Sunlight is very proud to share the news that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will award us $4 million over the next three years to increase our ability to make more government data more accessible, especially on the state and local level. With this new support, we will focus more on making more government data accessible to more and more people -- not just journalists and experts. This new funding from the Knight Foundation will undoubtedly go a long way toward giving us more resources to make online government transparency a reality, enabling us to continue to build tools to bring that data to the public and share with the growing open government community lessons learned from our work.Continue reading
We’re happy to announce our new OpenGov Grants program to help you fulfill your vision of making government more transparent and accountable.
We know how challenging fundraising can be. You start an innovative project using technology to make government more open and accessible and halfway through -- you run out of money. At Sunlight, we’ve been there, and that's why we want to help you out. (Don't be misled by our name -- we’re not a foundation with an endowment, but rather a nonprofit that competes for grants just like any other 501 c3 charitable organization.) Indeed, we know how challenging fundraising can be.With the financial support of Google.org, our new OpenGov Grants program will offer one-time grants in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 to help you achieve your vision of opening up government through creative innovations. OpenGov Grants can support anything from making a cool app to help residents understand how local government works, to creating an open source site to navigate state or local spending data to extending the capabilities of one of Sunlight’s own websites or apps. We’ll give priority to projects that develop open source software or data. (For details on what we will and won’t fund, please visit our FAQ.) Get inspired to apply by watching our video. Continue reading
We’re excited to share the news that Google.org just announced a $2.1 million grant for Sunlight to expand our mission... View ArticleContinue reading
Google’s nonprofit program offers a variety of services your organization can leverage to the benefit of your community. If you... View ArticleContinue reading
In fiscal year 2008, the federal government gave $38 billion in grants to nonprofit entities and spent $10 billion on non-competed contracts with nonprofits. Billions were also taken in tax expenditures benefiting nonprofits, representing foregone revenues of $50 billion in 2008.
Excluding contracts, that means that the average U.S. household spent $430 a year on programs to nonprofit entities such as universities, hospitals and charities in 2008.
Loans and loan guarantees made by the government, known as risk transfers, also represent a subsidy. In 2008, the federal government lent at more than $7 billion to ... Continue reading
Yesterday evening, the House passed version of S. 303, which would significantly increase federal grant transparency if enacted. The legislation... View ArticleContinue reading
I am thrilled to announce that we will be expanding our collaboration with the Omidyar Network to catalyze greater transparency... View ArticleContinue reading
Today, Sunlight is announcing new Mini-Grants as part of its commitment to support original ideas, tools, Web sites, and bloggers that further our mission of using the Internet to foster a more open government.
These new projects (scroll down for our Mini-Grantees) demonstrate the creativity of citizens in using the Internet to give the public the power to learn more about their elected representatives and to engage as communities in monitoring, conversing and connecting over the work of Congress. Each of the work of these new Sunlight grantees creates greater transparency for our elected officials. Their work will strengthen citizen participation in the democratic process.
Check out the work of Geocoder.us that provides free address look-up information based on the U.S. Census, so that users can enter any address or intersection and learn the longitude and latitude coordinates for that location, or the work of Knowledge As Power which will develop a legislator email management and constituent relations communications system to increase transparency between legislators and their constituents. Speechology.org will host a Web site that will archive video of key political speeches-including debates, State of the Union addresses, convention speeches congressional testimony and campaign advertisements-and facilitate online public critical analysis. And three additional grants -- Pacific Northwest Topic Hotlist, Richmond Sunlight and the Utah News Aggregator -- have developed innovative ways to create more transparency for their legislators closer to home.Continue reading
We’re announcing the availability of “mini-grants” of $1,000 to $5,000 to fund original ideas, tools, Web sites, and blogs that create a better, more dynamic relationship between members of Congress and the citizens they represent. See here for the full press release.Continue reading
Each of these grants is exciting in its own way: two of the larger grants are cutting edge projects in the world of citizen journalism - one to Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.Net and the other to Dan Gillmor's Center for Citizen Media.
I feel like Jay's project is on the cusp of making some very big waves. As I said to him, if this works (and I think it will), the Washington game will never be the same again. The oh-so-cozy relationship between lawmakers and the old media will be replaced by something that is much more powerful - fearless citizens. I am certain that the establishment media will be challenged - and that's a very good thing - by this experiment's anticipated successes and perhaps they will recall that their mission to "afflict the comfortable." And one further thought: what Rosen is trying to do with NewAssignment.Net is something that media reform activists should start paying attention to since it can offer a way around the mainstream media's failure.Continue reading