This week we’re launching a new collaborative initiative to create the first comprehensive catalogue of national data sources on nonprofits and charities. Many national governments require nonprofits to register and file annual reports. That information can be a valuable tool for policy-makers, researchers, and nonprofit practitioners, as long as it is made available to them. In collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Bloodgood from Concordia University, we are launching the Global Register of Nonprofit Data Sources (GRNDS) to track what information is collected by each national government and what - if any - of the collected information is made public.
Why us? Canada is a leader in this space (the detailed collection and sharing of data about its nonprofit sector), and here, at Ajah, we’ve been using that info to power our online fundraising service, Fundtracker, as well as custom business intelligence applications since 2009. We’ve been working to harness the potential of open data and open government policies to increase the availability of data and about the nonprofit sector since we developed Powered by Data in 2013.
We’ve been working with Dr. Bloodgood and her students over the past year and we’ve catalogued on the data collection and sharing practices of nonprofit registries 25 countries. We’re launching the project publicly this week because we’re fortunate to be hosting experts from around Europe and North America to gather their input on the project. These experts come from academia, government, and the nonprofit space, and will discuss how GRNDS can play a supporting role in the ecosystem of information infrastructure being created about, and for, the nonprofit sector, as well as common needs that exist across the various projects participating. These projects include research-focused initiatives like Open Data for Nonprofit Research and practitioner-focused projects like the International Aid Transparency Initiative. (For more information about who is attending, their projects, and the workshop agenda - click here)
GRNDS is just a small part of the larger information infrastructure for the nonprofit sector. We’re excited to use an open data, collaborative approach to this work and we’re appreciative that the participants of this workshop are bringing their expertise as leaders of other national and sector-wide data projects to advise this new collaborative initiative.
We will be tweeting during the workshop using the hashtag #GRNDS2018. If you don’t use Twitter, we will also be posting the key learnings from the workshop here next week.