Monitor Institute and CEP Join Forces to Scale Data Visualization Tool

CEP is extremely pleased about our new partnership with the Monitor Institute, announced today. Read the press release below.

Monitor Institute and the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) announce a joint venture to bring a new data visualization tool, created with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, to the field of philanthropy.

Given the scale and complexity of the challenges foundations face, funders increasingly need to look beyond their organizations to other stakeholders — both in philanthropy and across sectors—to mobilize sufficient resources and efforts to move the needle on pressing social problems. Yet working together remains a challenge; simply knowing what other funders are supporting can require time-consuming research, meetings, and calls.

In response to the lack of easily accessible and comprehensible data about the strategies different funders are pursuing, the Monitor Institute and CEP are partnering to scale Monitor Institute’s Strategy Landscape™.

The Strategy Landscape™ is an online interactive visualization tool, developed by Monitor Institute with support from the Rockefeller Foundation as part of their initiative to accelerate innovative practices in the social sector. After initial pilots using the Rockefeller Foundation’s own strategies, the tool was piloted with a group of 10 climate change funders. The tool allows users to easily see and understand grantmaking strategies and patterns within and across institutions so they can make better decisions in pursuit of their goals.

“It has the potential to be a real game-changer for the field,” explains John Branam, director of programs at Grantmakers for Education, which is exploring ways to use the tool to map education funding flows. By sharing data through the tool, funders can understand gaps, opportunities, and possibilities for connection, coordination, and collaboration — helping inform their decision making and increase their effectiveness.

“The Strategy Landscape™ can help foundations and donors make individual strategic choices with a clearer understanding of what is happening around them, and can provide a shared picture of the collective funding environment that allows groups of funders to strategize and work better together,” said Barbara Kibbe, vice president for client services at the Monitor Institute. “We are delighted that the Center for Effective Philanthropy will be our partner in delivering the Strategy Landscape™ to the field. They have the skills and commitment needed. And they have a decade of experience in building large comparative datasets on foundation practices.”

Monitor Institute and CEP will work together over the coming months to collaborate with groups of funders that have common goals and seek to share data and increase the transparency of their grantmaking strategies. Those funders will then be able to access that data in ways that will allow them to refine and improve their approaches in a highly leveraged way.

“We are thrilled to work with the Monitor Institute to help scale the Strategy Landscape™,” said CEP President Phil Buchanan. “Too often, we see foundation executives making decisions in the dark, without access to relevant data about what other funders are doing, and why.”

Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, noted that “the Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to have supported the development of the Strategy Landscape™. We are delighted now to see Monitor Institute and the Center for Effective Philanthropy working in partnership to make this tool broadly available.”

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