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Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide, has launched Foundation Maps, a data visualization platform that helps funders and nonprofits access the knowledge they need to make strategic decisions and achieve greater impact. Foundation Maps gives users the ability to generate maps and charts revealing connections between funders, their grants, and their partners around the corner and around the world.

"Access to detailed funding data — and ways to make sense of that information — is essential to understanding the field of philanthropy, your place within it, and new opportunities to make a difference," said Lisa Philp, Foundation Center's vice president for strategic philanthropy. "Foundation Maps sets a new standard for the field when it comes to facilitating transparent, effective, and collaborative philanthropy."

Foundation Maps serves as the platform on which a variety of subscription-based, free, and custom projects are built. Relying on Foundation Center's deep databases of foundations and their grants, it covers more than 3 million grants totaling more than $220 billion made by over 33,000 foundations to nearly 300,000 recipients around the world.

Foundation Maps can be valuable to various types of users, including:

  • A foundation program officer who wants to identify new partners for collaboration.
  • A philanthropy network searching for information on funding programs in its area of interest and details about the associated grants and grantmakers.
  • A foundation consultant who seeks a solid understanding of broad trends in the field and needs to constantly monitor changes across the sector.
  • A nonprofit fundraiser who wants to use maps and charts to bolster the case for funding support in a geographic region or subject area.

  • Ffoundations that participate in Foundation Center's eReporting Program are provided with a free version of Foundation Maps populated with their own grants data. It is a tool funders can use for planning; they can also post the map on their websites as a way to communicate their grantmaking activities to the public.

    The primary features of Foundation Maps Premium, the first of two subscription levels, are a map view, a list view, and an advanced search tool that allow users to pinpoint criteria they choose through filters, such as location, subject area, population group served, type of support, grant amount, or keyword. The Foundation Maps Professional level adds interactive charts and visualizations, including funding pathways that reveal networked relationships between funders and recipients. The ability to overlay demographic information on maps showing funding data helps users highlight areas with unmet needs. Together, these features can create a robust picture of almost any slice of philanthropy a user can conceive.

    Using the flexible Foundation Maps platform, Foundation Center can also create a wide array of customized applications which funders, philanthropy networks, and others can use to focus on a particular issue or geographic area. For example, Foundation Maps for Veterans Philanthropy Exchange was designed for the Council on Foundation's Veterans Philanthropy Exchange community and illustrates the scope and reach of funding for services to active military/veterans and their families. Last modified on Monday, 13 October 2014
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