Culture Everywhere - using open data to help grassroots arts and heritage organisations make an even greater impact
Culture Everywhere, a new platform that makes it quick and easy for fundraisers and grassroots arts and heritage organisations to develop fundable projects that deliver better social outcomes, has scooped a £50,000 cash prize.
The cash injection comes as a reward for winning the Nesta and the Open Data Institute's Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge. This challenge is run as part of the Open Data Challenge Series and Culture Everywhere is the sixth winner to be announced in the seven sector specific challenges.
The new platform will help grassroots arts and heritage organisations to research, develop and evaluate funding proposals, thereby increasing their potential for success, and their capacity and capability to track impact. Currently these organisations have limited resources to invest in project development and fundraising meaning less successful bids and more frequently missed opportunities.
With over 49,000 grassroots arts organisations who are reliant largely on grant funding in the UK, and another 22,500 in the third sector using culture to deliver better social outcomes, the opportunity for Culture Everywhere is clear. The platform will provide a vital service to grassroots organisations who compete with larger arts and heritage institutions which often have the advantage of capacity and resources to better monitor their funding applications and benefit from making fewer, larger scale applications.
This is where the unique team behind Culture Everywhere come into their own - the team brings together first hand knowledge from behind the scenes at Ignite Imaginations (a participatory arts organisation in Sheffield) with experience supporting organisations as fundraisers and advisers, as well as expertise in open data innovation and driving product development from Better with Data. Better with Data’s open data experience is evident from the breadth and depth of their activities - which include running a strand of Data as Culture Programme and being an Open Data Institute Node.
Culture Everywhere uses over a dozen open data sets, ranging from the national census to grants data from a variety of arts funders. Using this data the platform will present insight on the organisation’s local area, the projects proposed beneficiaries, proposed type of activity, proposed social theme (e.g. education, health etc.) in line with the way a funding application is typically structured.
Additionally, Culture Everywhere will both improve existing data about funded arts projects and create new open data generated through the platform, including insights from research curated by users, project impacts, and improving visibility of grassroots organisations that may not currently be captured by the Charity Commission or Companies House.
Organisations can sign up to register their interest in using Culture Everywhere now at cultureeverywhere.com. Early adopters will have the opportunity to help shape its development over the next few months before it becomes available more widely from Spring 2016.
Culture Everywhere faced tough competition from the other two finalists in the challenge - Rabble and City Radar - both of whom will go on to launch their products in the coming months with regional pilots. Rabble offers a new way for families to spend time together, having fun and getting useful stuff done in local culture and heritage sites. They will begin with an initial pilot in Liverpool where they will explore and test the potential for open data to power greater collaboration and engagement in the arts and heritage sector. City Radar meanwhile will begin with a pilot in Northern Ireland, offering Software as a Service that turns an existing ‘audience development methodology’ – powered by open data – into something more dynamic, that can be used on a daily basis by organisations and by funders.
1) The team defines grassroots arts organisations as those that tend to be (a) driven by social outcomes and/or (b) embedded in discrete communities (of area or interest), making them well connected with their beneficiaries. As arts providers, they deliver participatory rather than passive projects and are probably not regularly funded.
Photo Credit (Blog Photo): Hannah Goraya @yorkhannah
Photo Credit (Listing Photo): Joan Huang under Creative Commons
The contents of this blog has now been transferred to our new website at www.opendatachallenges.org and this page will no longer be updated. Please head to the new website to access all our latest content.