Foundation Center: Reporting Commitment makes huge strides towards transparency

The Reporting Commitment aims to develop more timely, accurate and precise reporting on the flow of philanthropic dollars, in an effort to more effectively address the issues facing our communities and our world. Initiated by a group of the largest US foundations and publicly launched in October 2012, it is grounded in the belief that reliable and accessible information is critical to effective collaboration, strategic decision making and a more engaged philanthropy sector.

The 15 foundations participating in the Reporting Commitment (as of October 2012) are the Annenberg Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, California Endowment, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Energy Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, J Paul Getty Trust, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, W K Kellogg Foundation, John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Packard Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Foundation Center was selected as a partner for this initiative, with the Center’s Glasspockets website serving as a hub for the data and knowledge tools produced. These include an interactive map that displays the national and global reach of America’s largest foundations.

Participants in the Reporting Commitment agree to make grant information available to each other and the public at least quarterly in a machine-readable, open format and coded to a geographic standard developed by the Foundation Center known as GeoTree.

‘The initiative’s simple name should not deceive: this is big,’ said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. ‘The current participants provide nearly 12 per cent of the $46 billion in grants made by American foundations each year. By making their grants information available in open format and in near-real time, these foundations are helping philanthropy join the era of Big Data. This brings us one step closer to being able to see how foundation grants, government spending and private investments are coming together to address the issues of our time.’

Foundations around the world – large and small – are encouraged to join the Reporting Commitment, contributing to the transparency of the field and the knowledge resources that drive philanthropic impact.

For more information

To explore the Reporting Commitment map:
http://glasspockets.org/work/reportingcommitment/map.html

To read Bradford Smith’s blog:
http://bit.ly/QCgVn9

To join the Reporting Commitment:
contact Jeannine Corey at jmc@foundationcenter.org


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