Mission:  To help civil society organizations manage and govern their digital data with the same degree of care they commit to managing their financial resources.

Background: Spearheaded by Lucy Bernholz, director of the Digital Society Lab at Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, in partnership with the Technology Affinity Group and the Markets for Good community, is an online platform dedicated to supporting civil society in the development and use of safe, ethical, and effective digital data practices. The materials found on the platform are informed by a set of principles derived from the nature of civil society itself. These are called out on the site as the Four Principles: Pluralism ("Civil society is diverse and inclusive by design. It thrives on this multiplicity and the sector's technology systems and approaches for using digital data should reflect this); Consent ("Were the people from whom the data were gathered actively asked to share their data? Did they actively agree to let you use their data for the purposes for which you intend to use it? Were they given the chance to say 'no' without penalty? Can they get their information back from you if they want it?"); Privacy ("Are you collecting the least possible amount of data to accomplish your goals? Are you doing everything you can to protect individuals from being identified? Are you using proxies where needed? Do you have a timeline and a plan to destroy the data you collect?"); and Openness ("Have you made plans to share your data?").

Outstanding Web Features: The site offers three main information modules featuring easy-to-understand explanations of how and why digital data is different from the assets nonprofits are used to managing; a guide to the type of governance decisions that organizations need to consider complete with a handy policy wizard to help inform their choices; and tools such as checklists and guidelines designed by and for nonprofits to inform their use of digital data. The site also offers a number of case studies that include links to stories, examples, and discussion questions; and a resource section featuring a glossary of common language definitions for data and other digital jargon; a user-generated list of regulations covering digital data and infrastructure that nonprofits should be aware of; and links to other organizations active in the digital data space.

Main Office:
Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, California 94305
Tel: (650) 497-9386
Subjects: civil society
Location: National