360Giving Data Standard » Guidance for publishers » Publish your data openly

Publish your data openly

Key tasks

  1. Decide what open license to use.
  2. Select a location online to host your data.
  3. Publish your 360Giving data file alongside the details of the open license.
  4. Let 360Giving know about your file so it can be added to the 360Giving Data Registry.


At the beginning of this stage you should have a file of ‘valid‘ 360Giving data that has passed the 360Giving Data Quality tool checks and is technically ready to be published. By the end of this stage you will have published your grant data as open data, making it available for anyone to download and use.

Prior to publishing your data, you should also check the contents of your data to ensure it is accurate, and that there is no personal data included that could allow an individual to be identified. For further information, read our guidance on data protection for funders of grants to individuals and funders of grants to organisations.

How to make your 360Giving data open

Data published to the 360Giving Data Standard is open data, which means the information is available to everyone to use and share for any purpose. For further information visit the Open Definition website.

Choose an open license

While there are several choices for open data licenses, we recommend a license that does not restrict use but does acknowledge you, the publisher.

To this end, our default recommendation is the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). With this license, anyone can share or adapt your data for any purpose, even commercially. The only restrictions are that they must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and note any changes made.

Find out more about the CC BY 4.0 license.

Open license for the public sector

If you are a UK public sector organisation, you should use the Open Government License. This is the UK government’s open data license which public sector bodies are encouraged to use by the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 (RPSI).

Find out more about the Open Government License 3.0.

Why 360Giving data is openly licensed

Without a license, data is not open data and potential users would not know what they are allowed to do with it.

Providing your 360Giving data under an open license is a straightforward way to let users know that they have permission to use the data, as well as any conditions of use.

  • The licenses are free to use so there is no charge associated with openly licensing your 360Giving data.
  • To use an open license you include the details of the license you are using alongside the link to your 360Giving data file, as shown in the example open license statement.

Example open license statement

Here’s an example of a license statement based on our recommended CC BY 4.0 license. Simply replace the words in square brackets with information about your organisation and grants.

[Organisation] is committed to transparency and we work with 360Giving to publish information about our grants. Using the 360Giving Data Standard, our awarded grants since [Year] are available as [File Type] here. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. This means the data is freely accessible to anyone to be used and shared as they wish. The data must be attributed to [Organisation].
We believe that with better information, funders can be more effective and strategic decision makers. 360Giving supports funders to publish open data about their grants, and empowers people to use this data to improve charitable giving through a range of free online tools. For more information, visit https://www.threesixtygiving.org

How to host your 360Giving data

The final step is to prepare a place online where your 360Giving data file will be available for download. For most 360Giving publishers this means hosting the data on their website but there are also some alternative hosting methods that can be used.

Hosting your 360Giving data on your website

It is best practise for organisations publishing data to the 360Giving Data Standard to host their files on their own website. This means they have control over, and are responsible for, their own data.

You can host the data file anywhere on your site and place a link to it where it can be easily found.

  • You could create a dedicated “open grants” section/page on your website.
  • You could link to your data file from an existing page which shares information about your grants awarded, or alongside your annual report.
  • Or you can choose another place which makes sense for your website’s structure.

Example hosting pages

Here are some examples of what other 360Giving publishers have done.

Linking 360Giving from an existing webpage:

Linking 360Giving data from a dedicated open data page:

Data hosting for public sector organisations

Some local authorities can have dedicated open data portals for hosting information published by the council or about the local area, which are ideal places to host 360Giving data.

Alternatively, public sector organisations may be able to use the central data.gov.uk website to host their 360Giving data.

Examples of public sector data hosting pages:

Submit your file to the Data Registry

Once your 360Giving data file is published, the final step is to let us know so the link to the file can be added to the 360Giving Data Registry.

The 360Giving Data Registry is a list of all the organisations that currently publish their grant data in the 360Giving Data Standard, with direct links to their data sources. Anyone can access the Registry to view, download and use the data.

The files listed on the 360Giving Data Registry are the source for the grant information in GrantNav, 360Insights and other tools and platforms using the data.

Publishers submit their valid 360Giving data files to the Data Registry using the 360Giving data file submission form. See our guidance on how to submit your data to the Registry

When your grants will appear in GrantNav and 360Insights

In order for data to be included in 360Giving tools, the data needs to meet these three criteria:

  • Listed on the 360Giving Data Registry;
  • Openly licensed;
  • Valid according to the schema used for the 360Giving Data Standard.

GrantNav and 360Insights are updated on a daily basis. This means your data will appear there the day after a file is submitted to the Data Registry.

Taking down published data

A fundamental aspect of publishing using the 360Giving Data Standard, and publishing open data in general, is that once the information is released it may be downloaded and used by anyone.

An organisation is free to decide to stop publishing data and/or can remove the data from their website, however the information that has been published may still be held and used by anyone who has already downloaded it.

360Giving has a Take down policy for the data linked from our Data Registry and loaded into our tools, so we will remove any published data on request.

Making amendments to published data

Take down requests are rare. It is however common for publishers to make changes to published data to correct errors or make updates when changes are made to a grant. In addition to changes you make to your own data, you may receive requests from grantees to amend information about their organisations that might be incorrect or misleading. See our guidance on making updates to your data and the mechanism for grantees to request amendments.

Alternative hosting options

It is best practice for organisations to host their own data, so the ownership of the information is clear. This gives you full control over the file so you can make changes and updates whenever you need to.

However, for organisations without a website or without capacity to create a place to include the data, it is possible to use alternative hosting and open licensing arrangements. These are described below.

Include open licensing information into your 360Giving data file

If you can upload the 360Giving file into the backend of your website but cannot add the license text to a public page – in the short or longer term – you can include the open license information within the file itself using the Metadata sheet (or Package Schema if you are using JSON file format to publish).

Please see our guidance about metadata for further information.

Hosting your data using cloud storage

Below is a step by step guide to using two file sharing services to host 360Giving data; Google Drive and Dropbox.

Google Sheets

Google provides users with the Google Drive service, offering 15GB of space for free.

To share a 360Giving data file using Google Drive, it must first be converted to a Google Sheets document.

1. On your Google Drive, create a new Google Sheets document. Select New > Google Sheets.

2. Import your 360Giving Excel or CSV file to the Google Sheets. Select File > Import > Upload, and select the file from your computer or drag-and-drop.

Select import into Google sheets screenshot

3. If you are using an Excel file choose ‘Replace Spreadsheet‘ and click Import data.

Importing Excel file into Google sheets screenshot

4. If you are using a CSV file choose ‘Replace Spreadsheet‘ as your import option. Choose Separator type as ‘Detect automatically‘ and answer ‘Yes‘ to ‘Convert text to numbers and dates‘ and click ‘Import data‘.

Importing CSV file into Google sheets screenshot

5. If included in your data check the Recipient Org:Charity Number and Recipient Org:Company Number columns. Google Sheets will sometimes interpret these columns incorrectly and place decimal points into them. There is a simple fix by selecting the whole column (click the column letter) and then using the menu to select Format > Number > Plaintext.

Updating number formatting screenshot

6. You can rename the file with your prefered title with File > Rename.

7. Share your file so that it is publically accessible to anyone with the link. Select Share > Get Shareable Link. Choose the Link Sharing option ‘On - anyone with the link can view‘.

Sharing settings for Google sheets screenshot

8. Copy the file, which will resemble the following example with ‘usp=sharing‘ at the end:


9. Change the end of the link to export?format=xlsx, so that is looks like the following example:


10. Copy this newly-formatted link and test that your data is still valid using the 360Giving Data Quality Tool.

11. Contact 360Giving Helpdesk via support@threesixtygiving.org to get the link added to the Data Registry.

It is best practice to keep your published data in this single Google Sheets document. If another Google Sheets document is created, the link will be different and therefore need to be changed in the 360Giving Data Registry.

To replace a current Google Sheets document with an updated Excel or CSV file of 360Giving formatted grants data follow Steps 2 and 3 or 4, above. This imports a new Excel or CSV file and replaces the data currently there.


Dropbox provides users with a Basic account, offering 2GB of space for free.

The process of sharing 360Giving data files through Dropbox is straightforward.

1. Upload the file to your Dropbox account, storing it in whatever folder you find useful.

2. Share the file by creating a shared link for view-only access which means anyone with the link can view the file, but can‘t alter it.

3. Copy this link. It will resemble the following example:


4. Change the ending of this from ‘dl=0‘ to ‘dl=1‘, eg:


5. Copy this newly-formatted link and test that your data is still valid using the 360Giving Data Quality Tool.

6. Submit the link to 360Giving Helpdesk via support@threesixtygiving.org to be added to the Data Registry.

Be aware that this link can easily be changed (by being deleted and re-created) and therefore will become invalid. If this happens you will need to let the 360 support team know the new link to your data.

Good practice in file management

360Giving publishing is all about files - it’s how data is shared and gets updated. This means it is important to consider your approach to file management.

Publishing in single or multiple files

Some organisations publish all their data in a single file while others split their grants data into separate files by year or grant programme.

Your choice might be influenced by a range of factors:

  • If you will be making regular updates it might be easier to add data into a single file with all your grants.
  • If you make updates on an annual basis you might prefer to create a new file for each year. However, be aware of the possibility of the same grant appearing in two different files.
  • A single file should not exceed 10mb in size, so depending on the volume of grants you may need to split your data into several files.
  • Whether published in a single file or multiple files, once published and included in GrantNav, all the data will appear together under the funding organisation’s name.

If you split your grant data into multiple files, you will need to contact 360Giving to register each file as it is published. See the guidance on registering your file with 360Giving for more details.

Tips for naming your 360Giving data file

As well as deciding where to host your file, you should also give some thought to the file name.

Examples of good practice:

  • Include your organisation name in your file names to make it easier for users who download the file to know who published the data.
  • If you split your grant files by programme or year you can include this in the file name, however make sure this doesn’t make the title too long.
  • If you intend to publish all your grants data in a single file, adding more data over time, you should choose a generic title.
  • Avoid including file version numbers, grant date ranges or file save dates which will need to be changed as the contents of the file change.

What‘s next?

Read our guidance about how to submit your 360Giving data to the Registry.

Getting further help

This guidance aims to support funders through the 360Giving publishing process. If you can't find the information you need or you have further questions email 360Giving Helpdesk. You can help us improve this guidance by filling out our feedback form.