Sunlight Accepting Applications for Mini Grants


The Sunlight Foundation is still offering grants of $1,000 to $5,000 to local groups, individuals or any groups of citizens that have creative ideas for changing the relationship between elected Federal representatives and the people they represent. This is the second year of our mini-grant program. Last year we funded five extraordinary programs selected from nearly one hundred applicants.

Successful applicants will receive, in addition to a grant, consulting and strategic support and opportunities for networking. Our goal is to provide that extra element that takes a project from good to great — server space, a video camera, or access to polling data — or provide the seed that makes a new project viable. Projects could range from citizen media, to creative use of the Internet to engage citizens in watchdogging, to opening up new ways of communicating with federal lawmakers or creative mapping of lawmakers' activities.

We encourage applications from existing small nonprofits and Web sites, from offshoots of national groups, from individuals, and from informal groups of citizens.

We plan to give a total of 8-10 grants over the year. The applications will be accepted on a rolling basis till June, with review dates every three months. The next review date will be April 15th.

Projects will be judged on how closely they fit with Sunlight's purposes of using technology to enable citizens to learn more about what their elected representatives are doing, reducing corruption, and ensuring greater transparency. They will also be judged on their creativity, and their ability to grow or be replicated. As a general rule, we will not fund salaries or general overhead expenses, but will fund technological upgrades.

To apply, please send a one page summary of your project, a budget (including the amount requested from Sunlight) and contact information to our organizing and outreach director Nisha Thompson ( Feel free to call her at 1-202-742-1520 if you have questions before applying.

Previous grantees are not eligible.