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Visualize the Possibilities: Turning Data Into Dollars

by on May 5, 2017

Visualizing Funding for Libraries, a new virtual tool from The Foundation Center, provides easy access to grant award information by library type, geographic area, or project area. The data available covers grants received by academic, public, archives and special libraries, and school libraries and media centers since 2006. The tool makes it easy to identify trends and potential grant sources. [1]

The interface is simple to use. A few clicks and you can find grant recipients and donors for your state or region. The tool can help identify potential partners as well as funders. It displays not only grant amounts, but also brief project descriptions.

There are several ways to navigate through the data. The map allows you to drill down by location. Another option, “Constellations,” shows networks between donors and recipients. You can review results over time with the “Charts” feature. “Pathways” shows relationships between grantors and recipients.

Training is being released throughout the year. Webjunction hosted a webinar in February to explore the site in depth. The archived webinar Visualizing (and Finding!) Funding for Libraries includes the presentation and handouts. The training goes into detail about how to use the navigation features and the different types of information available.[2]

The Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. They harnessed support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop this virtual tool. The tool is a Knight Foundation News Challenge winning project. The Foundation Center’s goal is for libraries to increase their capacity. They also hope library supporters will better understand funding trends and find additional resources.


[1] ” Visualizing Funding for Libraries.” Visualizing Funding for Libraries. Accessed April 16, 2017. http://libraries.foundationcenter.org/?doing_wp_cron=1492371427.0433080196380615234375.

[2] “Visualizing (and Finding!) Funding for Libraries.” WebJunction. February 28, 2017. Accessed April 16, 2017. http://www.webjunction.org/events/webjunction/visualizing-and-finding-funding-for-libraries.html.


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