June 21, 2018
To recognize foundations that display a strong commitment to open knowledge sharing and encourage other funders to be more transparent, Foundation Center has launched its inaugural #OpenForGood Award.
In 2017, the center created an #OpenForGood campaign to encourage foundations to openly share what they've learned and help us all get collectively smarter together. Now we're launching the award as a way to bring visibility to foundations who share their challenges, successes, and failures openly with the aim of strengthening how the sector thinks and acts on the knowledge it generates. The winning foundations will demonstrate an active commitment to open knowledge and share their evaluations through IssueLab, an open knowledge repository that is free, searchable, and accessible to all. We're looking for the best examples of smart, creative, and strategic knowledge sharing in the field, across all geographies and issue areas.
What's In It For You?
Winners will receive a custom Knowledge Center for their foundation or a grantee, as well as promotional support in the form of social media bandwidth and space in our newsletters. What is a Knowledge Center and why would you want one? It's a service of IssueLab that provides organizations with a simple way to manage and share knowledge on their own websites. With a customized Knowledge Center, you can showcase your insights, promote the activities of your grantees, and feature learnings from members of your various networks. All documents uploaded to an IssueLab Knowledge Center are also made searchable and discoverable via systems such as WorldCat, which serves more than two thousand libraries worldwide, ensuring that your knowledge can be found by researchers around the world.
Why Choose Openness?
The #OpenForGood award is focused on inspiring foundations to use existing and emerging technologies to collectively improve the functioning of the philanthropic sector. We live in a time when most people expect to be able to access the information they need on a tablet, laptop, or mobile phone with just a swipe or click. And yet, only 13 percent of foundations have websites, while even fewer share their reports publicly — a sign (if ever there was) that the field has a long way to go before it can say it embraces a culture of shared learning. With the #OpenForGood award, we hope to nudge the field's knowledge management practices in the right direction. Rather than reinvent the wheel, the award and the #OpenForGood campaign are designed to encourage the field to prioritize collective learning and share that learning with a global audience so that people around the world can build on your work and accelerate the change we all want to see.
- Must be willing to share your collection of published evaluations publicly through IssueLab
- Must demonstrate active commitment to open knowledge
- Preference will be given to foundations that integrate creativity, field leadership, openness, and community insight into their knowledge-sharing work
- Bonus points for use of other open-knowledge elements such as open licensing, digital object identifiers (DOIs), or institutional repositories
Anyone is welcome to nominate a foundation that exemplifies an "open" approach to knowledge sharing. (Self-nominations are also welcome.) Nominations will be accepted through September 30, 2018.
Winners will be selected through a review process and notified in January, and the award itself will be presented at next year’s Grantmakers for Effective Organizations conference. If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
Sarina Dayal is a knowledge services associate at Foundation Center.