With so many worthy causes and areas of need across the world, it can be difficult for grantmakers, philanthropists or policy researchers to make informed decisions about where to direct their money and efforts.
With the recent unveiling of Philanthropy In/Sight, sponsored by the Foundation Center, reaching those decisions just got much easier.
Philanthropy In/Sight is a data visualization platform that uses data from the American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to map global philanthropic need and activity.
The technology, which is updated weekly, allows users grantmakers, policy researchers and philanthropists to create customized Google maps displaying giving patterns and trends, as well as funding relationships on a variety of local, state, national and global levels.
The tool currently uses information from 97,000 grantmakers and more than 1.6 million grants, combined with demographic and socio-economic data overlays, to create "mashups" that illustrate where funding has been given and where it is most needed.
"This next-generation mapping tool brings a whole new level of transparency to the $46 billion industry of philanthropy," said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "Foundations want to be more strategic, governments look to them for innovation, and the public expects solutions. The future of philanthropy starts today."
Users can search or browse using a variety of filters, including grant subjects, locations, dates and grants, overlayed with economic indicators such as poverty level, per capita GDP and employment rate.
Visitors can also view specific data about a grant, foundation or organization, such as its contact information, IRS classification and deductibility status, revenues, gifts received and functional expenses.
Following recent initiatives such as SocialEarth.org’s video portal and DonorsChoose.org, Philanthropy In/Sight is the latest addition to the trend of impact-focused and highly-controlled philanthropy.