FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Why should we participate in the Get on the Map campaign?
When you share your recent grants data, you’ll be making a powerful contribution to our regional association’s custom version of Foundation Maps, a highly interactive, searchable mapping platform from Foundation Center that will be accessible to our staff and members at no charge.
Foundation Maps can help you:
• Explore who else is funding in your areas of interest, including subjects, locations, population served, and types of support.
• Get detailed information about the grants and grantmakers that already support your current and prospective grantees.
• Go beyond who you already know in the field and discover new partners for collaboration and community.
• Visualize needs and identify gaps in funding.
• Combine the knowledge and visuals from Foundation Maps to craft a powerful narrative about your organization.
• Be clear and intentional in communicating your work.
• See broad trends at a glance and monitor changes across your region.
In addition, when your organization participates in the Get on the Map campaign, you can request your own free interactive map of your foundation’s grantmaking data to use as you wish! You are welcome to use this internally with your staff and board or externally in presentations, communications materials, or to post on your website.
Click here to view a sample map.
2. What is Foundation Maps? What is in a regional (Get on the Map) version of Foundation Maps?
Foundation Maps is Foundation Center’s newest and most sophisticated data visualization application and the easiest way to see who is funding what and where in the United States and around the world.
The Foundation Maps platform is flexible and allows for a variety of free, subscription, and custom options.
Regional associations that participate in the Get on the Map campaign will receive a custom version of Foundation Maps at no charge. The regional maps display all of the timely campaign-collected data that was shared by an association’s members and which has been cleaned, coded, and visualized by Foundation Center. This mapping tool includes the following features:
• Map view displays red bubbles of recipients and green bubbles of foundations with aggregate data. When you zoom in, the bubbles break apart to show where recipients and foundations are located. Click on any of the bubbles for details about foundations, recipients, or grants in that geographic area.
• List view lets you see and sort foundations, recipients, and grants in a table format while maintaining search filters.
• Search filters that can be combined include:
- Subject Areas
- Population Served
- Type of Support
- Organization Name
- Grant Years
- Grantmaker Type
3. Who can participate in the Get on the Map campaign?
Because the goal is to generate the most complete picture of your funding landscape, any funder in our region can participate. In addition to independent, family, and community foundations, we welcome corporate funders, governmental agencies, and United Ways.
4. Who has access to the regional Get on the Map version of Foundation Maps?
Members of participating regional associations of grantmakers will be able to access the custom map for their association. Check to see if your regional association is one of the 20 that are participating in the Get on the Map campaign in 2015.
5. What if my regional association of grantmakers is not participating in the Get on the Map campaign? Can my organization still participate?
Each regional association made its own decision about participation in the inaugural Get on the Map campaign based on an assessment of its organizational priorities and staff capacity in 2015. Many of those that are not participating are closely tracking this effort through their membership in the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and may join this multi-year campaign at a future date.
Even if your regional association is not participating in the Get on the Map campaign this year, your grantmaking organization can still take part by sharing your recent grants data with Foundation Center.
While you won’t have access to a regional Get on the Map version of Foundation Maps if your regional association isn’t currently participating, you can still receive a free map for your organization to use as you wish! The data set for this individual map will include your cleaned and coded grants information on the Foundation Maps interactive platform for use internally with your staff and board or externally in presentations, communications materials, or to post on your website.
6. What if my grantmaking organization is not a member of a regional association of grantmakers? Can we still participate?
If your grantmaking organization is not a member of a participating regional association of grantmakers, you can still take part by sharing your recent grants data with Foundation Center. Your data will be reflected in the Regional map whether you are a member or not.
While you won’t have access to a regional Get on the Map version of Foundation Maps, you can receive a free map for your organization to use as you wish! The data set for this individual map will include your cleaned and coded grants information on the Foundation Maps interactive platform for use internally with your staff and board or externally in presentations, communications materials, or to post on your website.
The spirit of the Get on the Map campaign is all about the aggregation of timely grants data at the regional level. If you aren’t currently a member of one of the 20 participating regional associations of grantmakers and are interested in using data to collaborate with like-minded colleagues, we encourage you to consider joining in order to take advantage of this important member benefit.
6a. How do I submit my data?
Most grants management software platforms offer a pre-formatted export function that pulls the necessary data into an Excel file automatically.
To find instructions for your platform, visit: http://foundationcenter.org/grantmakers/partners.html.
EXPORT a complete list of your most recent fiscal years (2013-2015) of grants into
Excel using the eReporting Template as a guide.
E-MAIL your report to email@example.com. For full instructions click here.
6b. What if I don’t use a grants management software program?
If you do not use one of the listed software systems, you can simply export a complete list of your most recently-awarded grants and format the data using our eReporting Template.
7. Is there a cost to participate?
There is no cost to participate. We only ask that you share as much data a possible so that all maps, including the individual one you’ll receive, can be as complete as possible.
8. If I already send Foundation Center my grants through the eReporting program, do I need to do anything else?
If you are already submitting grants data through the eReporting program, then you are all set and your information will be reflected in the regional map. You need not do anything else.
To confirm if your organization is up to date with your reporting, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. What grants information is required?
This heat map outlines all of the fields you’re encouraged to share. The minimum fields required to Get On the Map are:
• Unique Transaction ID
• Recipient Name
• Recipient Address
• Fiscal Year
10. How long does it take to e-report?
Depending on your software it can take as little as five minutes. If you’re not using one of the systems with a preformatted export, you’re likely tracking the most basic fields as part of your annual reporting to the IRS, so it’s simply a matter of organizing the information into the template.
11. How does Foundation Center structure your grants data?
Foundation Center uses the Philanthropy Classification System to code and structure your grants data. The Center’s Classification System in based on the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) and has been expanded over the last three decades to include the emerging work Foundation Center has evidenced while capturing and indexing the work of the sector on a global scale.
The facets of the PCS illuminate the work and answer the following questions about philanthropy:
• Who? = Population Served
• What? = Subject and Organization Type
• How? = Support Strategy and Transaction Type
• Where? = Geographic Area Served
Since your data will ultimately be indexed using this system, we encourage you to consider using PCS to code your work. If you already code your grants, then the Center can also help create a crosswalk to make sure it is fully capturing the intentions of your giving. Email email@example.com if you are interested in exploring that option.
12. Is there a minimum grant size that will be counted?
There is no minimum. Foundation Center encourages you to provide a complete grant list.
13. What happens to your data?
In addition to populating our regional map with useful information, your participation will help to create many data efficiencies for the sector. Foundation Center acts as a central data repository for the field and is responsive to many stakeholders.
For many years, Foundation Center has compiled data on philanthropy from a number of sources, including direct reporting of grants by foundations, IRS information returns (Forms 990 and 990-PF), foundation web sites, and other public sources. In all, Foundation Center’s staff monitors more than 35 sources to verify the longitudinal data set it maintains on behalf of the social sector.
Each funder that participates in the Get on the Map campaign maintains rights over the grants information originally shared with Foundation Center. Once received, Foundation Center cleans, codes, and normalizes that data to make it interactive and searchable across several platforms including Foundation Maps and Foundation Directory Online. This value-added data may also be used for research such as Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, trending analysis including Foundation Stats, issue-based websites such as BMAfunders.org, which focuses on black male achievement, and research projects led by partners such Giving USA, which depend on Foundation Center for trusted data on foundation giving.
14. How is “region” being defined?
Because this is a partnership with the Forum for Regional Associations of Grantmakers, “region” will mirror the geographic composition of the corresponding association.
15. If I am a national funder, will my data appear on regional Get on the Map versions of Foundation Maps?
If you are national funder that is headquartered within the geography covered by a participating regional association, then your all of your grants data shared will be reflected in that regional’s custom Get on the Map version of Foundation Maps.
Grants data from national funders who are members of more than one participating regional association will appear in multiple custom regional maps.
16. Will I have access to a national map?
If you would like to explore a version of Foundation Maps that includes a global and national data set and additional functionality, please click here to learn more about subscription options.
17. Is there a deadline?
We are encouraging funders to submit their grants before May 1, 2015 in order to be included in the initial beta maps scheduled for July 2015. The Center will continuously accept all information supplied and update the maps as soon as the data has been processed.
18. Will I need to submit more data in the future?
In order to keep the maps up-to-date, we encourage funders to regularly update their grants information. Data can be supplied as often as monthly and at a minimum annually. If your foundation would like to discuss automated data feeds using Foundation Center’s hGrant format, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. How soon will my foundation’s map and my participating regional association’s map be available?
Your individual map will be available upon request about two weeks after you send in your grants data. Be sure to indicate that you are interested in this map when you send your report to Foundation Center so they will know to create it.
The regional maps will be available in a beta version in July 2015, though each regional association will decide when they want to release it to their members. They may want to wait for high participation before publishing their map, so the sooner you send in your grants the sooner they will be available.
20. Who can I contact for help or more information?
Please e-mail all your questions to email@example.com.