About This Project

Nonprofit Politics is a web database of the connections between the nonprofit sector and elected public officials. The site is a project of Professor Rob Reich (Political Science, Stanford University), who, in association with Professor Lawrence Lessig and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, worked with a team of undergraduates at Stanford to help elucidate the ties between members of Congress and nonprofit organizations. Much interest has been paid to the connections between elected officials and for-profit companies, but the oft-complex overlap between the government and 501(c) organizations generally receives little attention; Nonprofit Politics seeks to increase transparency in these sectors.

The database strives to be as comprehensive as possible and pulls data from a number of sources, including officials' Personal Financial Disclosure Forms, Guidestar, Project Vote Smart, and officials' web sites. The team began the project by focusing solely on members of Congress, but, given the many complex relations between other branches of government and nonprofits as well, is expanding to Supreme Court justices and Governors as well. The site strives to be a tool for researchers, journalists, or any American citizen interested in greater transparency of their government and the nonprofit sector. For analysis from the research team about information gathered regarding the 111th Congress, see Data Reports.

The research team began its work in the summer of 2010, and the site launched in the spring of 2011. As such, the data begins with the 111th Congress (2008-2010). The research team consists of Aysha Bagchi, Nita Bhat, Priscilla Choi, and Josh Freedman. The site is designed by Jackie Buttice and coded by Alex Shor and Josh Freedman. The site is built on Drupal, and the team extends a special thanks to Marco Wise at Stanford IT for his help.

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