Each year, we collect data from thousands of grants awarded by hundreds of peace and security funders. We do this for two primary reasons: to illuminate the field of peace and security grantmaking, and to provide a nuanced understanding of the issues and strategies peace and security funders support. In 2016—the latest year complete data is available—326 foundations awarded 2,605 grants, totaling $328 million in support of a more peaceful world.
We seek to continuously improve the quality and, thus, the utility of the data in the Peace and Security Funding Index. We believe that more detailed and timely data opens the door for greater transparency in the field and, by extension, facilitates more responsive, effective grantmaking.
We use grants data to tell the story of who gets funded and where the money is going. Unfortunately, the story we are able to tell is constrained by the timeliness of the data. We are limited to telling a story that is already three years old due to the delay in foundations submitting their data. This year, we are calling on foundations to submit their list of 2018 grants by the end of June 2019.
Beyond allowing for a more current analysis of the funding landscape, timely data allows foundations to easily identify potential allies and partners, and review their grantmaking and partnerships within the context of a changing field, not just as individual grantmakers. How much more impactful could this field be if we had a more expansive, detailed, and real-time view of who and what is funded?
Timely data also gives grantseekers greater insight into where foundations’ current priorities lie. This helps grantees more easily identify foundations with similar interests, allowing them to narrow their target list and, therefore, spend less time fundraising and more time doing the important work that foundations support them to do. Greater transparency of the funding landscape can pave the way for more open, honest, and equitable relationships between funders and their grantees.
Beyond contributing to a more transparent field, we seek more detailed and timely data so that we can move the conversation forward—to get beyond simply who and what is funded, and start looking at what it all means. For example, what issues and regions are underfunded and why?
Peace and security funders are often the gatekeepers to determining which issues and communities are prioritized. With this power comes great responsibility to engage in the work in a way that centers the needs and priorities of grantees, partners, and the communities they serve. More detailed and timely data would enable us to uncover inequities in peace and security grantmaking—who is getting funded, who isn’t, and why—so that we might be able to begin to rectify them.
The Index currently maps the field of peace and security funding; but with more detailed and timely data, it has the potential to transform this field. We encourage foundations to submit the previous years’ grants data by June 30 of each year through Candid’s (formerly Foundation Center and Guidestar) eReporting program.
We look forward to working with the peace and security funding community to increase the timeliness of data submissions and contribute to more responsive, effective, and equitable grantmaking.
Rachel LaForgia and Genevieve Boutilier,
Peace and Security Funders Group
The authors would like to thank the PSFG members who submitted their data and contributed spotlights on their grantmaking. We also thank Lauren Bradford and Inga Ingulfsen of Candid (formerly Foundation Center and GuideStar) and Alexandra Toma of PSFG for their support on this project.
About the Peace and Security Funders Group
The Peace and Security Funders Group (PSFG) is a network of peace and security funders committed to promoting international peace and security. PSFG is dedicated to enhancing the effectiveness of philanthropy that’s focused on peace and security issues. To this end, PSFG facilitates the exchange of information and ideas; fosters collaboration; and provides educational opportunities for its members. PSFG also encourages new funders to join the field. In addition, PSFG seeks to catalyze a shift in its membership to embrace a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable approach to peace and security funding; and to build a case for why diversity, equity, and inclusion are integral to increased effectiveness of peace and security grantmaking. Learn more at www.peaceandsecurity.org.
Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces in 2019 to become Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Find out more at www.candid.org.