Media Release

Our Community seeks applications for data transformation reference group

Data is reshaping our world. New tools allow us to collect, distil, understand and act on data like never before, accelerating the pace of change.

We want to make sure the Australian social sector can grasp the possibilities presented by these new tools. We see big opportunities to use evidence to inform smarter and more effective programs, and to remove systemic barriers that prevent progress.

That's why Our Community is taking a second look at the technology platforms we oversee - GiveNow, SmartyGrants, the Funding Centre, Good Jobs, and the Institute of Community Directors Australia. We want to understand more about the data flowing through those platforms so we can mobilise it to create and inspire positive social change.

In April 2016, we released a taxonomy (CLASSIE - Classification of Social Sector Initiatives and Entities) to underpin our efforts to join the dots from one platform to the next - allowing the classification of social projects on a mass scale for the first time in Australian history.

We are now convening a reference group comprising representatives of not-for-profits, government agencies, philanthropic and corporate convenors and funders, together with Australia's leading ethicist, to guide the shift into the data era.

The reference group will provide advice on data security, data privacy and data use principles that are right for the sector, and for the times.

Expressions of interest for joining the Our Community data transition reference group are welcomed and can be made by emailing Our Community's Group Managing Director, Denis Moriarty, at denism@ourcommunity.com.au. Please provide your name, organisation (current and past, as relevant), and your interest area.

Need to know:

  • Our aim is to provide useful data analytics tools (e.g. dashboards) for grantmakers and social sector organisations and, where we have permission to do so, extract high-level insights from the data that is collected to better serve the social sector in Australia
  • CLASSIE creates consistency across our platforms - without consistency, global insights are hard (if not impossible) to extract
  • Organisations may choose to use the taxonomy and associated tools (e.g. standard fields), but they are under absolutely no obligation to do so - only use them if they are useful
  • Organisations may also opt out of any high-level data-analysis or data-sharing activities
  • Our current terms of use and privacy policies are under review; nothing will change in the short-term (and all platform users will be notified of changes well in advance of their implementation)
  • We are in the process of establishing a reference group to get input from our users, so we can transition efficiently and effectively - see above
  • Our treatment of personal/identifying information remains unchanged, and we do not pass on or sell personal information to 3rd parties