How does your taxonomy compare to AIRS?

How does One Degree categorize its resource information? 

One Degree has a hierarchical taxonomy that classifies every resource into one or more “tags.” These tags are meant to be specific enough so they indicate what a person can do with or get from a resource. For instance, a local grocery distribution program at a church would get the tag, “Food pantries.” 

What is the difference between One Degree’s tags and the AIRS taxonomy?

Think of One Degree’s tags as a people-friendly subset of the AIRS Taxonomy. The latter is a human services “classification system,” which has thousands of different categories, including those that are relevant to addressing issues of poverty and those that are not. The AIRS system is extremely detailed, often providing multiple classifications for the same types of programs. By contrast, One Degree has only a few hundred tags, which classify resources that are relevant only to low-income or at-risk individuals. 

The One Degree tag system does not attempt to categorize every human service program, but rather only the ones relevant to its mission of helping families build a path out of poverty. For example, disaster relief-related services are found in AIRS, but are excluded from One Degree. 

One Degree’s tags are also written in plain language and purposefully avoid industry jargon that may not be understandable to the average or even low-literacy help-seeker. For instance, for medical tests for sexual transmitted diseases, One Degree uses the plain-spoken “STD tests,” while AIRS calls it, “STD Detection,” which is not a commonly-used term among those who are not in the medical profession or resource referral field. 

Does One Degree’s tag system cost anything to use? 

No. One Degree’s system is freely available and open source, while the AIRS Taxonomy requires a paid license. Learn more about One Degree’s tags at

Are the taxonomies of One Degree and AIRS compatible? 

Yes. One Degree tags match up with specific AIRS categories, and sometimes more than one.

For instance, the single “Food stamps” tag on One Degree matches up with 7 different AIRS categories related to food stamps (“Food Stamps/SNAP”, “Food Stamps/SNAP Appeals/Complaints”, “Food Stamps/SNAP Applications”, “Food Stamps/SNAP Benefits Assistance (use Welfare Rights Assistance)”, “Food Stamps/SNAP Fraud Reporting”, “Food Stamps/SNAP Recipients”, “Food Stamps Card Replacement (use EBT Card Services)”). It is likely that the average person would not know how to choose among these 7 to find an agency that could help them. For an expert user, such as someone working at a 211 call center, the AIRS categorization might provide more flexibility.  

Does One Degree ever update its tags? 

Yes. One Degree routinely adds, removes, and updates its tags based on community feedback.

P.S. Check out the Learning Hub to see how to get the most out of using One Degree and the tools that we offer. You can find training videos, FAQs and other great resources!

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