May 16, 2022

New Research Tools: “Nonprofit Network Explorer” Can Help Trace Sources of “Dark Money”

From the Center for Public Integrity:

2016-08-04_10-59-44“Dark money” just got a bit of light shined on it, thanks to a new search tool unveiled [yesterday] by the Center for Public Integrity.

The Center downloaded 850,000 forms from about 250,000 nonprofits that were recently released in electronic format by the IRS; we extracted the grant data and made $170 billion reported over five years searchable.

Nonprofits, while not required to publicly disclose donors, are required to report grants given to other nonprofits. The new tool allows researchers, reporters and average citizens to search for a so-called “dark money” group, or any other nonprofit, and find out if it got money from another nonprofit.


The database does not contain grants from tax forms filed on paper. And it doesn’t yet include grants from private foundations or from some nonprofits which received less than $200,000 in a tax year. The Center for Public Integrity’s analysis included about a quarter of the 3.4 million forms filed over five years on which grants must be disclosed. The search is just one small step toward transparency for the billions of dollars nonprofits exchange.

Read the Complete Introductory Blog Post

Direct to New Search Tool (Nonprofit Network Explorer)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.