Grasping Open Data with Both Hands - How Canadian Charities Are Capitalizing


Powered by Data is a nonprofit that was started by Ajah’s founders (and is now part of the Tides Canada Shared Platform), and works to help the nonprofit sector benefit from data.

They’ve just released a new report, produced in consultation with stakeholders of Heritage Canada, that recommends ways the government could use its data to enable its stakeholders (namely, the nonprofit sector).

The recommended approach is to engage with charities directly to build their understanding of Heritage Canada’s available data, identify the needs of the charities, and then work on publishing open data to address those needs.

The report is interesting for charities because it allows them to better understand the motivations of major government funders like Heritage Canada, and offers another avenue for charities (Heritage’s open data efforts) to engage with them.

What are Stakeholders Concerned About?

  • A real need for government to provide more open research and statistics that could inform program and operational needs—for example by releasing data on successful funding applications and amounts.
  • The need to make data and information easy to find, rather than requiring users to scour different areas of government websites.
  • A need to move beyond open data sets and make data searchable and filterable through a web application, allowing the organisations to easily pull out the requisite information without having to do much data-crunching themselves.

What does this have to do with Ajah?

The report focusses on how Heritage can enable data-driven solutions to the immediate needs of the nonprofit sector, its grantees.

Fundtracker, Ajah’s dedicated prospect research tool, is exactly that type of solution. We built it to solve the immediate fundraising needs of charities by bringing together all relevant public-domain data on funders and recipients, and making that data searchable and filterable, allowing fundraisers to quickly and easily find out who is funding organizations just like yours.

We believe there are many other opportunities for applying data-driven solutions to the needs of the nonprofit sector, especially with government data. That’s why we started Powered by Data—to help the sector take advantage of those opportunities.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper into Powered by Data’s findings and recommendations, please click here to see the full report.

And for more information on FundTracker, please download our comprehensive Funder Research Guide (it’s completely free).

And as ever, happy fundraising!

Team Ajah