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Patrick J. McGovern Foundation Will Support Nest’s Data Infrastructure with Accelerator Grant

In December, Nest was announced as one of ten organizations from around the world selected for the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation’s 2022 Accelerator Grant program. The program, which sits under the Foundation’s new Data and Society initiative, provides financial and technical support to non-profits that have demonstrated high potential to use data and AI to drive social impact around the world.

The Accelerator Grant recipients will receive data support, tools, and expert guidance from the Foundation’s in-house Direct Data and AI Services team for a data project, as well as $100,000 in grant funding through this innovative philanthropic-nonprofit collaboration.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this diverse group of nonprofits as the next cohort of Accelerator partners,” said Claudia Juech, the Foundation’s Vice President of Data and Society. “Each of these organizations is at a different stage of data maturity, and we are looking forward to working with them to strengthen their capacity to test and deliver on their data experiments around the world.”

Many of these organizations have been developing the ideas for their data experiments for some time, said Nikita Japra, senior manager of the Accelerator program, and they’ve needed more than funding to test their hypotheses. “The Foundation enables the selected nonprofits to be able to take a risk on these proof-of-concept data projects, and, at the same time, helps them establish the building blocks of a more advanced culture of data use.”

As Nest’s programmatic footprint has grown to reach over a quarter million artisan handworkers in communities around the world, so has the data Nest has gathered and continues to gather on the artisan sector, which is one of the largest employers of women around the world.

The data that Nest has collected through our Artisan and Maker Guild, as well as our in-field surveys for the Makers United and Ethical Handcraft programs, offer invaluable insights into the socio-economic challenges facing artisans and creative entrepreneurs, as well as the impact of the solutions that Nest has delivered. As we look to our next 15 years of impact at Nest, future programming will be rooted in data showing which solutions yield the greatest impact. We also endeavor to share our datasets, when appropriate, with partner organizations to strengthen their efforts so that we may provide meaningful holistic support together.

With funding and expert mentorship from the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Nest will shore up our internal data collection and analyses processes, as well as our ability to glean relevant information from external datasets. This will prepare us to launch several new research initiatives, including a survey to understand the impacts of climate change on the artisan sector.

“There is a great opportunity to shed light on climate change’s impacts on artisan populations around the globe,” said Rebecca van Bergen, Founder and Executive Director of Nest, one of the Accelerator grant recipients. “With the support of the Accelerator Program, we’re looking forward to receiving expert guidance and tools as we analyze a robust data set from our artisan communities that share both the impact of climate change on their communities, as well as their creative solutions.”

Nest has been a leading advocate of the artisan and homeworking sector for more than 15 years. With best-in-class data collection, analysis, and reporting structures in place, Nest will both elevate its thought leadership of the informal economy while also ensuring that future programs are rooted in data, delivering even more meaningful long-term impact.