The Data Funders Collaborative (DFC) is a partnership of leading philanthropic organizations working together to support learning, discovery and action focused on the ethical collection, protection and use of data.

The Data Funders Collaborative (DFC) is guided by three overarching goals:

  • Expand member learning, understanding and coherence around data strategies;
  • Increase collaborative funding and aligned strategies across the DFC funders; and
  • Elevate thought leadership and advocacy to the broader field around the power of data to be a tool of informing, empowerment, and improvement.

DFC members recognize how people can use information to improve the effectiveness of programs and policies and more broadly to confront entrenched inequality in systems. Our aim is to ensure communities have the information and the skills they need to  achieve equitable outcomes in education, health and other social services sectors.

For more information on the DFC, please reach out to: 

Resources of Interest to the Funder Community around the Effective Use of Data

This list of resources is a compilation of tools and papers which the members of the DFC have found to be useful to their efforts to strengthen data as a tool of improvement, empowerment and equity.  Several of these were developed for and/or in conjunction with the DFC, or with DFC member support.  We share them to help support learning across the funder and broader field.  

  • Envisioning a New Future: Building Trust for Data Use. Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, July 2021.
    • The culmination of a three part landscape review prepared with and for the DFC, this paper aims to provide a common language for funders to understand the opportunities and challenges to improving engagement and building trust with communities and offers a range of approaches to consider for future investments.
  • Selected Examples of and Resources for Data Use and Integration
  • Improving Data Infrastructure to Meet Student and Learner Information Needs. Kumar Garg, Aimee Guidera, Nick Hart; Day One Project, July 2021.
    • Part of a series offering recommendations to the Biden administration, this paper makes the case for additional federal funding to support upgrades to the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems to enable states to effectively monitor and address long term pandemic learning loss while ensuring this generation of students stays on track for college and career in the aftermath of the pandemic.
  • Promoting Data Sharing Approaches. The Topos Partnership, September 2019.
    • This report and accompanying Toolkit intend to help communicators talk about and promote a wide range of data sharing with broad audiences.  The goal is to identify ways of creating more constructive and supportive dialog with more people, and to explore ways to navigate challenges so they don’t derail the conversation. 
  • Comments on the work of the Advisory Committee for Data on Evidence Building
    • Several DFC members helped shape and sign this response to a call for public feedback on the work of the Advisory Committee charged with making recommendations around implementation of the Evidence Act. This document lays out many of the central tenets of the DFC approach to data.
  • Strengthening Integrated Data Capacity: The Federal Landscape. KB Stack Consulting, April 2021.
    • This short landscape review captures the past efforts and current opportunities to change how federal, state, and local governments use integrated data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of a broad range of government functions.
  • Toolkit for Centering Racial Equity Throughout Data Integration. Amy Hawn Nelson; Actionable Information for Social Policy, 2020.
    • Cross-sector data sharing and integration transform information about individuals into actionable intelligence that can be used to understand community needs, improve services, and build stronger communities. Yet, use of cross-sector data can also reinforce legacies of racist policies and produce inequitable resource allocation, access, and outcomes. Since 2019, AISP has led a diverse workgroup of civic data stakeholders to co-create strategies and identify best practices to center racial equity in data integration efforts. Centering racial equity is not a single, discrete step. This toolkit describes positive and problematic practices for centering racial equity across the data life cycle.
  • Nothing to Hide: Tools for Talking (and Listening) About Data Privacy for Integrated Data SystemsFuture for Privacy Forum and Actionable Information for Social Policy, October 2018. 
    • This toolkit provides IDS stakeholders with the necessary tools to support and lead privacy-sensitive, inclusive stakeholder engagement efforts. A narrative step by step guide to IDS communication and engagement is supplemented with action-oriented appendices, including worksheets, checklists, exercises, and additional resources.

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