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
The Sunlight Foundation is offering grants of $1,000 to $5,000 for local groups 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 (see below) selected from nearly one hundred applicants. Successful applicants will receive the grant, consulting and strategic support, and networking opportunities. 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 to creative mapping of lawmakers' activities.Continue reading
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an Op-Ed this weekend about the prospects of using the Internet for more deliberative public reasoning, discussing one of the projects we are considering for a minigrant -- MorePerfect.org. More Perfect is a new wiki-forum for collaborative law and policy development:
Will a Web-based, wiki-democracy work? I don't know. I'm skeptical of the open platform because it can be manipulated by a special interest. Continue reading
I’ve just started this job with Sunlight a little over a month now, and one of our first projects, providing mini-grants of $1000 to $5000 to innovative people with risky or brilliant ideas about opening up government is already making me a little less morbid than I was about a year ago. Its nice to be reminded we’re a country teeming these persistent citizens, daydreaming at midnight, and over 20 different ideas have come in the door so far from Arkansas to Hawaii. If we can’t fund all of them, which we can’t even begin to, hopefully we can at least provide some boost, some direction, some connections to make something possible.Continue reading