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For Funders

As donors, funders and nonprofit leaders, we all have a significant stake in the vitality and success of nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth.  Yet, despite our best efforts, the nonprofit sector is characterized by several inefficiencies:

  • Funders and nonprofits spend too much time on grant administration (c. 13% of each grant dollar[1])
  • Funders don’t cover the true cost of the administrative work we require of our grantees[2]
  • It is difficult for donors to get clear, comparable data on nonprofits which often results in misdirected resources[3]

The Boston Foundation is excited about the Giving Common because we feel that it will help to create sector efficiencies by offering solutions to these challenges:

  • More than 90% of the information all funders request from grant applicants is the same-the Giving Common is a shared resource through which nonprofits can input their information once on a platform that we can all access.  This data also transfers to Guidestar databases nationally.
  • The Giving Common allows for streamlined field research and grantmaking due diligence across 175 best practice data fields and is particularly beneficial for invitation only funders.
  • In furtherance of the Boston Foundation’s long-standing practice of supporting the sector and leveraging data to drive change, the Giving Common empowers donors, nonprofits and other funders to use data to make well informed, strategic decisions.

At the Boston Foundation we believe so strongly in making this information available to everyone interested in learning about or supporting a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts that we require grant applicants to complete a Giving Common profile.  We seek other funders to partner with us on this important initiative.  Please join us in reducing duplication of effort for nonprofit organizations, streamlining funder due diligence and creating greater sector transparency by using the Giving Common in your grantmaking and due diligence processes and promoting the site to your grantees.

For more information about leveraging the Giving Common as part of your grantmaking and research processes please contact Amanda Holm, Manager, Nonprofit Effectiveness at or 617-338-1624.


[1] Project Streamline
[2] 2008 GEO survey
[3] Hope Consulting report 2010