How can you share grants data responsibly?

We are committed to being responsible stewards of the data funders share with us and supporting funders to balance data transparency and security in sensitive contexts. We recognize that in some cases it may not be possible for foundations to share the full details about their grants, and that circumstances can change, making grants data that was once safe to share more sensitive.

We ask funders to keep the following things in mind when sharing grants data:

  • Any grant details that should not be made public should not be shared with us.
  • Sensitive data should be anonymized or removed before it is shared with us.
  • The degree to which data is anonymized or excluded should reflect the degree or nature of the risks associated with sharing that data.

What are the options for sharing sensitive grants data?
If an organization or its staff could be put at risk were details of a grant to be made public, funders may opt to anonymize aspects of that grant or, if necessary, exclude it entirely from what they share with us. There are a range of options:

    Recipient Name: Funders can list recipients as "Anonymous Recipient."
    Recipient Location: Funders can exclude information about the recipient’s location to different degrees, ranging from just the street address, to the city, state, or country, to providing only the region.
    Descriptive Text: Funders can keep grant titles and descriptions general or omit them.
    Grantmaker Name: If there are potential risks to the grantmaker, funders can ask that we anonymize their name in our records and list them as “Anonymous Funder.”

If these anonymization or exclusion options are not enough, funders can also submit their data as an aggregate. For instance, they can provide a total amount funded to a particular geographical region for a specific human rights issue and/or population and we’ll process the data as one grant to an anonymized recipient in that region.

Where will the data appear?
By sharing your grants data through the Advancing Human Rights initiative, you are helping power several products and resources that serve the social sector. In addition to the human rights grants database and mapping platform, (freely accessible to funders sharing data for the project), your grants data will be accessible to users of  Foundation Directory Online (FDO), Foundation Maps, issue- or location-specific “Foundation Landscapes,” reports, online dashboards of philanthropic giving in a region, and more.

In short, it should be assumed that any data sent to us will be published in Candid platforms. Please do not share grants information with us that may not be made public.

How can foundations modify grants data that they have previously shared?
In rare cases – such as those where security risks arise – it may be necessary to delete or modify a grant or set of grants from our database and products. If deleted, the grants information would no longer be available in Candid databases and therefore could not be included in our analyses of human rights funding. In these cases, we will not be able to re-add the grants data if the security risk no longer poses a threat. A less permanent solution to address security concerns is to anonymize grants data.

To request that grants be anonymized or removed from Candid databases, please contact Rachel Thomas (rthomas@hrfn.org) at HRFN and Matthew Ross (matthew.ross@candid.org) at Candid, copying both.

How long will it take before the changes appear?
If anonymization is requested, we may suppress grants temporarily in our products (i.e., the human rights grants database and mapping platform, Foundation Directory Online, etc.) while we work to modify the data to reflect the chosen level of anonymity. Once we’ve landed on a course of action, it will take up to two weeks before these modifications are reflected in products.

If deletion is requested, data will be suppressed in all of our products within one to two weeks and deleted completely from our databases within one month.