These Nonprofits Make Research Openly Available. Here’s Why!

4 min readOct 17, 2017

The nonprofit sector has a long history of partnering with researchers and academic institutions to uncover evidence about social issues through research and reporting. In addition, evaluators measure the success of the sector’s programs and initiatives and record outcomes and lessons learned. All of this thoughtful work is meant to inspire innovation in the social space, informing the sector’s strategies and moving forward with evidence.

IssueLab is an open access repository with close to 23,000 resources produced by nonprofits, foundations, and academic research centers. Everything IssueLab collects is freely and openly available. For International Open Access Week, nonprofits who share their work through IssueLab were asked to complete the sentence: “Open in order to…”

Here’s what they say:

The Robina Institute
Working to achieve change in sentencing and correctional policies and practice.

“The University of Minnesota’s Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice’s mission is to connect research with practice in the fields of criminal justice and sentencing law research and policy. The Robina Institute is open in order to make sure those necessary connections between research and practice are easier, smarter, and more effective. By making our research and findings free and open and available on our website and on IssueLab, criminal justice practitioners, judges, academics, prosecutors, defense attorneys, decision-makers, funders, and other stakeholders, can access current and cutting-edge information at no charge.”

-Monica Wittstock, Communications Coordinator

Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS)
A network of philanthropy associations to strengthen social investment.

WINGS is open in order to give voice to the many cultures of giving. We provide our network with information, knowledge, and peer exchange, resulting in a strong, global philanthropic community that strives to build more equitable and just societies around the world. As an example we have the Global Philanthropy Data Charter which is a framework that proposes both a code of good practice to improve the working relationships of those involved in philanthropy data — users, providers and collectors — as well as a framework for engaging other sectors (governments, corporations, academia and civil society in general) around sharing and using philanthropy data for public benefit.”

-Julia Catani, Programme Assistant

Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
Dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable societies.

EESI is open in order to spread fact-based, useful information as far as possible and help policymakers and key stakeholders make informed decisions. We see sharing information as an important part of our mission to advance sustainable solutions and climate action. It is critically important and urgent to transition to renewable energy, to increase our energy efficiency, and to become more resilient: that’s why we believe in making our research as accessible as possible.”

-Susan Williams, Development Director

Equal Measure
Creating more powerful, enduring systems for social change.

Equal Measure is open in order to share knowledge, and inspire conversation, about the many structural and systemic challenges faced by individuals in the communities where we work. As a learning organization, we consider it imperative to support an environment in which researchers, evaluators, funders, community leaders, and social sector practitioners have unfettered access to data and information that can help shape policy and practice change. We applaud the efforts of IssueLab and other platforms to make research on the most salient issues facing our nation available and accessible to all.”

-Seth Klukoff, Senior Director of Communications

Heartland Alliance
One of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations.

Heartland Alliance is open in order to equip individuals at every level (nonprofit, foundation, government, and local communities) with the impactful and accessible information needed to support legislative, programmatic, and community efforts in the fight to end poverty.”

-Amber Cason, Communications Coordinator

European Foundation Centre
The platform for and champion of institutional philanthropywith a focus on Europe.

European Foundation Centre is open in order to provide free access to publications about philanthropy and (and/or published by) EFC members to help share their work and experiences with their peers and promote the impact and role of philanthropy in citizens’ lives; also to share valuable insights into and trend analyses of institutional philanthropy today.”

-Isabelle Piette, Policy & Programmes Officer

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
An economic policy think-tank.

CEPR is open in order to inform the public about what’s at stake in major policy debates on important economic and social issues. CEPR offers free, open-source, and up-to-date economic data and programs to interested researchers.”

-Kevin Cashman, Program Associate

IssueLab believes that social sector knowledge is a public good that is meant to be freely accessible to all. We collect and share the sector’s knowledge assets and we support the social sector’s adoption of open knowledge practices. Visit our collection of ~23,000 open access resources. While you’re there, add your knowledgeit takes minutes and costs nothing. Find out what we’re open in order to do here. IssueLab is a service of Foundation Center.




IssueLab gathers, indexes, and shares the collective intelligence of the social sector. We are a service of Foundation Center. (@fdncenter)