360 Giving project launches prototype standard to improve transparency of grant data

The project, which was launched by Fran and William Perrin, has been set up to increase the number of grants reported as open data within five years

Fran and William Perrin
Fran and William Perrin

The 360 Giving project, which campaigns for greater transparency in grant-making, has this week launched a prototype standard for publishing UK grant data.

360 Giving was launched last year by Fran Perrin, founder and director of the grant-maker the Indigo Trust, and her husband, William, a trustee of the trust.

The initiative’s aim is that 80 per cent of grants made by UK charities, foundations and other grant-makers, and 50 per cent by number and/or volume, will be reported as open data to agreed standards within five years.

Publishing data in a standard form makes it much easier to use and compare, organisers say in a post on their website.

The standard, which was developed by the data scientist Tim Davies and published yesterday, is a prototype and organisers have called for feedback from users.

It provides a template for funders to present the data they publish to 360 Giving and will help join up grant information from different trusts and foundations, the campaign website says.

The standard was informed by a range of existing data standards, including the International Aid Transparency Initiative standard, which is a publishing framework that allows data about aid funding to be compared. 

William Perrin told Third Sector: "We set ourselves a demanding target, but I’m confident we shall meet it. Openness and transparency have so much to bring to the sector."

He said the campaign supported more informed, effective and transparent grant-making.

The campaign has worked with the Big Lottery Fund, which has published data about the grants it made from 2004 onwards on the data.gov site. 

Campaign partners including the Nominet Trust, which supports projects that use technology to improve society, and the innovation charity Nesta, have also published grant data through the 360 Giving site.

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