Better Data = Better Decisions: The Need for Better Data in Philanthropy

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Did you know that ECFC’s website houses a FREE publicly available interactive funding landscape map powered by Candid grants data (formerly the Foundation Center)? Launched in 2018, with support from Heising-Simons Foundation and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the interactive mapping tool was developed to offer valuable insights about the state of philanthropic support for early childhood care and education, as well as to provide a platform for future deep dives connecting evidence on issues of interest to the field with accurate data about investment in those same issues.  [Learn more about the intent of the map and the launch in this December 2018, Philanthropy News Digest Interview with Barbara Chow of Heising-Simons and Shannon Rudisill of ECFC.]

Who uses it?

ECFC’s landscape map gets over 5,000 visits PER MONTH, averaging 175 visits PER DAY (as of December 2021).  The top filter/search?  ECE Policy Advocacy and Systems Reform!  Anyone can use the map to review philanthropic investments in their community and state, by topic, funder and recipients.  ECFC members and other EC interested funders use the map for to find other funders investing in similar topics, geographies and strategies, and to see who else is funding common grantees.  ECFC staff use our map (and other Candid maps) to find and generate information on ECFC Member and other philanthropic support for EC issues to identify opportunity and gaps in philanthropic investment for early childhood.

Reported grants data is part of an intricate network of local, regional and national funding landscapes!

Candid also powers other public funding landscape sites that combine data visualization tools, original research, and more to illuminate critical issues in philanthropy to reduce duplication of efforts and encourage cooperation between different philanthropic actors. A few examples include:

What’s the catch? YOU are the catch!

When you become part of the community of funders dedicated to sharing their data and telling their stories, you benefit the broader field of philanthropy locally, regionally, and globally. When you submit data in Candid’s Excel-based format, you’re also eligible for a map link of your data to be used internally or externally on your website (like this example for the Hewlett Foundation).

ECFC’s ECE funding landscape map and other maps pulling in Candid grants data have great promise for helping funders work better with each other toward aligning funding, reducing duplication, identifying and addressing funding gaps, and helping update Candid search terms.

ECFC is joining philanthropic partners and regional grantmaking associations working to encourage grants reporting annually to Candid to create a robust picture of philanthropic support for early childhood and intersecting fields and populations in the U.S.

Learn more and get help with e-reporting:

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