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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Digital Impact Opens 2017 Grants Cycle to Advance Digital Data Use for Social Good

Stanford PACS initiative funds global research and innovation to help civil society organizations use digital resources safely and effectively for higher impact.

Press Release – Stanford, CADigital Impact, an initiative of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), announced the opening of the 2017 cycle of its now global grants program to advance the use of digital data and infrastructure for social good.

Launched in 2016 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Digital Impact Grants program (formerly Good Data Grants) funds research and innovation to strengthen the safe, ethical, and effective use of digital resources in civil society. A fundamental goal of the program is to support better data-informed decision making in philanthropy (particularly individual giving) and in the social sector writ large.

Digital Impact awards grants for two types of projects: scholarly research and sector advancement. Funds are intended to support innovations and research that have broad application for improving knowledge, practices, and outcomes across the social sector. All work supported by Digital Impact Grants is to be publicly shared and openly accessible.

“Using and managing digital data is a core capacity of civil society organizations in this digital age,” said Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS and Director of its Digital Civil Society Lab. “We’re excited to open up this funding opportunity globally this year to nurture practical innovations and research that take a big-picture, sector-wide approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities that digital resources present to civil society organizations and donors.”

Digital Impact will select 5 to 15 grantees to receive funding from a pool of $200,000. The deadline for proposals is June 12, 2017 at 5 PM Pacific Time, and winners will be notified in August 2017. Funds will support new or ongoing innovation and research to be conducted over the course of the grant period from fall 2017 to fall 2018.

Digital Impact will host two webinars to discuss the grants program in detail and respond to questions from prospective applicants (click below to RSVP):

The 2017 cycle marks the second year of a planned three-year grants program. In its first year, Digital Impact (then Markets for Good) awarded nearly $275,000 to seven projects spearheaded by U.S. nonprofits and universities.

Digital Impact has shared an interactive data visualization of the projects and ideas proposed through its first grants cycle, and will add to it through this and future cycles with the goal of spurring additional collaboration, ideation, and investment in the field.

Grantees will be invited to a conference at Stanford in February 2018 and will present the outcomes of their work to the Digital Impact community in the fall of 2018.

To learn more about this grant opportunity, view the full Request for Proposal.

For more information about Digital Impact, visit

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