The Center for Public Integrity has come out with an amazing new search tool that enables anyone that is interested to better understand how money flows in the nonprofit sector. The tool is in part intended to combat the lack of transparency that exists around funding for “dark money” organizations involved in the political process. However, I think it is also a great tool for donors, potential employees and volunteers, and other interested parties to better (and definitely more efficiently) understand more about who funds any organization. Plug in your favorite organizations and see what you find!
The data in the search function does not cover everything — according to the Center for Public Integrity, they have about 850,000 990s downloaded and in the system from about 250,000 organizations. However, this is a great beginning to enabling more information gathering without having to download and review the 990s yourself. This is an example of the type of information mining that we thought would come out of the requirement that the IRS release 990 data in machine readable and searchable formatting.