Advances social sector’s ability to share information globally to improve outcomes
Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar today announce the release of BRIDGE (Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities) information as open data. This enhancement makes it easier to identify and share information about entities around the world that are working to advance social good. The ability to distinguish these organizations from each other and to gather scattered information about them is vital to understanding their activities, impact, and funding.
BRIDGE assigns a unique, 10-digit code to organizations and entities anywhere in the world that contribute to the social sector. Such entities include non-governmental organizations, foundations, schools, religious organizations, and companies, among others.
“Each BRIDGE number acts like a numerical fingerprint, facilitating the combination of disparate sources of data about a single organization,” shares Jake Garcia, vice president for Data and Technology at Foundation Center. “Expanding its use will unlock exciting possibilities for how data across organizations and systems can be combined and consolidated, which over time will grow our collective knowledge.”
Since BRIDGE was launched in February 2016, approximately three million BRIDGE numbers have been assigned. A social sector entity that is not represented in the searchable database can easily apply for a number through any of the partners.
Previously, BRIDGE numbers were available only by looking up individual organizations on a one-by-one basis. As of today, this information can be downloaded in bulk in CSV format. Files are available for Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The files will be updated periodically to include new organizations that have obtained BRIDGE IDs.
The release of BRIDGE information as open data enables more sophisticated use and analysis of the information. BRIDGE users can:
- Discover the range of data that exists about entities of interest.
- Integrate BRIDGE data into their own systems.
- Manage their own data, minimizing the likelihood of duplicate records.
- Be findable, especially in contexts where an official registration number is not available or does not exist.
- Enable data sharing with other organizations.
- Track information about organizational units (e.g., business branches, departments, chapters of national organizations, etc.) in addition to organizations as a whole.
These benefits will only increase as the use of BRIDGE numbers and data expands.
In addition to the BRIDGE numbers, entity name, city, state/region, country, external ID, and external ID type fields are provided for most of the organizations in the online registry and in the downloadable files. BRIDGE open data is made available for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
“Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, and GuideStar are excited to offer BRIDGE as open data,” says Jacob Harold, CEO of GuideStar. “We hope that easier access to this data will spark information sharing and analysis that will transform the social sector. We invite social sector entities to obtain their BRIDGE numbers, organizations to incorporate BRIDGE data into their workflows, and those interested in strengthening the social sector data infrastructure to join us.”
BRIDGE collaborators invite others to contribute data and help sustain this effort. To learn more about these opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BRIDGE project was made possible with support from the Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Google Inc., as well as early collaboration from TechSoup Global.
BRIDGE (the Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities) is a system that assigns a unique identifying number to organizations and entities from anywhere in the world that contribute to the social sector. This universal identifier acts like a “numerical fingerprint,” facilitating the combination of disparate sources of data about a single organization. BRIDGE creates a more structured, transparent, and measurable “philanthropic market” by creating a universal standard for sharing data about organizations. It addresses the challenges and gaps created by other identifiers, including those issued by government agencies, which have limited how data can be combined and consolidated to add value. Visit https://bridge-registry.org
About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional hubs and its network of more than 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org call (212) 620-4230, or tweet us at @fdncenter.
GlobalGiving is the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in over 170 countries. We help nonprofits from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe (and hundreds of places in between) access the tools, training, and support they need to be more effective and make our world a better place. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has helped raise $346 million from over 800,000 donors for more than 20,000 projects. Every organization that posts a project on GlobalGiving.org has been vetted and has committed to providing donors with regular updates about how their donations have been put to work.
GuideStar, www.guidestar.org, helps people make better decisions about nonprofits and the work they do. Each year, more than 9 million donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and journalists use GuideStar data to make intelligent decisions about the social sector. GuideStar maintains profiles on 2.7 million currently and formerly IRS-recognized nonprofits. The profiles are populated with information from the IRS, directly from nonprofits, and via other partners in the nonprofit sector. In addition, users see GuideStar data on more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications. GuideStar is itself a 501(c)(3) public charity.
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