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A model for statewide open data

The CT Data Collaborative (CTData) is a public-private partnership between the state government and the nonprofit sector in Connecticut, created to advance effective planning and decision-making through the use of open and accessible data. CTData serves residents, nonprofits, policymakers, and funders in using and sharing data to drive policy, program,…

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The Open 990 and US Nonprofits

Listen to Lucy Bernholz, Cinthia Schuman Ottinger, Beth Simone Noveck, David Borenstein, and Neville Vakharia discuss the new machine-readable Form 990 and the opportunities and challenges presented to U.S. nonprofits and civil society. Recent regulatory changes have made e-filed Form 990s, the data-rich annual financial disclosure forms for U.S. nonprofits,…

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Why the DATA Act Matters

On May 9, President Obama signed the U.S. Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act . The new law is a bold bid to transform the U.S. federal government’s spending information, in all its complexity, from disconnected documents into open data. Today, we present what it says, how it…

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Mark Surman on the NetGain Partnership

DIGITAL IMPACT: What is the Netgain Partnership? Who is involved? MARK SURMAN: The NetGain Partnership is a coalition of some of the world’s leading nonprofits: Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Mozilla Foundation. We’re a diverse…

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Open Data and Economic Ownership in West African Agriculture

Mobile technology is changing the way of life for millions of rural farmers across the West African country of Ghana. They receive texts with up-to-date crop prices, weather alerts, and advice about planting. Using electronic payment services, they now have credit histories to secure loans. With mobile technology, they can…

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The Dark Side of Data (Organizations)

Nonprofits and philanthropy organizations need to embrace digital age and engage more with digital and data in their activities. However, they must also be careful to avoid the ‘dark side’ of data and digitization, and uphold respect for the privacy and security of individuals’ data. These threats are not merely…

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Foundations and Transparency in the World of Open Data

  Reports of yet another fraudulent celebrity foundation have hit the news recently,this time for former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle’s Jared Foundation. Fogle claimed the foundation, founded in 2004, would distribute $2 million in grants to schools and community organizations to help fight obesity, which Fogle overcame after losing 245…

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Why Choose the Open Data Model for Social Projects?

In 2010, Raul Krauthausen decided to take up a big issue for wheelchair users in Germany: accessibility. Or, inaccessibility. The resulting idea and work, Wheelmap.org, is now a fast-growing data source of over 385,000 crowdsourced data entries on public space accessibility that reaches 40,000 users per month in 23 languages.…

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The DATA Act: A Look Ahead

Whether they are providing disaster relief, pre-school education, or assistance to people with disabilities, nonprofits often partner with government – through grants, contracts and other payments – to address social concerns. Considering the close working relationship between government and nonprofits, it is surprising how little is known about the details…

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The Financial Transparency Act of 2015 Has Been Introduced

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ralph Abraham (R-LA), and Jared Polis (D-CO) held a press conference three weeks ago to announce the introduction of the Financial Transparency Act of 2015 – the farthest-reaching open data legislation since the passage of the DATA Act last year. The Financial Transparency Act aims to…

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