TAG and GMN: State of foundation transparency may simply be due to lack of technological know-how
April 30, 2015
(Eliza Smith is the Special Projects Associate for Glasspockets at the Foundation Center-San Francisco.)
The Technology Affinity Group (TAG) and the Grant Makers Network (GMN) partnered to create a report that assesses how well foundations are using technology. Lisa Pool, executive director of TAG found that, "While many foundations are very progressive with respect to their grantmaking programs, they are not nearly as forward-thinking with respect to the strategic use of technology in their business practices.”
Since online information resources are the first place people look these days when they want to learn more about an issue or institution, clearly the weaknesses in technology know-how are slowing the adoption of tools that could lead to greater foundation transparency.
Though this puts some foundations at a transparency disadvantage, it doesn’t have to. Glasspockets and Foundation Center have plenty of resources designed to help usher foundations into the digital age. Our Foundation Websites service helps foundations build websites for free. The hGrant Format is a cloud-based grants data sharing platform. Transparency 2.0 shows which foundations are using which social media and online communications tools, from Vimeo and Twitter, to RSS Grants Feed and Wiki. The Who Has Glass Pockets? application checklist gives a list of elements foundations should consider adding to their websites, including audited financial statements and governance policies and information.