WINGS – Global Philanthropy Data Charter under way

As the philanthropic sector grows worldwide, so do the challenges it faces. Making giving more effective and accountable, and improving resource allocation and needs assessment, are key elements in the sector’s further growth. As in any field, a crucial aspect of the development of effective strategies is information. There is therefore a growing demand for accessible, globally comparable and reliable data in philanthropy.

In response, WINGS is engaging its members, partners and peers in a global consultation process that will culminate in the production of a Global Philanthropy Data Charter. The aim is to provide a vision for data in philanthropy, along with principles that will serve as a guide for best practices, taking into consideration issues such as the many differences that exist in classification systems, countries’ different needs, unclear property rights and the gap in technology capacity.

The charter is being produced through a series of meetings to discuss the challenges of collecting and analysing data in philanthropy. The meetings bring together international actors from the field working directly with data – representing associations, support organizations, foundations, academic centres, consultants, etc ‒ always ensuring regional representation. The first two meetings had 33 participants from Asia, Africa, the Arab Region, Europe, Latin America and North America.

The first technical, invitation-only meeting was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 27 February to 1 March. Here the participants explored issues around data in philanthropy, considered the challenges and opportunities presented by data collection efforts, and collectively developed the first draft of the charter.

To continue the work started in Rio, WINGS hosted a webinar on 10 April to update those who could not attend the Rio meeting and get further input from the Rio participants. The charter will be presented for ratification at the WINGSForum 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey.

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