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ANNOUNCEMENT: Cloudera Foundation merges with the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

Many nonprofit organizations have unique datasets that either alone or in combination with other data may offer deeper insights into the needs of beneficiary groups or faster tracking of programmatic interventions. Program staff working on data-centric projects may have a new hypothesis about the information contained in their organization’s datasets that, if validated,could dramatically improve decisions and activities.

Yet through our conversations with more than 300 nonprofits over the past three years, the Cloudera Foundation has learned that the in-house infrastructure, tools, and technical expertise required to yield these insights are often out of reach due to prohibitive costs and overburdened nonprofit staff.

In response, we are offering the Data4Change Accelerator to equip nonprofit organizations with the tools and expertise needed to test whether they can generate added value from their data -- without requiring them to make a significant investment in compute or storage infrastructure.  

The D4C Accelerator is a six-month, nonprofit data exploration and analysis platform managed by Cloudera Foundation’s data engineers and operated on the Foundation’s own instance of Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) Public Cloud. The D4C Accelerator functions as an analytics “sandbox” that can handle large, complex datasets.

What we offer:

Nonprofits selected to participate in the D4C Accelerator will team up with dedicated Cloudera Foundation data engineers and technologists to:

  1. Translate problem definitions into data questions 

  2. Prepare the data for ingesting, and

  3. Use a cloud-based platform to determine whether the datasets explored contain the information needed to answer those previously defined questions


Data platform

CDP Public Cloud is a secure and integrated data management platform hosted on the cloud. It enables instant and scalable access to manage all parts of the data science lifecycle from collection and ingest to advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Cloudera Inc. has donated a CDP-PC license to the Cloudera Foundation’s Data4Change Accelerator Program. This license enables the Foundation to provide a personalized sandbox environment to grantees. Access to this platform represents a value of more than USD$50,000 for each project.

For more information, please refer to the Cloudera Foundation’s Data Policy.

Technical support

Our data technologists guide the grantee in setting up the technical platform and provide mentorship through all stages of a data project. Where special subject matter expertise is needed, we may be able to draw on the specialized knowledge of Cloudera Inc. corporate volunteers. A demo and training that is customized to the grantees’ needs are included through the Accelerator program.

Financial grants

In addition to providing technical assistance and access to the CDP-PC platform, we provide financial grants to cover expenses associated with running the nonprofit’s data exploration of up to $75,000 (at least $25,000 of this grant amount must be allocated to cloud-related costs). Whenever possible, we will work with grantees to identify funding opportunities that will build upon their Accelerator work.

Our grantees

Grantees are selected holistically based on a combination of criteria including impact potential, strategic fit, and technological fit. 

We built our first Accelerator cohort using a Data for Equality framework. Data for Equality Accelerator grantees are nonprofits that use data to address barriers to survival and well-being in marginalized communities.


Women’s World Banking

Women’s World Banking has set an ambitious goal of reaching 24 million women by 2022 with the financial services they need for security and prosperity. During their time in the Accelerator program, they will conduct quantitative research to inform the development of a women’s economic empowerment or women’s financial inclusion index to aid in their advocacy efforts.


Invisible Institute

Since 2014, Invisible Institute has worked to make hundreds of thousands of administrative records from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) publicly accessible through the Citizens Police Data Project, while analyzing patterns of misconduct. During the Accelerator, they will expand on this work through their Gender Violence Project which investigates sexual violence at the hands of the CPD. They aim to reveal unseen patterns of officer misconduct and understand structural conditions that allow sexual violence. 

Mapping for Environmental Justice

Mapping for Environmental Justice works with community organizations to create cumulative impact maps that combine environmental, public health, and demographic data into a single indicator of vulnerability that substantiates environmental injustices otherwise written off as anecdotal evidence. During the Accelerator, they will create the first dataset of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the American Southwest, to aid in identification of unpermitted/illegal CAFOs and geo- targeting of regulatory enforcement resources.


Power of Nutrition

Building partnerships to co-finance national programs designed to tackle undernutrition in early childhood, Power of Nutrition will join the Accelerator to develop a harmonized platform to host longitudinal birth cohort data and an algorithm to more efficiently clean the data in preparation for analysis. Their research will focus on assessing the physical and cognitive impacts of childhood stunting in high prevalence settings on the productivity and value of businesses in key sectors.


Urban Displacement Project


Based at the University of California, Berkeley, the Urban Displacement Project is a leading academic center on neighborhood change, gentrification, and displacement that has informed and driven equitable policy both in the state of California and across the United States. Their Accelerator project will focus on the development of an NLP application that extracts names, addresses, and court proceeding details from Washington State eviction case records to better understand why certain households get evicted. 

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