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

Eugene Eric Kim eekim at blueoxen.com
Thu Dec 21 13:41:26 PST 2006

Hi Christopher,

Christopher St John wrote:
> I've been doing some work with software designed to make it easy for
> foundations to get on the web, so I'm definitely interested. But... the
> whole microformats thing will be much less painful if you become
> familiar with "The Process" as soon as possible.[1]

I'm familiar with the process.  I read this well in advance of even
broaching this discussion with foundations, and I have links to published
examples, which I will post to the Wiki if there are no objections.  For
starters, see:




  http://www.mott.org/about/programs/grantrssfeed.aspx (RSS link; they
                                                        also have HTML)

I've also read most of the Wiki, and I've been lurking on this list for
two months.

> The first thing you should know is that The Process only works (and
> thus microformats can only exist for) things that are already commonly
> published on the web. You can't make something up in advance of
> broad usage and call it a microformat[2]. This is very strong constraint,
> and means that many things that might make good semantic markup
> are not eligible to be a microformat. This is frustrating, but brings some
> very real benefits.

Understood.  Like I said, there are foundations that publish grants
information.  Whether this information is "commonly published" is another
matter.  What's the right scale before it's worth putting together a
microformat?  Three of the largest foundations -- Gates, Hewlett, and
Mott -- representing $40 billion in endowments publish grants
information.  If we can convince these three to start using a
microformat, other foundations will follow suit.  All three and others
are part of the conversation.

> On 12/20/06, Eugene Eric Kim <eekim at blueoxen.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> Do any of the smaller foundations currently publish any information
> on the web, in whatever format?

Most family foundations don't even have web sites.  The microformat is
part of a larger initiative to encourage all foundations to become more

> Good luck! Enabling a grant ecosystem that requires less manual
> data entry would be very nifty.

Thanks!  I'd love to hear more about your software project (perhaps
off-list), and I'd love any feedback you and others could provide to help
make this a reality.


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

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