This initiative is focused on creating a responsible, equitable, and secure way to share organizational data in efforts to achieve collective goals for the philanthropic sector. Using open-source technology, the PDC’s value proposition comes from the creation of a transparent and shareable data commons – one that is collectively governed and maintained by sector stakeholders.

This work has been anchored in the following principles, which are critical to the success and viability of this project:

  • Centrality of changemakers
    • Changemakers (organizations seeking grants) own and control their own data and information, and they contribute to decisions about the use and users of their combined data from the PDC.
  • Interoperable and extensible
    • The PDC promotes equitable access, meeting organizations “where they are,” while relying on a robust application programming interface (“API”) model and protocols that integrate with existing and emerging technology platforms to facilitate the ingestion, integration, or sharing of data.
  • Shared and collaborative governance of, by and for the sector
    • The PDC is co-created, managed, and sustained by sector stakeholders, who will choose when, how, and to what extent they will participate.
  • Transparent and enduring
    • The PDC seeks to leverage data and tools that already exist, not to replace existing tools, but to connect and enhance them, and create more efficiencies in our individual and collective work.

“The Philanthropy Data Commons solution will change how we all work by providing more equitable access to resources and data, reducing the power imbalance in philanthropy, reducing administrative burdens for organizations seeking grants and funders, and enhancing the sharing of data.”


John Palfrey

President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

“It is long overdue for the philanthropic sector to make the process of submitting data requests to funders less burdensome for organizations seeking grants. We’re thrilled to support this effort to create a data platform solution to a well-known problem.”


Hannah Kahn

Vice President of Grants Management, Arnold Ventures

Pilot Participants

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