Organising and deciding

Why we’ve published Big Local data to 360 Giving

David King, Partnerships coordinator at Local Trust, outlines why we have decided to upload Big Local data to 360 Giving.

Many charities and community groups struggle to provide a clear description of what they do. The same is true of the Big Local programme, which gives 150 diverse areas £1 million each to spend how they see fit. The problems they are trying to solve are complex and opportunities to make change emerge in unexpected places. In the face of this complexity, 360 Giving starts with the basics. Who has charitable funds, who do they give it to, and why was it awarded?

We’re pleased that we’ve started to answer these questions, and others that make up the 360 Giving data standard, by publishing data on the Big Local programme. You can download our data here or view it on GrantNav.

There are three key reasons we have decided to share Big Local data on an open platform.

We can build more partnerships

Big Local areas have ambitious goals and we need partners to support them in all their diversity. As a time limited programme we also know that we need to connect Big Locals to organisations that could work with them in the future.

Being able to see where other funders have made grants alongside Big Local neighbourhoods is a powerful tool in driving collaborations. We’ve already made some progress with funders using 360 Giving data as the backbone, and are confident now that we’ve published, we’ll be able to make many more.

Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more about the Big Local programme, and explore how you could partner with us.

Publishing has helped us to understand how Big Local is different to other programmes

In Big Local, the beneficiaries of the funds are also the recipients of the funds (albeit passed through a ‘Locally Trust Organisation’), and they’re all based in a small and well-defined area. In contrast, many records on 360 Giving are for a grant to a charity that helps ‘beneficiaries’ across a wide area, possibly as large as ‘GB’.

Big Local is also not just about spending money on good causes. The aim instead is to boost capacity in residents, who may be delivering the most impact without using any grant funding at all, so we need to be careful when describing Big Local money as a ‘grant’.

Open and transparent charitable funders benefit Big Local

25% of people involved in Big Local have never volunteered before. They’re not looking to make a career out of learning the quirks and jargon of the sector, they want to work with their neighbours and local partners to make things better.

As Big Locals look increasingly to fundraise, we think tools like GrantNav and the visualisation challenge will make the sector easier to navigate. We need to do our bit to support the mission.


For more information you can read our factsheet or visit 360 Giving’s website.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. This means the data is freely accessible to anyone to be used and shared as they wish. The data must be attributed to Local Trust.