Why identifiers matter

Identifiers are an important part of any dataset. They let a computer uniquely identify and refer to specific grants, organisations, transactions and so-on.

Whilst a human being may be good at recognising that:

INDIGO TRUST, The Indigo Trust, and indigo-trust

... all refer to the same organisation, computers find this a lot trickier.

That’s why 360Giving requires you to give identifiers to:

  • Grants;
  • Transactions;
  • Classifications;
  • Organisations;
  • and other unique elements in your data.

These go in Identifier columns alongside human-readable text descriptions of the grant, the name of an organisation, or the title of a classification.

Creating identifiers

Often you will already have identifiers in your own records. For example, you might assign a number to each application or grant, or you might record a reference ID for a funding recipient.

You can use these existing internal identifiers in constructing the identifiers that you will use in your 360Giving data files.

However, because there might be an overlap between the internal identifiers you use, and the internal identifiers another funder uses, in 360Giving you add a prefix to your internal identifiers.

For example, if Indigo Trust have a grant called ‘Grant27’, and Nominet Trust also have a grant called ‘Grant27’ the two will get confused when combining the two datasets. But if, when publishing, each one adds a prefix, then we end up with two unique identifiers: ‘360G-indigotrust-Grant27’ and ‘360G-Nominet-Grant27’

For your grants, and any other identifiers that are particular to your organisation, you use can use a 360Giving prefix. You can get this when registering on the data registry. (For example, you might maintain your own codes to classify grants, or you might have an internal numbering scheme for organisations rather than recording charity and company numbers.)

For organisation identifiers, follow the Organisation Identifier guidance below which is designed to support links to be made between 360Giving, and other datasets about an organisation.

Using your identifiers

We use simple text identifiers in 360Giving. As well as using these identifiers in your published data, you could also tell your grantees their prefixed identifier, and encourage them to include it in any documents they publish about their funded projects, or to include it as a ‘machine tag’ (or hashtag) when uploading photos and videos to social media sites.

For example, some of the development of 360Giving was funded by grant ‘360G-indigotrust:IND233’. If you search the web for that identifier, you will find this site. If there were project reports published online about this grant, or photos and videos, you might be able to discover those as well. If you just searched for the internal identifer IND233 you would have to comb through details of all sorts of other things identified as IND233 before finding any information about the grant.

You can also make use of your 360Giving identifiers in internal reports and documents, as this will make it easier to digitally link these up with the data in your 360Giving data files in future.

Register a prefix

To register a prefix see the publisher guidance.

All registered prefixes should start with 360G unless you have been advised otherwise by the support team.

Grant Identifier

To create your grant identifiers:

  1. Make sure you have registered for 360Giving prefix;
  2. Look for an existing internal identifier given to your grants (This might be a sequential number assigned to each grant at the point of application, or a combination of the ‘funding scheme’ identifier and a sequential number for the grant. The important thing is that the identifier should be unique inside your organisation, so adding the prefix will make it unique across the whole world.);
  3. Add this onto the end of your 360Giving prefix;

For example, if your prefix is 360G-xyztrust and you have a grant identified internally as ‘123’, you would combine these to give:


There are no set rules on the separator to use between your prefix and the internal identifier but we recommend using a hyphen (-).

If your internal identifiers include spaces or special characters, we recommend replacing these with underscore (_):


Organisation Identifier

There are many different kinds of organisations that give, receive or benefit from grants, such as:

  • Registered companies
  • Registered charities
  • Community organisations
  • Overseas organisations
  • Schools, universities and other educational establishments
  • Individuals

Many organisations will have official registration numbers, assigned by official registration agencies, that can be used to identify them. For example, in the UK Companies House can be considered to be a registration agency that assigns unique numbers to companies. In order to uniquely identify that company you would need to know both the company number and that it came from Companies House. (Crucially, you can also look up a company, given its number, at Companies House to find out more detail about that company.) Wherever possible 360Giving encourages you to collect and record these registered identifiers (Organisation Identifiers).

Organisation Identifiers take the form:

Registration Agency Code (dash) Identifier

The Registration Agency Code is taken from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Organisation Registration Agency Codelist that provides an open, maintained list of reference codes for many Registration Agencies.

For example, a charity registered in England and Wales with the Charity Commission and a number of 1070468 will use an IATI Organisation Registration Agency Code of GB-CHC. The organisation identifier in your 360Giving data would be:


However, some organisations have more than one such identifier (e.g. where they are both a company and a charity), and others are not registered anywhere, and so you may only have names, or internal IDs, for them recorded on your data.

To give users of 360Giving data the best chance of joining up information about the same organisations across different data files, we follow a simple methodology to create Organisation Identifiers via the following process.

Work your way through the following steps. As soon as a step gives you an identifier, you can stop there and use the given identifier.

  1. Registered company number (UK)

    If you have a registered company number for the organisation, use the Registration Agency Code ‘GB-COH-‘ and the registered number (indicating that the number could be looked up at Companies House)

  2. Registered charity number (UK)

    If you have a registered charity number for the organisation, use the Registration Agency Code:

    along with the registered number.

  3. Educational establishment (UK)

    If you have an educational establishment for the organisation, use the Registration Agency Code:

    • ‘GB-EDU-‘ for a school, university or other educational establishment in England and Wales along with the EduBase URN identifier.
    • ‘GB-UKPRN-‘ for a school, university or other educational establishment in Scotland or Northern Ireland along with the UK Register of Learning UKPRN number.
  4. Other registered number

    If you have a registered number from some other scheme, including overseas registrars, check the IATI Organisation Registration Agency Codelist for a Registration Agency Code to use. If the Registration Agency Code you need is not listed, contact the support team.

  5. No registered number

    If you do not have any external registration numbers for the organisation, use your 360Giving prefix and any internal identifier* you have for this organisation.

    *If you use a database that records details of organisations in a separate lookup table, this may provide an identifier you can use.

    If you only record data in a spreadsheet, and don’t assign organisations an ID, you could use a spreadsheet formula to turn the organisation name into an identifier (e.g. removing spaces and lowercasing the name). The support team can provide guidance on this.

    If there is a chance that your organisation identifiers might overlap with grant identifiers, just add ‘ORG’ into the identifier string (e.g. ‘360G-xyztrust-ORG123’)

Company Numbers and Charity Numbers

Sometimes you may have recorded both the company number, and charity number, of an organisation in your data. Because having both of these is important, 360Giving also includes two extra separate fields for Company Number and Charity Number. If you have these details, you should fill them in, in addition to providing the unique organisation identifier using the method above.


Contact the support team for details of prefixes to use when publishing classification codes for your grants.