education funders in the state.
•    A researcher could compare arts giving by foundations in one state to those in another and produce visual displays for a report.

The ‘Foundations’ section of Foundation Stats allows users to explore basic financial data of foundations based on organization type, location and fiscal year. The ‘Grants’ section, which is based on giving by the top 1,000 US foundations, allows data to be filtered by subject area or population group served and by the geographic location of recipients. This includes grants outside the US. It is easy to compare giving across different states or subject areas. Users can generate their own tables, charts and graphs to show trends over time, and all results can be downloaded for use in spreadsheets.

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