Our Mission

The Sunlight Foundation is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that uses civic technologies, open data, policy analysis and journalism to make our government and politics more accountable and transparent to all.

Our vision is for technology to enable more complete, equitable and effective democratic participation. Our overarching goal is to achieve changes in the law to require real-time, online transparency for all government information. And, while our work began in 2006 with only a focus on the U.S. Congress, our open government work now takes place at the local, state, federal and international levels.

We believe that information is power, or, to put it more finely, disproportionate access to information is power. We are committed to improving public access to public information by making it available to the public, online.

We approach our work in a number of ways. Over the years, have worked with thousands of software developers, local transparency activists, bloggers, citizens, advocates, librarians, acadademics and journalists, involving them in distributed research projects, hackathons, and training. Sunlight’s analysts push for improved transparency policy, working directly with governments at all levels. Our writers cover political influence and government transparency using data journalism techniques.

Our projects include reporting on President Trump’s conflicts of interest, ethics and transparency in the federal government, monitoring federal data integrity, our Open Cities work with cities around the nation, and international anti-corruption and democracy initiatives.

Our efforts have produced results. Over the past decade, we served more than 4.2 billion API calls (and counting), indicating how much the data we liberated was needed. Our reporting has been cited by the world’s preeminent journalists. Our research has led to congressional hearings. Our tools have stripped problematic measures from bills. We won a major victory when, at our urging, the federal government agreed to begin the process of releasing all datasets held by federal agencies. We were part of a coalition that passed historic reforms to the Freedom of Information Act and the DATA Act, fundamentally changing how the public is informed about federal spending.

In 2018, we are pushing for the passage of the OPEN Government Data Act, the Honest Ads Act, and other reforms in Washington that will hold the Trump administration accountable to the public it serves.

Around the world, from cities to states to nations, Sunlight is standing up for public information that’s open and accessible to the public.

Get involved in helping us open up government today!