bridgelogoIf you haven’t read the news, you need to get up to speed. Your nonprofit has likely been issued a BRIDGE (Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities) number. Around the world, there are over 10 million charities and nonprofits. This includes churches and schools. According to Nonprofit Tech for Good in their original article, which you can find here, most of these social sector organizations are not yet online.

However, if your organization has a digital presence, more than likely, you’ve been issued a BRIDGE number. You can search for your BRIDGE number by going here.

So, what’s this all about and how does it affect YOUR organization? Here are your answers:

Who

This new program, which launched this week, is a collaboration between the following four organizations: Foundation Center, GuideStar, TechSoup and GlobalGiving. 

What

According to the BRIDGE site:

“BRIDGE assigns a unique identification number, known as a BRIDGE Number, to individual social sector entities around the world, including non-governmental organizations, programs, and projects and to other social sector entities, such as schools and churches. Each BRIDGE Number is randomly generated and unique to an organization.

Far more than a numbering system, however, BRIDGE also exists as a registry, or database. Nonprofits can find their own unique BRIDGE Numbers, and partners can obtain information from the registry in bulk for their own databases. Currently totaling approximately three million NGOs, BRIDGE aims to streamline information sharing in order to better understand and track the flow of philanthropic dollars and thereby enhance transparency and effectiveness in the global social sector.”

The databases of the Foundation Center, GlobalGiving, GuideStar and TechSoup have been combined into one massive, international social sector database.

What’s more, this is so massive that not only does it seek to get data for any given nonprofit, but for all the programs and projects within a social sector organization. Here’s what you need to know:

When

Now. It’s launched this week, so check it out.

Where

Make sure you bookmark the following site, because as this unfolds, I’m sure you’ll be coming back to see it, as will the public and your supporters: Bridge-Registry.org.

Why

And, now we have arrived at the all-important question. Clearly there is a push for transparency. Funders large and small want to know where their money is going. They want to understand the effectiveness of the organizations they support. This is the first step in doing just that on a global scale.

The parties all admit this is a work in progress and will take years to perfect. But be certain about something, this is meant to provide funders (foundations, individuals, trusts, governments, corporations) with a “go to” site where they can analyze the impact and results that a given social sector organization is having. They call it a “philanthropic marketplace.”

Currently, when you look for an organization’s BRIDGE number you can only find the name, location and its unique new number. However, there’s more in the works. If you go to their FAQ section, you’ll see:

What’s next for BRIDGE?

It is our hope that BRIDGE becomes a useful standard, widely integrated in systems used to track nonprofits and their activities.

So, I would not be surprised, given the global power of the entities behind this effort and the push for transparency in the social sector that very shortly you’ll be seeing a whole lot more information about any organization on the Internet. All of it will be at the ready of any potential funder or supporter.

 

Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: How to DOMINATE YOUR Fundraising to Create YOUR Success” (Free Digital Download)

 

© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.