[uf-discuss] proposal for grants microformat (hGrant)

Eugene Eric Kim eekim at blueoxen.com
Wed Dec 20 15:45:13 PST 2006

Hi everybody,

I've been discussing the possibility of putting together a microformat
for grants information with a number of foundations, and I'd like to hear
what you all think.

The basic problem is that nonprofits rely on grants to survive, and
finding information about grants and grants-making organizations is
extremely difficult.  There are existing databases of grants, the most
notable being the Foundation Center (http://foundationcenter.org/), but
these folks all collect and aggregate data manually, which means that the
database is neither comprehensive nor current.

A grants microformat (hGrant) would allow folks to easily aggregate
grants information from foundations who publish this information.  Some
of the larger foundations (such as Hewlett, Mott, and Gates) already
publish grants information, and getting them to adopt a microformat
should be straightforward.  The real opportunity, in my opinion, is
working with smaller, community and family foundations.  With a critical
mass of grants information published in hGrant, we could build an
aggregator for searching, tagging, and studying this data.

There is no industry standard schema for grants information.  However,
there are some good starting points, and a solid community process with
multiple foundations should allow us to converge on a data model quickly
(imho).  Some of us (foundations, vendors, and other interested parties)
have already met and started noodling, and in fact, I've gotten a little
ahead of myself and whipped up some examples and a parser using Paul
Battley's excellent code.  But I'll wait until I get some feedback from
this list before posting anything. :-)



Eugene Eric Kim ................................... http://xri.net/=eekim
Blue Oxen Associates ........................... http://www.blueoxen.com/

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