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Strategic decisions are only as good as the research that goes into making them. Candid's researchers analyze and interpret the most current philanthropic data so you can tap into it. Hundreds of full-text reports published over decades are available to download here in our frequently updated open access repository.

Also available: a collection of reports that use Candid data. Access the Candid data in the field library.

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Funding to bridge the digital divide: U.S. philanthropic giving to digital equity causes

September 7, 2022

Almost one in two people on the planet still don't have access to the internet. 120 millionAmericans still live without broadband. As the pandemic moved many of life's essential services online, the steep human costs of this digital divide came into sharp focus.With governments and economies rapidly digitizing, achieving digital equity — a state in which all individuals have the digital access, tools, and skills they need to operate in our digitizing society — is essential for civil society to deliver programs and achieve missions. Ensuring everyone has fast, reliable, affordable internet access is fundamental to progress on the causes we care most about — from education and economic development, to health and civic participation — within the communities we most care about.With digitalization so profoundly impacting the issues funders invest in, philanthropy must build an understanding of how the digital divide impacts its work and develop strategies to tackle it. To that end, this brief seeks to understand the extent to which philanthropy has invested in digital equity. As you'll see, the results suggest that the volume of grants awarded up to 2020 falls far short of what is needed. There is a huge opportunity for philanthropy to get involved in the digital equity space and make a significant impact. 

Foundation Maps for Media Funding

June 28, 2016

This report offers an overview of Foundation Maps for Media Funding, a free, interactive mapping and research tool that shows the full scope of philanthropically-funded media projects worldwide since 2009. Developed by Foundation Center and available on the Media Impact Funders' website, this new tool enables users to see, understand, and dig deep into the numbers, networks, and trends surrounding media and philanthropy.

Special topic trends

Grey Matter(s): Embracing the Publisher Within

June 30, 2015

Most foundations don't think of themselves as publishers, yet many of them act as such -- making information available by funding research and publications, or by authoring their own. And failing to think of these activities as publishing efforts has serious consequences for shared learning in the social sector. The shift toward knowledge-sharing strategies and approaches that embrace new search technologies, the logic of open access and open source, and the realities of the Internet as a largely decentralized and dynamic selfpublishing space offers the possibility of coordinating publishing efforts, and possibly agreeing to the use of shared practices that can facilitate shared learning while acknowledging the independence of individual organizations. While there are some common obstacles preventing foundations from moving toward shared systems and practices, there are also a number of publishing practices being widely adopted that together address most of those obstacles and represent a set of shared practices around which the social sector might coalesce and coordinate.

Special topic trends

Sustain Arts/SE Michigan: A Portrait of the Cultural Ecosystem

October 26, 2014

This report discusses the potential use of data in arts organizations for strategic purposes. Data currently available on the cultural sector can lead to useful insights about the increasing proliferation of small arts organizations; the almost monolithic focus of private foundations on supporting a highly select group of large, well-established arts organizations; and the fact that established arts organizations are poorly positioned to satisfy emerging consumer preferences for cultural experiences. Such insights should provoke frank discussion and galvanize field leaders to advocate appropriate actions, both in response to existing disconnects and proactively, in anticipation of coming change. The data that are now available to the field are not perfect. In fact, that's part of the story that needs to be told about the cultural sector. Systematic data collection on artists, cultural organizations, and audiences receives only a token amount of government funding. Instead, it is left largely up to private organizations to document trends in both the nonprofit and for-profit cultural arenas. This leads to multiple non-overlapping data collection strategies, making it difficult to construct a coherent picture of the field. There are gaping holes in the puzzle, and the tales we tell with existing data must be told with caution.

Regional trends; Special topic trends

Harnessing Collaborative Technologies: Helping Funders Work Together Better

November 5, 2013

This report was produced through a joint research project of the Monitor Institute and the Foundation Center. The research included an extensive literature review on collaboration in philanthropy, detailed analysis of trends from a recent Foundation Center survey of the largest U.S. foundations, interviews with 37 leading philanthropy professionals and technology experts, and a review of over 170 online tools.The report is a story about how new tools are changing the way funders collaborate. It includes three primary sections: an introduction to emerging technologies and the changing context for philanthropic collaboration; an overview of collaborative needs and tools; and recommendations for improving the collaborative technology landscapeA "Key Findings" executive summary serves as a companion piece to this full report.

Special topic trends

Key Findings From Harnessing Collaborative Technologies

November 5, 2013

This report was produced through a joint research project of the Monitor Institute and the Foundation Center. The research included an extensive literature review on collaboration in philanthropy, detailed analysis of trends from a recent Foundation Center survey of the largest U.S. foundations, interviews with 37 leading philanthropy professionals and technology experts, and a review of over 170 online tools.The report is a story about how new tools are changing the way funders collaborate. It includes three primary sections: an introduction to emerging technologies and the changing context for philanthropic collaboration; an overview of collaborative needs and tools; and recommendations for improving the collaborative technology landscape.This key findings document outlines key themes from this research and serves as a companion piece to the full report.

Foundation Yearbook, 2011 edition (Highlights)

December 15, 2011

Foundation Yearbook, 2011 Edition, provides an overview of the state of foundation giving in the current year and beyond, comparisons of foundation activities by foundation size, and breakdowns of foundation resources by geographic location and grantmaker type. Foundation Yearbook is part of the Foundations Today Series of annual research reports on foundation growth and trends in foundation giving. The edition's key findings include:Overall foundation giving was nearly unchanged from 2009 at $45.7 billion.Foundation assets rose by 4.7 percent to an estimated $618.1 billion in 2010.Foundation giving in 2011 is expected to remain flat.

National trends

Are Foundation Leaders Using Social Media?

September 16, 2010

All it takes is a quick visit to Glasspockets.org to see just how fast and how far foundations have come in terms of using social media. As of August 2010, the web site had documented the Web 2.0 activities of more than 650 foundations, including 271 that are active on Facebook, 190 on Twitter, 102 with blogs, and 93 on YouTube. While such statistics provide clear evidence that foundations are actively using social media, just how engaged are the leaders of foundations themselves with these new communications tools? In July 2010, the Foundation Center surveyed members of its Grantmaker Leadership Panel in order to find out. Completed surveys were received from 73 of 228 current Panel members, for a response rate of 32 percent.

Special topic trends