Visualization of the Week: Philanthropy Data

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The Foundation Center, a global philanthropy think tank, launched its Foundation Stats data visualization and exploration tool recently, which allows users to generate charts and reports from its large database of foundations and grants. The Center also released an application programming interface (API) to support independent development using the data. Researchers and journalists, as well as professionals in the philanthropic community, will use Foundation Stats to identify trends in grant making and track foundation behavior.


Foundation Stats is a free service that provides users open access to philanthropy data including aggregate fiscal data for FC 1000 Foundations such as distribution of grants, top 50 foundations awarding grants, and top 50 recipients of grants from foundations. Fiscal data for grants can be filtered by subject area, population group and recipient location. Subject areas include arts and culture, education, environment and animals, health and human services, science and technology, and social sciences. Users can generate tables, charts, and graphs for different foundation and grant statistics over time and then share the data via links or download as PDFs.

Foundation Stats allows grant makers, nonprofit professionals, researchers, and journalists to get exactly the foundation data they need,” said Foundation Center President, Bradford K. Smith. “It represents a huge leap forward in opening up data on philanthropy and paves the way for the development of innovative applications of the type that only open data makes possible.

The Foundation Stats API allows developers programmatic access to data sets for foundations and grants. The foundation data set dates back to 2001 and includes the fiscal information for all active funders in a given fiscal year. The grants data set dates back to 2004 and includes all grants of $10,000 or more from from the FC 1000 (a sample of 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations).

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