How Non-Profits Can Leverage Open Data

The Information Services Department (ISD) and THRIVE, The Alliance for Non-Profits in San Mateo County, have been working together to increase awareness of the County’s Open Data Portal among community-based organizations and to promote its use by these non-profits.

CBOs in our community have a special role in providing key services to our residents and partner with the County and other government agencies across areas such as health, human services, the environment, and elsewhere. Data is critical for non-profits as it a) helps them better understanding needs and trends in the County, b) shows evidence of  the successful impact of their programs, and c) is essential for creating successful grant proposals.

To promote the awareness of the County’s Open Data Portal, ISD and THRIVE jointly hosted events targeted to CBOs to cover many topic around data:

  • Understanding the open data movement and what’s happening locally
  • ‚ÄčLearning exactly what open data is and how it can help non-profit organizations
  • Learning about San Mateo County’s Open Data Portal for data discovery, data visualization, and mapping
  • Participating in a group discussion about open data getting questions answered

At each of these events, approximately 20 non-profits were represented as John Ridener explained the County’s Open Government initiative, the resources available to them, as well as how organizations can think of everything they do as data and better contribute to, as well as leverage, the Open Data Portal.

If you have any questions about the County’s Open Data program, please contact John Ridener at

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