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June 29, 2016
Media Impact Funders and Foundation Center Announce New Mapping Tool for Media and Philanthropy

New York, NY —  Media Impact Funders (MIF) and Foundation Center are pleased to announce the launch of Foundation Maps for Media Funding, a free, interactive mapping and research tool that shows the full scope of philanthropically-funded media projects worldwide since 2009. Developed by Foundation Center and available on the Media Impact Funders' website, this new tool enables users to see, understand, and dig deep into the numbers, networks, and trends surrounding media and philanthropy.

The map was unveiled this morning at MIF's Media Impact Forum, an annual event that brings together leading funders, media makers, and analysts to share insights about the field's most influential projects and trends. Forum participants received a demonstration of the map during a session on how improved data can help the philanthropic community better understand the field. The map includes a wide array of search functions and data visualization features to explore funding trends, funder networks, types of grantmaking, populations served and much more.

"Media is one of the most powerful tools for social change, and philanthropy is using media to address pressing global challenges in remarkable and diverse ways," said Vince Stehle, executive director of Media Impact Funders. "Whether supporting mobile banking platforms to address global poverty, strategic communications to address healthcare disparities, or documentary film on critical environmental issues, media is at the nexus of funders' work, and this new map shows how central media has become to a broad network of philanthropic strategies across all funding areas."

The field of media and philanthropy is growing rapidly, and it now extends beyond activities tracked by previous research. Data show that in 2013, U.S. funders gave over $1.2 billion in media grants — an increase of over $315 million compared to 2009 funding levels. During this five-year period (2009-2013), U.S. funders made $5.5 billion in media grants to over 10,000 organizations.

"The creative combination of media and philanthropy has huge, transformative potential," said Larry McGill, vice president for knowledge services at Foundation Center. "Foundation Maps for Media Funding highlights in a visually compelling way the amplifying power of media used in the service of social change."

This project is a follow up to an earlier data map, updated taxonomy, and report, Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States, released in 2013.

Foundation Maps for Media Funding features:

  • Grants from 2009 to present, with comprehensive data through 2013
  • Greatly expanded data with global reach
  • Improved search options and filters
  • Downloadable information and charts
  • "Constellation" tool to visualize relationships between funders, grantees, and grants

The data in the map have been collected in numerous ways — from Foundation Center's databases, which are comprised of grants information received directly from foundations or collected from their IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF; and foundation websites and other public sources. To ensure that information on Foundation Maps for Media Funding is as accurate as possible, funders are encouraged to report their data directly to Foundation Center through its eReporting Program.

Foundation Maps for Media Funding and the outreach surrounding the project were supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation.

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