Foundations have always operated with a fair amount of independence. In many ways this philanthropic freedom is one of the field’s biggest strengths – the ability to stay above the fray, apart from both market and political pressure. The idea was to allow for the delivery of flexible resources to advance the common good.
But as technology advances, and faster ways of sending and receiving information become commonplace, foundations – and most everyone else – are beginning to understand that collaboration, rather than independence, fosters excellence, efficiency, and greater effectiveness.
And collaboration works best when a transparency mindset is embraced.
Foundations can now tap into a torrential flow of data, harness it, analyze it, and ultimately use it to make real progress on the issues they care about most. When foundations open up and share this data with each other, and the rest of the world, the progress is outsized.