As a network of associations and support organisations serving philanthropy, we’re committed to improving sector infrastructure through knowledge generation, standardisation, dissemination and sharing.
This past year, the WINGS Philanthropy Data Project has made a concerted effort to begin building a culture around data collection and analysis, starting with the WINGS global network. We are also engaging in strategic partnerships and having conversations with stakeholders all over the world.
We started the data collection project by asking associations and support organisations to complete their profiles on the WINGS website. This provided us with information across six key areas: Contact; Institutional; Membership; Financial; Governance; and Knowledge & Information. Preliminary results revealed a vibrant and growing network, and we shared this stimulating infographic produced in partnership with the Foundation Center.
As part of our data standardisation effort, we asked our network participants to tell us about the types of questionnaires associations are using to gather information on their members. We compared 18 questionnaires sent to us by organisations in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. Through in-depth analysis, we uncovered patterns, including a few gaps, and were able to build a template questionnaire.
This new information presents many benefits
- Organisations and associations can see the types of questions their peers are asking.
- Associations can use it to gather relevant data about their members, allowing them to better serve their needs.
- Using a standard template we are able to generate comparable information across regions, improving cross-cultural analysis and decision-making in the process.
- The sector now has a better understanding of philanthropy worldwide.
We’re also excited to be part of a community pursuing accurate data in Brazil, where WINGS Office is based. In January we met with key players, including Brad Smith from the Foundation Center, to discuss data collection, dissemination and management practices and challenges in Brazil, and how they compare to those in other countries. WINGS is also engaged in discussions about research on the Financing of Brazilian Civil Society Organisations. We participated in a workshop at Fundação Getúlio Vargas with representatives from Avina, C&A and Kellogg Foundations, among others.
None of the work we do is possible without the support of our network—and we're grateful! We look forward to building a stronger global philanthropic sector, and we’ll be sharing more with you about these exciting efforts in 2013.