The Social Entrepreneur API from Social Actions launched at the SoCap Conference. The Social Entrepreneur API (Application Programming Interface) is the first open database of information about social entrepreneurs who have won fellowships and awards from social enterprise funders. The current API includes awards made by Civic Ventures, The Draper Richards Foundation, ideablob, PopTech, The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and The Skoll Foundation.
We live in a world with literally millions of nonprofits and many, many individuals working on social benefit projects that are not registered nonprofits. Shifting through these organizations is a daunting task for any donor. But luckily, there are thousands of foundations and other grantmaking entities with paid staff doing just this work. Unlike in for-profit markets where possession of important information helps secure profits, in philanthropy, sharing important information increases a grantmaker’s impact.
What’s interesting about the Social Entrepreneur API, as I’ve written before, is the way it allows for anyone to access a stream of vetted social entrepreneurs and mash the data up however they like. For instance, Tactical Philanthropy Advisors could build a web interface that displayed vetted grantmaking opportunities that took the API data and then limited the data to projects in need of at least $25,000 so that our high net worth clients would be delivered a pool of eligible, vetted social entrepreneurs that we could then help them look into more deeply.
Knowing that the Draper Richards Foundation or Skoll has funded someone does not automatically make them a good grantee. But it certainly helps to search for organizations within a universe of groups that have already been vetted by well resourced, smart funders.
How else might Tactical Philanthropy Advisors or other organizations use the Social Entrepreneur API?