The following was originally published on the Alliance blog on 1 September 2011. The original article can be found here.
Institutional philanthropy is growing and gaining visibility around the globe. New technology, new leaders and new money are sparking fundamental changes to giving. There is increasing emphasis on being strategic in the ways funds are spent and developing clear indicators to show that such funding contributes to lasting, positive impact.
However, knowledge about institutional philanthropy is in its infancy, and it is difficult to collect data on global philanthropy. Agreeing on a classification system remains a challenge and it is almost impossible to compare data across countries. The field needs leading-edge knowledge and information services to enable our work towards a strong global philanthropic community.
In response to the increasing need and demand for more information, WINGS and the Foundation Center are embarking on a partnership to build a global data platform and to promote global data standards for philanthropy. As a global network, WINGS has a big part to play in stimulating and coordinating the effort to access members’ data.
The main objectives of this initiative are:
- to identify a common set of global data standards on philanthropy;
- to collect data on philanthropy and make it available to the public;
- to build a culture of data management and promote data standards within WINGS members.
WINGS has recently recruited a knowledge management coordinator who will work closely with the Foundation Center, WINGS members and other relevant partners on defining global data standards for philanthropy, and collecting, organizing and disseminating data. In addition, WINGS expects to offer an online platform soon for the dissemination of data and ongoing discussion with network members. We hope you will be ready to cooperate in our effort to build the profile of global philanthropy.