Does Your Foundation Have Glass Pockets?


Foundations differ in how they approach online transparency and accountability; we created the "Who Has Glass Pockets?" feature based on what we are seeing represented in current practice.

So far, we have identified 25 online transparency and accountability practices in areas including:

  • Contact Information
  • Governance & Policies
  • Staffing Policies & Diversity Data
  • Grantmaking Information
  • Planning and Performance Measurement
  • Financial Information

We are also tracking six types of online communication vehicles used by foundations. Together these indicators provide a snapshot of a foundation's "glass pockets."

How Foundations Are Using the Internet to Demonstrate Transparency and Accountability

Given that foundation web sites have the power to provide all of us with more foundation information than ever before, and serve a critical role in furthering foundation transparency, we are reviewing the web sites of the largest foundations to reveal their current online transparency and accountability practices.

The "Who Has Glass Pockets" profiles, which we will update as new data is shared, will serve two purposes:

  1. To provide an easy way for foundations to see what their peers are doing, in terms of online information disclosure.
  2. To provide a knowledge management function, as each check mark icon takes the viewer directly to the relevant page on the foundation’s web site.

Much of the information on the "Who Has Glass Pockets?" template is similar to what grantees are often asked to provide in a grant application or reporting process. Some of it is similar in nature to what charities that file a 990 are now being asked to provide to the IRS with its new expanded 990 form. The IRS has not yet made similar changes to the 990-PF. Learn more about our "Who Has Glass Pockets?" Indicators.

In an era of fiscal restraint and increasing pressure on public spending, it is safe to assume that far more will be expected of foundations. Now, more than ever, foundations need to actively promote and communicate their efforts to policymakers, practitioners, the media, and a new generation increasingly engaged with the social sector.

Submit Your Foundation's Profile