The site was set up by participants of the Political Innovation project, and is managed on a voluntary basis by a steering group comprising: Clifford Singer, Who Funds You? director and creative director at Social Spark; Karin Christiansen, board chair at Open Knowledge and former managing director of Publish What You Fund; Paul Evans, founder of Political Innovation; and Dr Andy Williamson, director of Democratise and former director of digital democracy at the Hansard Society.
Clifford Singer, director of Who Funds You?, said:
“When we launched five years ago there was little concern among think tanks around issues of funding transparency but it’s become much more pressing over the last year, with debates around Trump, ‘fake news’ and ‘dark money’ in politics. So this year we’re stepping up activity and plan to double the number of organisations we rate from 25 to 50.
“Although we’re mainly interested in think tanks, we are seeing an increasing number of ‘hybrid’ organisations that have elements of both campaign groups and think tanks. We already cover some of these but expect to include more in the future. It’s more about what they do than how they label themselves. If, for example, they are giving evidence to Parliamentary committees and inquiries, we think they have a duty to declare their funding.”
Who Funds You? is looking for feedback on its plans to expand coverage to cover campaign groups, and comments can be sent to info@WhoFundsYou.org.
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