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October 5, 2015 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Leveraging data for greater impact: Why the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia wants you to get on the map

By Sari Raskin
Associate Director of Community Investment
Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

Though rankings of the wealthiest places in America often list Northern Virginia counties near the top, the perception of affluence often masks considerable need in our communities. Our role as the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is to shine a light on the issues affecting this region and to invest as strategically as possible in support of our neighbors in need.

Investing strategically requires having a deep understanding of who is working on the ground in our communities, knowing who else is funding those organizations, identifying where there are funding gaps, and seeking out possible funding partners. All of this requires accurate, timely, and accessible data about philanthropy in the region.

That’s why we are excited about WRAG’s Get on the Map campaign to make this kind of data available to its members. Through the campaign, the grants data of WRAG members who e-report to the Foundation Center will be captured in a searchable, interactive mapping platform. This platform has the potential to serve as an invaluable tool for better understanding the funding landscape in our region and help us become more strategic in our own funding. (If you’re not already up to speed on Get on the Map and how to get involved, check out WRAG’s website.)

The value of this tool is directly proportional to the amount of data it contains. We at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia urge all WRAG members to participate by e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. It’s a bit of work on the front end that will pay dividends in the future as we all work to more strategically invest in our communities. We know that greater impact can be achieved if we work together as funders!

The Get on the Map campaign will culminate with the launch of the map at WRAG’s Annual Meeting on November 19. Will we see you on the map?

Sari invites funders to reach out to her to learn more about how the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia thinks getting “on the map” will be beneficial to their work.

For more information about how to participate in the initiative, contact Rebekah Seder at WRAG.

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