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October 2020 (2 posts)

New tool makes giving during a pandemic easier
October 21, 2020

Rebecca-Moffett-243x243-1
Rebecca Moffett

Rebecca Moffett is Chief Strategic Planning Officer, Vanguard Charitable.

This blog also appears in Candid blog.

NAVi helps donors understand the COVID-19 giving landscape, ensuring their relief efforts make an impact.

We at Vanguard Charitable are proud to introduce the Nonprofit Aid Visualizer (NAVi), a free new mapping resource available to anyone interested in supporting COVID-19 relief.

When word of the coronavirus pandemic spread and the United States began to realize its magnitude, Vanguard Charitable started to see a sharp rise in granting dollars for COVID-19 relief.

While I’m not sure any of us could ever be fully prepared for a global pandemic, our donors were uniquely situated to make a charitable impact. Through their donor-advised fund (DAF) accounts, they had immediate access to charitable dollars and supported charities responding directly to the pandemic. Between March and September 2020, more than $80 million in Vanguard Charitable grants were sent to more than 4,000 charities supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

Navi

Additional charitable resources needed

Although we provide resources to support our donors, such as a pre-vetted list of organizations providing COVID-19 relief, we knew additional support might be needed. We reached out to our donors and asked how we could better help them make a charitable impact.

Part of the feedback we received was expected: Our donors wanted to make a significant impact when supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. We also heard something new, however. Giving in a pandemic, where information and need are evolving, came with its own challenges. We found that 79 percent of our donors surveyed wanted more resources to give to COVID-19 relief in their local communities, and 50 percent wanted more opportunities in geographic areas most severely impacted by the pandemic.

NAViTM makes giving simpler

To answer those needs, we created a new tool: The Nonprofit Aid Visualizer, or NAViTM.

This tool is an interactive charity locator that combines several sources of data. The data, provided by the Surgo Foundation, Candid’s information on COVID-19 grants and nonprofit organizations, and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, is displayed in custom software built by the geospatial services firm Azavea.

To enable donors to sort through the data quickly, we included filters based on cause area and need. These filters quickly and easily zero in on the specifics donors might want to support. For example, you can widen your search to include charities by location or cause areas, or limit your search by filtering for the hardest-hit locations or the highest vulnerability factors, such as socioeconomic status, epidemiology, or healthcare system considerations.

Ease of use

NAViTM is easy to use, and open to all individuals for free. When visiting NAVi, start at the top of the screen to set the filters or enter information to begin a charity search. NAViTM generates a list of charities based on the COVID-19 incidence rate and community vulnerability filters applied. Once the charity list is generated, it can be saved to reference later.

Thanks to donor feedback, we’ve been able to help people interested in supporting COVID-19 relief efforts and support our mission to increase philanthropy and maximize its impact over time. We hope this new tool helps make your charitable-giving decisions easier.

For more information and to access NAViTM, visit vanguardcharitable.org/map.

Packed with Facts: F.M. Kirby Foundation’s Grants Summary & Map
October 6, 2020

PowellNikki
Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is the Content Development Associate for Candid.

Figuring out foundation funding can befuddle grantseekers and grantmakers alike. What do they fund? What are their most recent grants? Does my organization have a chance? Are we on their radar? Have they historically funded in areas that could inform our own grantmaking?

Questions like these are easier for potential partners to answer when a funder lays bare their grantmaking history like the F.M. Kirby Foundation (FMKF) has on its Candid-hosted website’s Funding Map and Grants Summary page, which details their giving back to 2006 all the way through 2020. On the summary page, they have included total funding across program areas, the percentage that each area makes up in its giving, and the total number of grants awarded in each area. The summary is simple, clear to read, and provides a wealth of information about the foundation, its program priorities, and where they are trying to make a difference.

Visitors can then take a deeper dive into FMKF’s funding via its Candid-supported Foundation Map—free to all eGrant reporters.

Screen Shot 2020-10-06 at 3.35.20 PMF.M. Kirby Foundation's Interactive Grants Map

A lot of foundations are transparent about this type of information, but the way FMKF has presented it in a single summary page that then allows the user to easily drill down for more details is user-friendly and data rich. Grantseekers and potential collaborators don’t have to go looking for the numbers or guess at how funding priorities have shifted over time. You can see with one glance where FMKF’s money is going and, if you click through, you get a brief description of what each grant was spent on.

This type of data visualization is a great step in the right direction for transparency and openness in foundation funding. To find out more about how F.M. Kirby Foundation is demonstrating its transparency and accountability to the field visit its Who Has GlassPockets? profile. And, to learn more about how to get your own foundation grants displayed on a free, interactive map visit Candid's Updater page.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen other great examples of foundation visualizations that improve funder transparency!

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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

    If you are interested in being a
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    glasspockets@foundationcenter.org

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