Dr. Nathan Grasse, Carleton University
Dr. Nathan Grasse

Dr. Nathan Grasse
Associate Professor
School of Public Policy & Administration
Carleton University

The Nonprofit Open Data Collective

The Nonprofit Open Data Collective is an evolving collaboration between academics, think tanks, and industry experts to promote open data in the sector, with members from sector leaders, including Cinthia Schuman of the Aspen Institute, and academic institutions, including Jesse Lecy of Arizona State University.

Members such as the Aspen Institute and Independent Sector have engaged to improve the data environment, including 990 data and the availability of electronically filed records, as well as working with administrators in the Internal Revenue Service and Bureau of Labor Statistics. They have also worked with institutions such as the Johnson Center to gather evidence on the impact of open data and useful data practices (e.g., electronic tax filing).

Globally there are dozens of administrative or research databases to track third-sector organizations. This data is sometimes released in formats that are not always easy to use – ASCII text, Javascript object notation (JSON), and extensible markup language (XML) files. This can be a barrier to those hoping to learn about the sector.

Academic members of the collective created a GitHub organization to make data more accessible to scholars and researchers. The website includes scripts to download, clean, and process data, research-ready datasets, tools for analysis, and links to other resources. These might be helpful to NACC members who wish to integrate sector data into their courses or those looking to utilize data in their research, and the collective would welcome contributions from NACC scholars.

Partner Organizations

NODC Partner Organization logos

Nathan Grasse is an Associate Professor of nonprofit finance and financial management, governance and leadership, and strategic management at Carleton University. His research focuses on the governance of public-serving organizations, including associations between governance and financial management. This includes the study of revenue structures, the potential conditioning effects of organizational and environmental factors, and the implications of strategic choices on financial health and other organizational outcomes.