If you’ve been waiting for an invitation to the data conversation, this is it. Whether you’re a nonprofit, funder, or a consortium of both, fundamental questions are surfacing about social sector data that merit your attention. Last month, at the TAG2022 conference for global philanthropy tech in San Antonio, we featured a panel on the future of social sector data that only scratched the surface of core issues such as:

  • Is social sector data a type of public good?
  • How does the social sector fund (or charge for) data infrastructure as a public good? 
  • What is an appropriate role for private enterprise in this infrastructure?
  • How do we hold all participants in the data ecosystem accountable?

The data ecosystem for the social sector is evolving rapidly and becoming an increasingly crowded space. In addition to Candid, recent entrants include the Philanthropic Data Commons, Impala, and the GivingTuesday Data Commons. Superficially, this competition may be perceived as detrimental and yet, I believe we’re in an exceedingly generative period. Now is the time to ask incisive questions about access and accountability of any organization seeking your data or investment. Whether you’re a nonprofit, a funder, or a consortium, you have more power than you might think in building our data future together.

I invite you to start by watching the panel session from TAG2022. In this 40-minute conversation, you’ll find an overview of the current data ecosystem and hear from the leaders of Candid, Impala, the Philanthropy Data Commons, and GivingTuesday, as they describe their efforts and initiatives.

Read the full article about predictions about the social sector by Chantal Forster, Shahar Brukner, Ann Mei Chang, Elizabeth Kane, and Woodrow Rosenbaum at Candid.