GrantCraft just published a cogent intro to funder transparency.
Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency explores how transparency can strengthen credibility, improve grantee relationships, facilitate greater collaboration, increase public trust, reduce duplication of effort, and build communities of shared learning.
Janet Camarena’s post over at Glass Pockets sets a great context for the piece, taking on five familiar myths of transparency and providing some great talking points for starting this dialog in our own shops.
In discussions with grants managers and technologists in philanthropy, we’ve been placing Open hGrant into funder transparency work in a very tactical way. It assumes grantmakers are ready to be open and are looking for a sensible way to get started that doesn’t cost a fortune in time, money and staffing. A free, open-source plug-in on a free, open-source content management system is a great start. Connecting it to existing systems would be even better (we’re working on it). But there’s actually something else to it, and every grants manager, IT staffer, program officer and CEO we’ve talked with about Open hGrant comes around to this point sooner or later:
If we can quickly push our grantmaking data into the open, what do we have to do to commensurately increase our understanding of it? That work may have more to do with our inherent specialties: stepping back, reflecting, asking questions about what we’re seeing and what we can’t yet see, applying our learning…
To which one might add: rinse, repeat.
Way too complicated for a plug-in. Just right for humans.