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Introducing the "California Foundation Stats" Dashboard! Finding Data on Philanthropy in Our State Just Got A LOT Easier

Monday, September 26, 2016

Did you know?

LA County is home to 2,580 foundations that collectively give more than $2 billion.

In the last 10 years, giving by LA foundations increased by 75% and assets increased by 60%.

Health, Education, and Arts/Culture are the top three funding priorities for LA funders.

The more time I spend immersed in the world of philanthropy, the more I realize how challenging it is for those of us in the social sector to fully understand the ecosystems in which we work. Grantmakers and nonprofits constantly evolve their areas of focus. It takes time to publish reports about what each of us is doing – and keeping up with those reports also takes time that we often don’t have. As a result, all of us—from those seeking new partners in implementing innovative solutions, to those who have worked for years with “the usual suspects”—at some point realize that we could really use some current, authoritative data to inform our strategies and decisions.

That’s why I tend to hear similar questions over and over from SCG members, policymakers, and nonprofit partners: “Can you give me a quick overview of the philanthropic landscape? Who are the top funders in my particular field or region? Where does X Foundation rank in the big scheme of things?”

So I’m thrilled to announce the launch of Foundation Center’s California Foundation Stats dashboard! Finding key statistics for California philanthropy just got a lot easier for all of us, including me.   

Created by Foundation Center in partnership with SCG, NCG, and SDG, and with support from The James Irvine Foundation, this free online tool offers hundreds of ready-made charts on philanthropy data for our state:

  • Size, scope, and giving priorities of California foundations
  • Data on giving to California-based nonprofits by out-of-state funders
  • Top funders by region and issue area
  • Access to 900 research reports about California philanthropy
  • Trends in funding specific support strategies and population groups
  • Statewide data
  • Regional data tables for nine regions: Bay Area, Central Coast, Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, North Coast, Orange County, Sierra Range, South Coast, and border counties.

Currently California Foundation Stats includes grants data from 2013 and 2014. What’s particularly exciting about the dashboard is that every chart and graph will be updated in real time as Foundation Center receives grants information from funders.  

The strength of this wonderful resource, as always, depends on the quality of the information that we collectively share. SCG has been working with Foundation Center and with our sister organizations San Diego Grantmakers and Northern California Grantmakers to get as many funders as possible to “Get on the Map” (see note below). If your organization is not currently e-reporting giving data to Foundation Center, I strongly encourage you to start now!  

California Foundation Stats will be a living data set that changes to reflect up-to-date information about our giving priorities and giving across the state—and will be an even more powerful tool for all of us if we ensure the information provided is robust and up-to-date.

I hope the dashboard will be a useful tool to support your work. Please bookmark it and come back often as the data changes and grows.

Note: Detailed grants data on individual grants and grantees provided to Foundation Center for the "Get on the Map" effort will remain available only to SCG, SDG, and NCG members via “Foundation Maps – California,” a protected site. Aggregate data is publicly accessible on the “California Foundation Stats” platform.

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