360Giving has launched a competition with cash prizes of up to £6,000 to encourage people to use open data about charities to help identify trends or funding gaps.
People with an interest in design, analytics or data journalism are being encouraged to use 360Giving’s grant data to create original data visualisations. The ‘Digging the Data’ Visualisation Challenge has a total prize fund of £20,000.
360Giving was founded in 2015 by the philanthropist Fran Perrin after she discovered she couldn’t easily find the information she needed to inform her own grantmaking decisions. The online data platform is free for anyone to use and provides information on over 280,000 grants made to more than 170,000 recipients by funders such as the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief and the Wellcome Trust.
Perrin said: “The full potential of any dataset can only be unlocked when the data is put into meaningful context. That’s the goal of this challenge. By opening up our wealth of grantmaking data to some of the world’s most inquisitive and creative minds, we hope that we will help funders to maximise their impact on the many great charitable causes they support.”
360Giving’s community has suggested two areas that would be helpful:
1. Thematic trends: Who has funded what over the years?
2. User-led organisations: Who funds them, in what thematic area, how much funding do they receive and what are their organisational structures?
Entries will be judged by a panel of experts led by co-founder Will Perrin, who is a trustee of 360Giving and the Good Things Foundation, and founder of community journalism startup Talk About Local. The panel will consider how well applicants answer the two questions, how innovative their visualisations are, and their ability to incorporate aesthetics and creativity.
Prizes of between £2,000 and £6,000 will be awarded to the top three entries. In the spirit of open collaboration, there will also be a public vote to choose the recipient of the ‘people’s choice’ award, and further cash prizes are on offer for eye-catching entries that don’t make the judges’ top three.
Submissions must be made to the dedicated Challenge website by 15 July: http://challenge.threesixtygiving.org/. Winners will be announced by mid September 2018.