Data is a cornerstone asset and key to governance in the digital age. It’s essential to make all data related to governing 100% open and transparent. The open government data vision has been slow to materialize because government is limited in its ability to create and use technology required to make its data open and accessible. When government budgets are constrained, commercial incentive to innovate declines. Worse: bureaucracy, cost overruns and politics derail the best of intentions. However, breakthrough innovations occur when commercial mandates are absent. There are numerous non-profit efforts underway or on the drawing board to do so. The challenge is catalyzing philanthropic support of digital innovation. It’s a new kind of asset management that philanthropists are less familiar with: shepherding the creation of intangible assets, principally software. This must be solved, because society must look to non-profit digital innovation to enable transparency in government.