AIGM home  |  Our Community  |  About Us  | 
AIGM logo Australian Institute of Grants Management An OurCommunity.com.au enterprise


Forum    Login   Join

News

Those with the purse strings must do data better

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

Dr Lucy Bernholz, a world-recognised thinker on digital and data trends, says funders must take more responsibility for improving how data is handled and managed for the organisations they're helping, including how much information they're demanding in the first place.

Australians have been among those affected by a global spate of big data and privacy breaches, exposed by new laws or scandals such as the leak of the data of 87 million Facebook users to political consultants Cambridge Analytica.

The Digital Civil Society Lab's director, Bernholz is based at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society in California but travels the world examining digital trends, and her latest interest is the shape of the emerging "digital civil society". She says one of the biggest changes she's noticed in Australia in the past three years has been a spike in public concern about personal data and how it is managed.

The well-informed debate about the MyHealth database and the growing opposition to an automatic opt-in for the system is just one example, Dr Bernholz says, of a shift in those attitudes.

Her speciality is helping not-for-profits and those supporting them, to manage digital assets better.

Grant Makers Intelligence

She believes funders must become part of the solution, by being wary of asking too much of their grant recipients, and by thinking carefully about how well "digital ties" between funders and funding recipients are working.

"At the very least, we think that funders of all sorts, just as they are interested in building the governance and management capacities of the organisations they work with, that managing digital resources safely, ethically, and effectively is a key part of that good operating practice."

"For example, if funders are putting certain kinds of data demands on not-for-profits - data demands about counting people or including identifiable demographic information - but if the not-for-profits and the funders can't protect that information safely, they're actually making vulnerable people more vulnerable."

Her catch-phrase on that issue: "If you can't protect it, don't collect it."

AIGM MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Click here to read more of this report

If you're not an AIGM member, join here to join for as little as $280-a-year, and receive Grants Management Intelligence, access powerful online grantmaking tools, a 10% discount to our annual conference and other offers, and connect with a great network.

Are you a SmartyGrants user? Your organisation is eligible for 10-free memberships. More info here

News
How to connect with under-represented communities

Understanding the importance of strategic planning, relationship building, cultural capability, targeted program design and targeted promotion.

News
Grantseekers rate their funder's performance

Each year, as part of the Grants in Australia research study we ask grantseekers to rate the performance of grantmakers in several areas. Here's what we found in the new study released this month.

News
High trust, low-doc: Is this the future of grantmaking?

In a world of grantmaking often spun around lengthy applications, mid-term evaluations, detailed budgets and extensive outcomes measurement, one renowned grantmaker is going against the grain to suggest grants would work better with less paperwork and more trust.

News
Those with the purse strings must do data better

Dr Lucy Bernholz, a world-recognised thinker on digital and data trends, says funders must take more responsibility for improving how data is handled and managed for the organisations they're helping, including how much information they're demanding.