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THE GRANT MAKING BLOG

Setting the Standard with Standard Fields

By Kate Caldecott

SmartyGrants defines standard fields as key fields or questions that you will
want to capture an answer for on all or most of your applications. The concept is simple. Programs may differ, but data fields like Project Name, Amount Requested and Project Start Date are likely to be needed regardless of the program (or the grantmaker).

 

 

 

Benefits of Using Standard Fields

There are several benefits to using standard fields:

The Backbone of your Data Structure

While the above-mentioned features are reason enough using standard fields, their real power goes beyond the ability to expedite filling out forms and have uniform reporting. Used properly, standard fields set the configuration for all of your data collection. They allow you to have a structured, planned out, common data schema across your work. A clearly thought out data structure will make for easier to analysis and evaluation of your organisation’s progress. 


Their potential goes even further. To the extent standard fields promote a common taxonomy of defining populations, services, benefits and outcomes, they will eventually allow for common reporting, not only across programs, but across grantmakers. An updated version of CLASSIE (Classification of Social Sector Initiatives and Entities – the taxonomy system used by SmartyGrants) has just been released. As use of the system expands, it will help us to better understand what works best for addressing specific issues, specific populations, specific geographic regions, etc.

 

Tips for using Standard Fields


 

If you would like to review your data collection schema and to optimize your use of standard fields, please contact me at Kate@katecaldecott.com.au or 0447 227 598.

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