The report is an (well, actually in our view, "the") annual industry forecast written by one of our advisors, leading philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz. The Blueprint "provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, and directs your attention to horizons where you can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year." We're very pleased that she identified Canada's work as a leading effort worth recognizing, and the Canadian sector (and anyone interested in it) should be proud too.
Related to all of this is ongoing work to make nonprofits and foundations more transparent. Canada’s open data on nonprofit tax information enables an ecosystem that can repackage that information for grantseekers, feed it directly into grants management software, and readily mix it with other open government data on financial flows and investments. Canada’s commercial enterprises have the easiest raw material to work with and serve up robust data services via platforms such as Ajah.ca and the PoweredbyData project.
We wrote about exactly that story for the federal government's Open Data blog: Canada - a World Leader in Non-profit Data.
It's great that our country's success in this area is becoming more well known. It is a story that was not well known outside of a small part of the Canadian sector, and we thought it was important to spread the word.
Lucy also singled out the Indigo Trust's 360 Giving initiative, which we are working to promote here in Canada.
Efforts to open nonprofit data in the U.S. are moving forward, despite political and institutional barriers slowing down what is technologically possible. In the meantime, we see continued experimentation around information transparency. In the last year alone several independent effortts in the United States, including Inside Philanthropy, Philamplify, and Transparify (focused on think tanks) have entered the space opened by Glasspockets. A new effort called 360 Degree Giving is encouraging foundations in the United Kingdom to share more data on their activities. It’s being led by established trusts and is using shared interests and peer relationships to encourage participation. Although it’s starting small, the 360 Degree Giving effort latched on to an international transparency standard for data reporting and intends to take the information that becomes available and immediately make it interoperable with both international aid data and Canada’s open data effort.
We're hoping that Canada can have an even bigger profile in Lucy's next Blueprint and we're working to make sure that happens.
Take a look at the report here.
UPDATE: To see how we're trying to move the 360 Giving standard forward here in Canada, please view our example project, LANDSCPAPE.