Thanks for £1

When does your organisation say ‘thank-you’, publicly?

Factary has just analysed the data in Factary Phi, our online database of donors and supporters, to answer this question.

It turns out that there are wide variations between different nonprofit sectors. The education sector seems to be more ready to thank than the international development sector. For the donor, the ‘thank you effect’ varies widely.

To read the briefing paper, click here

For more on Factary Phi, watch our four-minute webcast here.

Or contact us for a live online demo.


Data, re-valued

LevelBusiness is a new website that contains copies of the accounts of the 2.4 million companies registered with Companies House. It is free to access and includes simple, clear, easy-to-use search and tracking tools.

It contains, in other words, the same data that we would normally pay Companies House to see. More tellingly, it contains the same data that Bureau van Dijk and ICC offer, at purchase prices ranging from a few pounds to thousands of pounds per annum.

LevelBusiness form part of the shift from data itself as a business asset to data manipulation, data sharing, and leadership in data discovery as the assets.

A few nonprofits are moving in this direction too, using their knowledge of a humanitarian emergency or an environmental disaster to create stories that supporters can follow (for example, MSF). Or to provide useful summary information on a specific situation or condition (for example Drugs for Neglected Diseases)

But there is a long tail of organisations in Europe who could develop valuable data tools building on what they know from their work on the street or in the field. LevelBusiness is showing us why; it is data manipulation, data sharing and leadership in data that counts.


State-controlled Spanish foundations ‘cannot invest in business’?

Professor Barbacid ‘halts research into lung cancer treatment’

That was the headline in El País, 4th May 2011. Professor Barbacid is one of the leading cancer researchers in the world, brought back to Spain from the USA with the promise of a substantial research centre, and funding.

He is Director of the National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO, www.cnio.es) where he and his team have discovered that a specific cell protein could be used as the target for drug treatments for lung cancer. The results were published in Cancer Cell, April 2011. The next step, of course, is to develop the drug treatments.

Prof Barbacid proposed the creation of an entity that combined commercial and foundation interests, in order to attract the €10m he estimates that is required to develop a pharmaceutical treatment based on this latest discovery.

But the Ministry of Science and Innovation has told him, according to El País, that:

a state-controlled foundation cannot establish agreements which would imply its participation in a [profit-making] company.

This is, plainly, rubbish. A number of other state-controlled foundations – ranging from Spain’s largest museum, El Prado, to Spain’s universities – have shares in businesses.

Worse, it’s a brake on the development of different, new financial models for foundations in Spain. Spain desperately needs to renovate its foundation sector – and may do so soon, with a proposal to split savings banks into bank + foundation – but this type of bureaucratic intervention simply slows that process down.