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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Markets for Good Grants Nearly $275,000 to Boost Digital Impact in the Social Sector

New Good Data Grants program from Stanford PACS funds research and innovation to use data safely, ethically, and effectively for social good.

Press Release – STANFORD, CAMarkets for Good (MFG), an initiative of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), has awarded nearly $275,000 in grants to seven projects spearheaded by U.S. nonprofits and universities to build a higher impact social sector founded in responsible digital data use and infrastructure.

The selected projects represent the first cohort of grantees for the new Good Data Grants program, which launched in June 2016 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program aims to advance the role of digital data and infrastructure for improving decision-making in philanthropy and the social sector writ large.

Grant awards range from $12,000 to $100,000 and will fund both new and ongoing innovation and research to be conducted in 2017.

The grantees and their funded programs include:

Standardizing Resource Data APIs (Open Referral)

Drexel University (Neville Vakharia)
Nonprofit Ecosystem Research and Visualization

Engagement Lab at Emerson College, MIT Center for Civic Media, & TNB Labs
NonProfit. A Data Literacy Toolkit for Nonprofit Organizations (

The Governance Lab/National Center for Civic Innovation
Data Labs: Applying the Model in Other Contexts

Informed Giving Through Rapid Community Surveys

Media Mobilizing Project
Bad Data In: Communities Build Best Practice Database and Toolkit on Predictive Algorithmic Risk Assessment in Pretrial Detention

SIMLab, The Engine Room, Center for Democracy & Technology, & FPF Education and Innovation Foundation
Good Data Collaborative

“We’re excited to work with this inaugural cohort to see what we can learn and achieve for the benefit of the entire social sector,” said Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS and Director of its Digital Civil Society Lab. “We’re very encouraged by the response to the program and hope to leverage its outcomes to spur additional innovation, collaboration, knowledge building, and funding. We want to see a real shift toward digital data use and infrastructure that is not only effective but safe and responsible in supporting social impact.”

Grantees will use funds to develop research, prototypes, and shared learning that can help donors and social sector organizations use digital data safely, ethically, and effectively to improve their work. All work supported by Good Data Grants will be publicly shared and geared toward improving practice in the field.

Grantees will attend the upcoming Data on Purpose / Do Good Data conference at Stanford University on February 7-8, 2017, and they will present the outcomes of their work to the Stanford PACS community in late 2017.

Markets for Good has shared an interactive data visualization of the projects and ideas proposed through the first Good Data Grants cycle, and will add to it through future cycles with the goal of spurring additional collaboration, ideation, and investment in the field.

Applications for the second cycle of a planned three-year Good Data Grants program will open in Spring 2017.

For more information, view the full announcement and the original Good Data Grants Request for Proposal via Markets for Good.

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