360Giving: 'Our vision is for more informed UK grantmaking'

With the 2016 Open Data Awards just around the corner, we catch up with Katherine Duerden from 360Giving, a finalist in the Women in data category, about their work making grants from UK funders easier to search, explore and download.

The Open Data Awards celebrate innovation and excellence in open data across the world. Hundreds of inspiring people and organisations have been nominated. The awards will be held on 1 November 2016 at the BFI Southbank. Explore all nominees and finalists and follow #OpenDataAwards for updates on the night.


@360Giving null

Hi Katherine! How are you doing?

We’re very well. It’s been a busy and exciting few months for the 360Giving team. At the end of September we launched GrantNav, our free-to-use search platform that brings together open, comparable grants data published using the 360Giving Open Data Standard. This is the first time it’s been possible to search, explore and download the detail of who, where and how much for thousands of grants given by a wide range of UK funders. We’ve very proud of the platform and look forward to seeing the dataset grow in size and value as more organisations publish their grants data openly.

What do 360Giving do, in a nutshell?

Our vision is for UK grant making to be more informed, effective and strategic. We aim to inspire best practice in grantmaking and want to leverage open data to help us do this. 360Giving supports organisations to publish their grants data in an open, standardised way and helps people to understand and use the data to support decision-making and learning across the charitable giving sector. Already 28 organisations – including some of the largest UK grant makers – are sharing billions of pounds worth of grants information using the data standard we’ve developed.

What first got you excited about open data?

We were inspired by Open Contracting and the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and worked with the expert team who developed these data standards, Open Data Services Cooperative, to create an open and comparable way to share information on grant making. We've called this the 360Giving Standard. Fran Perrin and Alice Casey shared our inspiration and the origins of our open data journey at the ODI Summit in 2015.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

Our main challenge is encouraging more organisations to publish good quality and timely data about their grant making. We’re busy spreading the word, meeting with grantmakers across the UK and asking 'When will you join us?'

On a practical level, an issue faced by many open data standards is how to consistently and accurately identify organisations – a vital factor in linking up data and ensuring it’s accessible and useful. This is why we’re part of a new joint initiative, identify-org.net, to establish a key piece of open data infrastructure to enable the free exchange of information on entities, regardless of their sector or jurisdiction.

What kind of open data would you like to see more of?

We have a moon-shot goal that 80% of UK grants are published openly by 2020, so we want many more funders to become involved by sharing their data using the 360Giving Standard. We hope that 360Giving will provide the foundation for a collective open data resource for grantmaking, and that new forms of collaboration will be built on this.

What are you most looking forward to about the ODI Summit and Awards?

We’re looking forward to being inspired by the innovative ways in which people use open data, sharing ideas, networking with old friends and meeting new colleagues.

The awards will be held on 1 November 2016 at the BFI Southbank. Explore all nominees and finalists and follow #OpenDataAwards for updates on the night.