Working transparently is a challenge for the majority of foundations. Despite the ways in which the Internet has opened up many industries, much of the field of philanthropy is sitting out the digital revolution. To help philanthropy tackle the transparency challenge, this infographic shines the spotlight on some sterling examples that may serve as inspiration to others.

The Foundation Transparency Challenge

What We Know about the Field

10 percent green

Only 10%

of foundations use a website to communicate the story of their work.*

1 of 1000 blue

Only 14%

of foundation evaluation staff prioritize externally sharing knowledge gained.**

1 out of 100 red

1out of

foundations share recent grants data online.*

2 out of 3 orange

2out of

foundations only accept applications by invitation.*

* Based on Candid's tracking of all U.S. independent, corporate, community, and grantmaking operating foundations.
** Center for Evaluation Innovation: Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices

GlassPockets Helps Foundations Tackle the Transparency Challenge

GlassPockets Helps Foundations Tackle the Transparency Challenge

A growing number of foundations are taking and publicly sharing the results of their GlassPockets transparency self-assessments. The percentages below reflect transparency trends among participating foundations mapped against the benefits to philanthropy, demonstrating the field's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working more openly.

Why and How Foundations Are Choosing Transparency

Transparency Establishes Credibility & Increases Public Trust

Where Foundations Are


Mission Statement

Board Info

Key Staff Bios

Form 990

Audited Financials

Conflict of Interest Policies



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Use your website to share what you do, who is in charge, and how you are doing it.

Where Foundations Encounter


Executive Compensation Process

Committee Charters

Investment Policies


Transparency Policies

Diversity & Values/Policies

Whistleblower Procedures

I know that transparency is not a word many use to describe foundations. For most people, the work of philanthropy is a mystery. There is often confusion and uncertainty about how foundations work and what they fund. They are often disconnected and isolated from the communities they serve. Slowly, this may be changing.

Transparency Improves Grantee Relationships

Where Foundations Are


Grantmaking Priorities

Grantmaking Process

Transparency helps organizations understand at a much deeper level what a foundation does, why it does it, and who it funds; and that helps people identify whether it's a foundation they want to engage with.



shaking hands

Use your website to establish important grantee/grantmaker ground rules and as a means to invite and share feedback.

Where Foundations Encounter


Grantee Surveys

Transparency makes our grantees more at ease because they understand better where we come from. They have a better understanding of our culture as a foundation, and what drives us in terms of our programmatic thinking.

Transparency Lessens Redundancy & Increases Collaboration

Where Foundations Are


Contact Information

Key Staff List

Searchable Grants Database



cog image

Use your website to make it easy for peers and partners to find you, and to understand and build on your body of work.

Where Foundations Encounter


Open Licensing Policies

Transparency is an essential part of increasing effective collaboration among foundations. We are better stewards of our charitable resources if we share what we learn - our successes as well as our failures - and are open to learning from each other.

Transparency Builds a Community of Shared Learning

Where Foundations Are


Since 2016, the number of participating foundations actively curating a knowledge center on their websites has jumped from 40% to 70%.



clipboard graphic

Use your website to share strategies, lessons learned about successes and failures, and how you are measuring your progress.

Where Foundations Encounter


Sustainable Development Goals

Strategic Plan

Assessment of Overall Foundation Performance

Candid Is Here to Help

Foundation Websites

Foundation Websites

Don't have a website? Don't let that stop you! Design and host your Foundation's website the easy way with Candid's Foundation Website service.



Sharing your grants data with us electronically helps the public understand your work. We make it easy with the Reporting Commitment and eReporting.



Help build the collective knowledge of the social sector by sharing your knowledge from reports, evaluations, and lessons learned in IssueLab's open collections.

Who Has GlassPockets?


Take and share our transparency self-assessment today and learn how to open up your work.


Use Transparency Trends to get a free customized report that compares your site to others.


Foundation leaders weigh in on how GlassPockets has inspired their institutions to greater openness.