Sunlight gets 5-star transparency rating from Transparify


At Sunlight, we take transparency seriously — even our own. We disclose all of our funding on our website here. That’s why we’re proud to share that in a new report on the transparency of policy advocates, Transparify gave the Sunlight Foundation a 5-star rating.

Transparify, an organization that rates financial transparency of major think tanks, examined 34 organizations who participated in the International Open Data Conference in May, finding Sunlight among the best when it comes to publicly disclosing sources of funding. To achieve five stars, organizations list their donors and exact amounts on their website where anyone can find out who funds their research and advocacy.

“We originally started by rating the financial transparency of think tanks because we thought that institutions aiming to inform and influence public policy-making in a democratic society should be open about who funds their research and advocacy,” said Transparify Advocacy Manager Till Bruckner. “Transparify’s latest rating covered 34 advocacy groups. We focused on pro-transparency advocates for two reasons: First, these groups have clearly recognized the value of transparency, so it was just a matter of checking whether they practice what they preach. Second, we wanted to raise awareness among these groups about how easy it can be to conduct such ratings; we rated them in our spare time, without any donor funding.

“Transparify was delighted to be able to confirm what we had long suspected — that the Sunlight Foundation walks the transparency walk,” said Bruckner. “The Sunlight Foundation is a positive role model for the nonprofit sector as a whole. It discloses who funds it, with what exact sums, and for what purposes, and thus achieved the maximum possible 5-star rating.”

As the report notes, there will be a follow-up rating later this year. Transparify will publish full results (as of then), the good and the bad.

Read Transparify’s report here, and read more about our experience at the International Open Data Conference here.