Working transparently is a challenge for the majority of foundations. Despite the ways in which the Internet has opened up many industries, much of the field of philanthropy is sitting out the digital revolution. To help philanthropy tackle the transparency challenge, this infographic shines the spotlight on some sterling examples that may serve as inspiration to others. To give you a leg up with internal conversations we've even created a PDF version for you to share with colleagues.

The Foundation Transparency Challenge

What We Know about the Field as a Whole

Only 10%

of foundations use a website to communicate the story of their work.

1out of
every
100

foundations share recent grants data online.

1out of
every
1,000

foundations share the knowledge they are funding or producing online.

Based on Foundation Center's tracking of all U.S. independent, corporate, community, and grantmaking operating foundations.

Glasspockets Helps Foundations Tackle the Transparency Challenge

A growing number of foundations are taking and publicly sharing the results of their Glasspockets' transparency self-assessments. The percentages below reflect transparency trends among participating foundations mapped against the benefits to philanthropy, demonstrating the field's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working more openly.

Why and How Foundations Are Choosing Transparency

Transparency Establishes Credibility & Increases Public Trust

Where Foundations Are

GOING STRONG

Mission Statement

Key Staff Bios

Board Info

Form 990

Audited Financials

Conflict of Interest Policies

Whistleblower Procedures

 

 

Use your website to share what you do, who is in charge, and how you are doing it.

Where Foundations Encounter

PAIN POINTS

Executive Compensation Process

Committee Charters

Diversity & Values/Policies

Investment Policies

Bylaws

I know that transparency is not a word many use to describe foundations. For most people, the work of philanthropy is a mystery. There is often confusion and uncertainty about how foundations work and what they fund. They are often disconnected and isolated from the communities they serve. Slowly, this may be changing.

Transparency Improves Grantee Relationships

Where Foundations Are

GOING STRONG

Grantmaking Priorities

Grantmaking Process

Transparency helps organizations understand at a much deeper level what a foundation does, why it does it, and who it funds; and that helps people identify whether it's a foundation they want to engage with.

 

 

Use your website to establish important grantee/grantmaker ground rules and as a means to invite and share feedback.

Where Foundations Encounter

PAIN POINTS

Grantee Surveys

Transparency makes our grantees more at ease because they understand better where we come from. They have a better understanding of our culture as a foundation, and what drives us in terms of our programmatic thinking.

Transparency Lessens Redundancy & Increases Collaboration

Where Foundations Are

GOING STRONG

Contact Information

Key Staff List

Searchable Grants Database

 

 

Use your website to make it easy for peers and partners to find you, and to understand and build on your body of work.

Where Foundations Encounter

PAIN POINTS

Open Licensing Policies

Transparency is an essential part of increasing effective collaboration among foundations. We are better stewards of our charitable resources if we share what we learn - our successes as well as our failures - and are open to learning from each other.

Transparency Builds a Community of Shared Learning

Where Foundations Are

GOING STRONG

In this case, we have all pain and much to gain. Fewer than half of all participating foundations use their websites as a vehicle to share knowledge about what they are learning from their work.

 

 

Use your website to share strategies, lessons learned about successes and failures, and how you are measuring your progress.

Where Foundations Encounter

PAIN POINTS

Strategic Plan

Assessment of Overall Foundation Performance

Foundation Center Is Here to Help

Foundation Websites

Don't have a website? Don't let that stop you! Design and host your Foundation's website the easy way with Foundation Center's Foundation Website service.

eReporting

Sharing your grants data with us electronically helps the public understand your work. We make it easy with the Reporting Commitment and eReporting.

IssueLab

Help build the collective knowledge of the social sector by sharing your knowledge from reports, evaluations, and lessons learned in IssueLab's open collections.

Who Has Glass Pockets?

Assess

Take and share our transparency self-assessment today and learn how to open up your work.

Compare

Use Transparency Trends to get a free customized report that compares your site to others.

Impact

Foundation leaders weigh in on how Glasspockets has inspired their institutions to greater openness.