Philanthropic sector advocates transparency facelift

More than one-third of Australia's philanthropic giving is now tracked through a new online and interactive platform, answering calls for the industry to be more transparent.

Launched at the recent Philanthropy Australia National Conference, the online platform gives insight to the grant-making practises of foundations across the country. The platform, Foundation Maps: Australia, aims to facilitate more collaboration and reduce duplication as well as build a better community of shared learning.

The tool is a joint initiative of Philanthropy Australia and US-based Foundation Center.

"For far too long the philanthropic sector has been hamstrung by a lack of information and now, for the first time, users will be able to see where grants are going across the country as well as where Australian funders are granting overseas," Philanthropy Australia chief executive Sarah Davies said.

Foundation Center director of global partnerships Lauren Bradford said the interactive and searchable mapping platform will visualise Australia's giving data.

"As our field becomes more strategic and tackles increasingly complex and ambitious social challenges, our ability to work effectively requires timely and accurate data," Bradford said.

"Through our joint efforts, we hope to turn data into insight providing donors with opportunities to collaborate and achieve their visions of a better world in previously unimagined ways."

Users will be able to see funding trends, identify who else is funding in their areas of interest, and discover potential new partners for collaboration. Searches can be made by grant, grant-maker and grant recipient location. Grants will also be searchable by subject area, support strategy, organisation name, year, size, keyword, grant-maker type and transaction type.

Perpetual Trustees national manager philanthropy and non-profit services Caitriona Fay said the initiative "enables us to cross leverage data to identify meaningful insights that will help make philanthropy in Australia more strategic, responsive and transparent."

Read more: PhilanthropyFoundation CenterPhilanthropy Australia National ConferenceLauren BradfordCaitriona FaySarah Davies
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