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“We’re number one!” — Getting the word out about Canada’s great non-profit data

It’s a little-known fact that Canada is the leader in the quantity and quality of the data about its non-profit sector. We’re trying to change that. A blog entry we wrote for the federal government open data website just made it online.

In English: Canada – a World Leader in Non-profit Data

En français: Le Canada : chef de file mondial en gestion des données sur le secteur sans but lucratif

We are very happy to have the opportunity to help to get the word out about this tremendous advantage we have compared to other countries. Onwards and upwards!

These developments have made Canada the clear leader in the quantity and quality of information available about its non-profit sector. Considering the size and importance of the non-profit sector, and growing recognition of the importance of using data to drive innovation questions, this is a tremendous accomplishment. It presents Canadians with substantial opportunities.

[snip]

As Canadians, we need to capitalize on the lead we have in this area. We should be developing our expertise in using data domestically to build a smarter social sector and we should export that expertise internationally—as policy-makers, as researchers, as civil society organizations, and as businesses.

Evolution and stewardship of Canada’s non-profit data – the T3010 Users Research Day

[This article is cross-posted on Ajah’s principal blog and PoweredbyData.]

You already know that we get pretty excited about non-profit data. The motherload of Canadian non-profit data is the T3010 form, the tax form that all charities have to fill in and is subsequently made available by the Canada Revenue Agency. It contains some great financial, HR data, and governance data as well as some other information about the charity’s activities. That’s why we are founding members of the T3010 group, initiated by Peter Elson and Francois Brouard from Mount Royal University and Carleton University, respectively.

The T3010 DATA USERS RESEARCH GROUP is a group of interested individuals who want to share information about the T3010 data. It is operated on a voluntary basis. Since 2011, members of the T3010 Data Users Research Group have regular discussion by teleconference on different issues and interests associated with the use of T3010 data. The interests of the members of the T3010 data users group are wide ranging in terms of applicability, but are also focused on a) having access to a common data set that would provide a basis for comparative research; b) identifying the incidence of errors and oversights which could be addressed, etiher by CRA or researchers; c) identifying gaps in T3010 data which prevents research from taking place; and d) engaging in mutual and collaborative research.

On May 26th, there was a meeting between the group and the Charities Directorate of the CRA at Carleton. It concerned the further evolution of the form, as well as some discussion of the Non-Profit Risk Identification project, currently being managed by the Treasury Department. We were very happy to sponsor the event. There was a healthy discussion on the type of data collected and the future of the form. Ajah’s main input was 1) that this data was very useful for operations of the non-profit sector, 2) that the principal use of this data in the future will be by applications, not people, and 3) that the availability of this data is unique in the world and that our friends to the south are especially jealous, as they fight for access to their 990 form data.

T3010UsersResearchDay2014

Fundtracker Pro: by the numbers

We say that Fundtracker Pro has more funders, more gifts, more names.  Here’s the proof:

  • Over 1.5 million gifts & grants worth $57 billion
  • Profiles of every Canadian foundation (over 10,000) – including the 70% of those that do not maintain a web presence
    • Details on the over 1,800 foundations that donated $100,000 or more in a single gift in 2012
  • Over 1,000 corporate funders  & over 100,000 gifts made by corporations
    • Over 7,300 corporate gifts made in 2012
  • Over 770 federal and provincial government granting programs for charities
    • Over 150,000 previously awarded government grants

 

By |December 20th, 2013|Fundtracker News|0 Comments|

Team Ajah’s favorites features

There are several former fundraisers working behind the scenes at Ajah, so when they got their first glimpse of the new Pro in late 2013, they were pretty excited.   We asked them to pick two favorite features in new Pro – and their answers were unanimous!

  • Gifts map: this new feature is incorporated within corporate and foundation profiles.  Let’s face it, it can be difficult to figure out if a funder is active in your province or town if you’re reviewing a profile that contains hundreds or thousands of previous gifts.  Funders may also say they grant province-wide, but in reality, focus their giving in one city.  The reverse is also true! By clicking on Fundtracker Pro’s new gift map, you can quickly see the geographic areas a funder is most active in – and also see which charities in each city received gifts.   It’s a quick and easy way to identify trends for each funder and to see how active they are in your region;

    new pro_map_detail

    click to enlarge map detail

 

  • Gifts search: Curious about which funders are active in your town or sector?  Or planning a capital campaign? Found under the “Gifts” tab, the gift search feature is a reverse search feature.  It enables you to view all gifts – regardless of the funders stated preferences – and then sort by a variety of filters, including size and date.  This is an easy way to identify the funders of charities in your town are, or who the largest funders in your sector are.  The Gifts Search feature is also a great way to identify funders who are stepping outside of their funding preferences as it simply tracks gifts made, without tracking the preferences.

Do you have a favorite feature in Fundtracker Pro?  Tell us about it via twitter @team_ajah or email us at info@ajah.ca !

By |December 20th, 2013|Fundtracker News|0 Comments|

Using Fundtracker Pro’s competitive analysis tools to your advantage

It’s becoming more difficult to identify new prospects in today’s competitive funding environment.  Larger corporate funders are creating corporate social responsibility policies that serve their corporate identity, while foundations (many of whom rely on endowments) are feeling the economic pinch.   To make it a bit more difficult, corporations and foundations will sometimes fund outside their stated mandates or decide to limit their giving to very specific causes within a much larger sector.

An easy way to identify new prospects for your organization is to take advantage of Fundtracker Pro’s unique competitive analysis tools, which helps you quickly view all funders of charities similar to yours.

msFundtracker Pro gives you two methods to do this: by either typing all or part of a charity’s name in the organization name search (also known as the omni search) or, if you would prefer to cast a broad search for charities, click on the ‘charities’ tab in Fundtracker Pro.   You can then search for charities based on sector/subsector, provinces or cities/towns and then filter your results by additional criteria like “has a corporate funder”.

Pro includes profiles of every Canadian charity – and their funders.  So when you look at a charity’s funders – corporate, foundation and the government grants they have received, it’s a shortcut to identifying funders that will support your organization.  After all, if they are supporting an organization with a mission and goals similar to yours, it’s a pretty good sign that they might be interested in supporting your charity.

The competitive analysis also goes beyond just gifts, including a breakdown of the types of fundraising activities the charity is engaged in and a graph showing you exactly how the organization is funded. Click to download a sample profile.

By |December 20th, 2013|Fundtracker News|0 Comments|

Why all the fuss about corporate funding profiles?

Fundtracker and Fundtracker Pro already had the most information available on corporate funders – something our clients really appreciated.  So when we starting thinking about redesigning Fundtracker Pro, we decided to answer the call from our clients to provide more information on corporate funding opportunities. While we use automated processes to ensure that foundation and charity profiles are updated regularly, our corporate profiles are created and maintained by our in-house research team, which was expanded to five people this year.   They are responsible for creating and updating the 1,165 corporate profiles our users now have access to.

bombardier
click to enlarge

Relying on annual reports, CSR statements, corporate websites, previous donations to charities and a dash of common sense, our researchers created profiles for each of these corporations that are precisely detailed.  It’s not enough to just share a list of previous donations – our researchers have gone beyond the numbers to create profiles that help you understand exactly who the funder is and what drives their giving decisions.   This extra attention to our corporate funding profiles helps you determine their viability as a prospect for your organization quickly. The corporate gifts found in Pro currently number over 100,000 and continue to grow.  Over 80% of those gifts are linked to the profile of the recipient charity.  Why do we do that?  Quickly accessing the profile of a recipient charity allows you to build a deeper understanding of exactly what the funder supports – and helps you make an informed decision about each prospective funder. We plan on continuing to add to the corporate information in Pro, so keep an eye out for future blog posts or newsletters for updates.

By |December 20th, 2013|Fundtracker News|0 Comments|

Introducing new Fundtracker Pro!

We’ve hinted that we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes and now we can finally share the news: an all new Fundtracker Pro has been launched!

Completely redesigned, Fundtracker Pro now includes giving profiles of over 1,000 Canadian corporations – and over 100,000 corporate gifts, as well as profiles of every Canadian foundation.  We’ve also got you covered on the competitive information side as well, with detailed profiles of every Canadian charity – and their funders.

Want to learn more?  Visit the features page on our new website or take a minute to watch this short video!   

If you’re a current Fundtracker or Fundtracker Pro client, you should have received an email explaining how the changes affect you directly.  If you haven’t received an email or want more information, contact us directly at info@ajah.ca.  You can also call us at 1-888-406-2524 to speak to the Regional Account Manager in your area.

If you’re not a Fundtracker Pro client, what are you waiting for?  Contact us at info@ajah.ca and we’ll show you how easy it is to raise more money in less time with Fundtracker Pro!

 

Ajah co-presenting Open Data for International Development

We’ve been a little silent on the blog lately because we’re just putting the finishing touches on a big announcement in regards to Fundtracker.  We’ve been busy behind the scenes though on several fronts, including in our work in the open data community and aid transparency.

Ajah’s CEO Michael Lenczner is a big fan of open data.  He’s even been invited to present at several Open Data conferences across the world in the last year.  So we’re happy to tell you a bit about this week’s Open Data for International Development meetup in Montreal that we’re co-presenting with Groupsia and Open North.

Joni Hillman from Development Initiatives in the UK will be in Montreal this coming Friday evening to talk about the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) as well as the upcoming international IATI meeting to be held in Montreal.   Also in attendance will be Yohanna Loucheur from Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), who will discuss Aid Transparency in Canada.

The event is Friday, December 13th from 6pm to 8pm at Station C in Montreal.  Click here for information or to register.

Ajah featured in the Globe & Mail

Ajah’s founders were interviewed for the Small Business Challenge series in the Globe and Mail.  Read the article to find out a bit more about how we gather data to support the prospect research efforts of Canadian fundraisers.

 

Opportunity Watch: Funding Ontario

Last week, we explored funding opportunities for charities located in the GTA.  This week, we’re sharing funding opportunities for the charities located elsewhere in the province.   Not in Ontario?  Not a problem?  Skip down to the end of the blog for our phone number to schedule a demo for your charity!

Each week, we use Fundtracker’s custom filters to identify the opportunities we share with you.  In this week’s search, we looked for funders in Ontario and applied the filter that allowed us to exclude out-of-province funders.  This resulted in the profiles of almost 3,600 foundation and corporate funders!   If that’s too many choices to weed through, Fundtracker lets you apply more than 10 filters to your search, to help you really narrow down the right funders for your organization.

The Catholic Community Foundation of Waterloo Region supports programs and projects in that region with a particular focus on Catholic education. Approximately 37% of the funds they have disbursed over the last five years have supported community organizations in the region – over $2 million since their inception. Grant applications are reviewed twice annually, in spring and fall, and approximately $55,000 is dispersed in each funding cycle.   Some of their previous recipients include the Hospice of Waterloo, the CNIB and KidsLink.  Visit their website for more information on applying for a grant, as well as an application form.

Thunder Bay Hydro is a locally-owned utility who will consider sponsorship or donation requests from charities that operate within the city limits of Thunder Bay.  Their area of focus includes safety, the environment, energy-related education, and community-based initiatives that benefit local people and improve the quality of life for residents. Requests are considered quarterly and must be received before the end of the previous quarter to be considered.  Their website spells out exactly what should be included in your request and includes a link for the application form.

Next, we decided to create a very specific search.  We asked Fundtracker to identify foundations who fund the education (general) sector, with a target population of children/youth, the funding region had to include Ottawa and we excluded non-grant-making foundations and those located out of province.  Phew!  The Maurice Price Foundation was one of the interesting funders that resulted from that search.  The Foundation concentrates on helping young people reach their full educational potential and its mandate is education in the broadest sense, from preparing disadvantaged preschool children to enter the educational system, to enhancing the University experience in selected programs.   Applications are accepted year-round and you can download the application guidelines.  While they do give some small grants nationally and in other provinces, we can see from their Fundtracker granting history that the majority of their grants have supported charities in Ontario.

That’s it for this week, folks.  If you’re in Ontario – or anywhere else in the country – why not give us a call at 1-888-406-2524 or email us at info@ajah.ca to book a free demo of Fundtracker?  We’ll show you how easy it is to create a targeted prospect list for your charity using our advanced filters.