Transparency Talk

Category: "Grants Management" (35 posts)

Fueling Innovation Through Competition
January 25, 2017

Countless ideas are abandoned because entrepreneurs could not find the proper funding or mentorship to build their idea from a mere thought to a reality. This is where foundations and philanthropies, which might be more poised to take risks, can help fill the gap by providing grants to new social impact ideas and start-ups.

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Learn from the Transparency Challenge Highlights Reel
January 19, 2017

Greater transparency and openness in philanthropy has risks and opportunities. Learn from a new Foundation Transparency Challenge infographic, which serves as a highlights reel showcasing foundations that are succeeding where most fear to tread.

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The Foundation Transparency Challenge
November 2, 2016

I often get asked which foundations are the most transparent, closely followed by the more skeptical line of questioning about whether the field of philanthropy is actually becoming more transparent, or just talking more about it. When Glasspockets launched six years ago, a little less than 7 percent of foundations had a web presence; today that has grown to a still underwhelming 10 percent. So, the reality is that transparency remains a challenge for the majority of foundations, but some are making it a priority to open up their work. Our new Foundation Transparency Challenge infographic is designed to help foundations tackle the transparency challenge. It provides an at-a-glance overview of how and why foundations are prioritizing transparency, inventories common strengths and pain points across the field, and highlights good examples that can serve as inspiration for others in areas that represent particular challenges to the field.

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Flooding the Locks: Philanthropy’s Knowledge Conduits
August 3, 2016

Uniquely positioned to embrace risk, foundations should tread outside their comfort zone to achieve large-scale, systemic change; but they should also learn from the Panama Canal’s massive gamble. When making big bets, transparency, data-informed decisions, accountability, and clarity of process lead to better outcomes.

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Get Open: Leaders Reflect on Glasspockets' Impact
July 27, 2016

Sharing strategy, knowledge, processes, and best practices in philanthropy is better for everyone – from the grantmakers to grantees and the communities they serve. In our new video, Glasspockets: Making the Case for Transarency, philanthropy leaders reflect on the positive impact that Glasspockets and working more openly has made on their work.

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Building the Social Sector's Collective Brain Trust: Redesigned IssueLab Launched
June 23, 2016

As philanthropy practices begin to move from closed to more open and transparent methods, collective impact and knowledge sharing will benefit the social sector. IssueLab’s relaunched website - with almost 20,000 knowledge resources, covering 38 different issue areas, from 7,000+ organizations around the world - has new tools and resources to help foundations and organizations.

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IRS Releases 990 Forms as Machine-Readable Data
June 16, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has formally begun the release of foundation 990-PF (and 990) tax returns as machine-readable, open data, making it easier for anyone to search the forms digitally for information about an organization's finances, trustees, lobbying activities, and salaries.

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Foundation Transparency: Game Over?
May 23, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service's imminent release of foundation 990-PF (and 990) tax returns as machine-readable open data will literally make it possible for anyone to look right through those glass walls to the curated foundation world within. Brad Smith, president of Foundation Center, explains why this matters.

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The Next Generation of Nonprofit Data Standards
May 2, 2016

Practice standards and data standards are encouraging foundations to organize and share philanthropy data in an excellent, organized and useful manner. Jacob Harold, president and CEO of GuideStar, and Brad Smith, president of Foundation Center, share how nonprofit data standards are evolving.

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Walking the Talk on Foundation Openness: Behind the Scenes in the Making of an RFP
April 19, 2016

The Fund for Shared Insight offers a candid commentary on the successes and failures of increasing openness in foundations. The funder collobarative recently sought the advice of its philanthropy infrastructure colleagues and reveals the lessons learned.

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About Transparency Talk

  • Transparency Talk, the Glasspockets blog, is a platform for candid and constructive conversation about foundation transparency and accountability. In this space, Foundation Center highlights strategies, findings, and best practices on the web and in foundations–illuminating the importance of having "glass pockets."

    The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation Center.

    Questions and comments may be
    directed to:

    Janet Camarena
    Director, Transparency Initiatives
    Foundation Center

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